Geographers in the News Archives


2010 / 11 Academic Year

The Globe and Mail: Dr. Jason Gilliland and PhD Candidate, Janet Loebach

Video games, the Internet and fast food take a lot of the blame for childhood obesity, but there’s growing evidence for an unlikely addition to the list of usual suspects: The school playground. For decades, schools have chopped down trees and replaced them with asphalt, monkey bars and basketball nets all in the belief that it would encourage exercise and make kids happier, but a growing body of research suggests the opposite is true. [READ MORE] [FACULTY WEBSITE]

Congratulations to Vanier Scholarship recipient, Donald Lafreniere

Geography PhD Candidate, Donald Lafreniere, was named one of the recipients of the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, the country’s most prestigious scholarship for doctoral students.  Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the recipients Wednesday, August 3, 2011.  This award is designed to attract and retain world-class doctoral students from Canada and around the world Congratulations Don! [READ MORE]

WESTERN NEWS - Youth addressing First Nation health concerns

Dr. Chantelle Richmond recently hosted an intensive summer school sesson for First Nation youths on qualitative methods they will use upon returning to their communities to interview their elders about health and environmental change in their lifetimes. [READ MORE]

Dr. Brian Luckman in The Globe and Mail - Research blows BC Hydro's energy predictions out of the water

Since 1998, Brian Luckman has spent his summers hiking the Athabasca and Peyto glaciers in the Canadian Rockies, teasing skinny core samples from ancient trees.

Part of a team of Canadian and U.S. researchers, the University of Western Ontario geography professor recently published research in Science Express that shows BC Hydro’s worst-case scenarios for its hydroelectric power generation may be optimistic. [ARTICLE ABSTRACT] [FACULTY WEBSITE]

CBC NEWS - Interview with Dr. Brian Luckman 'Rockies snowpack loss foreshadows water woes'

Brian Luckman, Professor Emeritus in Western's Department of Geography, was recently interviewed by CBC News about an article he co-authored in the Journal of Science Express. It documents the decline of the snow pack across the northern Rocky Mountains and notes that the rate of shrinkage has been far greater in the past 50 years relative to the previous 800 years. [CBC STORY] [ARTICLE]

Western News Press Release: Western-led research garners $2.5 million to bring change to how we manage climate change in megacities

As part of the International Research Initiative on Adaptation to Climate Change (IRIACC), a new initiative led by Gordon McBean at The University of Western Ontario will help cities around the world mitigate risks created by climate change. [MORE]

Dr. Jason Gilliland and his STEAM Research Team quoted in the London Free Press - "Kids tracked to discover how neighbourhoods impact health"

A young child walks to school, the route marked by leafy trees. Another child walks to school on a traffic-congested road. A third takes the bus. How does the design of each neighbourhood affect the child's health? A group of researchers at the University of Western Ontario is embarking on a three-year study to find out. [READ MORE]

Journal of Maps 2010 Award for the "Best Map"

Congratulations to our own Geography PhD Candidate, Don Lafreniere and incoming PhD Student, Doug Rivet, for their historical mapping of Sandwich, Ontario titled "Rescaling the Past through Mosaic Historical Cartography". This annual award is presented to the single best contribution to the journal in 2010. Well done! [ABSTRACT]

The Security of Canada and Canadians: Implications of Climate Change

Congratulations to Dr. Gordon McBean and his research team, which included Geography PhD Candidate Idowu (Jola) Ajibade, on the completion of their final report on Climate Security through the SSHRC Knowledge Synthesis be downloaded in its entirety. Well done! [ FULL REPORT]

Strength in Numbers: New Institute Expands Expertise in Africa

Western's commitment to making a difference in Africa was recently showcased in The Western News. This commitment will receive a major boost with the opening of a new institute consolidating Western’s research strengths in the world’s second-largest continent. Check out photos of Drs Rachel Bezner Kerr and Isaac Luginaah, and Ph.D. Candidate Ellena Andoniou from Geography! [MORE]

Geography Alumnus quoted in The Globe and Mail

Mark Fieder, current President and Managing Director of Avison Young's Ontario Division was quoted in the Business Section of May 17th's Globe and Mail about the need to provide an office space balance to retain older employees and attracting new ones. Mark received his BA from the Department of Geography, Urban Development Program at Western in 1984. [ARTICLE]

CAG Geographer of the Week: Dr. Brian Branfireun

Congratulations to Dr. Brian Branfireun, Associate Professor and CRC in Environment and Sustainability at Western, for being the Canadian Association of Geographers' Geographer of the week! He is cross-appointed in the departments of Geography, Biology and Earth Sciences. [GeogNews]

Western Humanitarian Award Winners!

Congratulations to Professor Irena Creed (Department of Biology, cross appointment with Geography) and her colleagues Charles Trick, Jack Bend and Regna Darnell for being recently awarded a Humanitarian Award from Western for their work that examines the ecological factors affecting health in Kenya's Lake Naivasha region, which grew from 19,000 people in 1990 to more than 400,000 today.

2011 Canada Prize in the Social Sciences Awarded to Dr. Joy Parr

Congratulations to Joy Parr, winner of the Canada Prize in the Social Sciences for her book 'Sensing Changes: Technologies, Environments, and the Everyday, 1953-2003'. This Prize recognizes scholarly manuscripts that are vital to the growth of humanity's knowledge, and enrich the social, cultural and intellectual life of Canada and the world. [READ MORE] [FACULTY WEBSITE]

Undergraduate Geography Thesis Research about Campus Crime makes the The Western Gazette

Amber Garratt, completed her Geography Undergraduate Thesis (Geography 4900) this year on the topic of Campus Crime at Western. Amber, who is also the Arts & Life Editor for The Western Gazette, wrote an article titled "Western prides itself on being the best student experience, but how safe is this experience?" for the Gazette this past week. [READ MORE] Congratulations to Amber and all those students who completed the 4900 this year!

Dr. Chantelle Richmond - The Canadian Association of Geographers 'Geographer of the Week'

Congratulations to Western's own, Dr. Chantelle Richmond, CAG's 'Geographer of the Week'.  Chantelle is a First Nation scholar who has trained primarily in health geography. Both from a personal and academic perspective, she is ... [MORE] [FACULTY WEBSITE]

Pleva Award for Excellence in Teaching Awarded to Dr. Graham Smith 

Congratulations to, Geography's own, Dr. Graham Smith for receiving Western's highest teaching honour.  This award recognizes his long-standing commitment to excellence and innovation in teaching, and his leadership as an advocate to improve undergraduate teaching at Western. [WESTERN NEWS]

Western News: Research takes the whole child into account with Dr. Jason Gilliland

If you ever wondered where your children go when they leave the house, just ask Jason Gilliland. Dr. Gilliland was recently interviewed by Western News regarding his research looking at environmental influences on children’s health issues. Check out the article by Lauren Nisbet. [LINK] [FACULTY WEBSITE]

Dr. Gordon McBean Named to "The Order of Ontario"

Congratulations to Dr. Gordon McBean in receiving Ontario's highest honour, The Order of Ontario, for his outstanding achievements in climate change and natural disasters. The Honourable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, invested the appointees at a ceremony held at  Queen's Park on January 27, 2011. [MORE]

"Best Map" Award presented to Geography PhD Candidate, Don Lafreniere

Congratulations to Don Lafreniere for receiving the 2010 "Best Map" Award from the Journal of Maps for his historical atlas of Sandwich, Ontario, Canada which is now part of Windsor. [READ MORE] [JOURNAL OF MAPS]

'Ethical Oil: A Moral Misnomer' by Jeremy Schmidt

Jeremy Schmidt, PhD Candidate and Trudeau Scholar, argues against Ezra Levant in his op-ed titled 'Ethical oil: a moral misnomer' at The Mark News. The argument outlined in Ezra Levant's book Ethical Oil demonstrates exactly the wrong way to think about managing resources in an open society. [MORE]

Professor Phil Stooke's Map of Future Lunar Landing Sites in 'Universe Today'

Dr. Phil Stooke has put together a proposed landing site map based on published data from the Google Lunar X PRIZE Teams. $30 million in prizes is available to the first privately funded teams to safely land a robot on the surface of the Moon. [UNIVERSE TODAY] [LARGER MAP]

Dr. Gordon McBean - Elected to the College of Fellows of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society

Congratulations to Dr. Gordon McBean who was elected to the 2011 College of Fellows of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. [FACULTY WEBSITE] [RCGS]

'Angel Award' Presented to Dr. Jason Gilliland

Congratulations to Dr. Jason Gilliland for receiving the "Angel Award" from the Old East Village Business Improvement Area Board for his outstanding, consistent contribution to the Old East Village Revitalization Initiative. [FACULTY WEBSITE] [OLD EAST VILLAGE]

CBC Interview with Dr. Gordon McBean 'A Year in Weather'

2010 has been a record year for weather disasters around the world. On CBC's The Current, David Michael Lamb spoke with Dr. Gordon McBean about the 200-Billion dollars paid out in natural disaster related claims this year. [LISTEN TO CBC AUDIO] [ARTICLE]

Western News:  Institute to grow relationships among Malawian farmers

Dr. Rachel Bezner Kerr looks to build on a decade of research to construct a Farmer Research and Training Centre which would continue to foster collaborative learning and exchange among farmers, students and researchers in Northern Malawi. She has requested ....[READ MORE]

London Free Press: 'Canada needs climate studies' by Dr. Gordon McBean

If the climate change conference that started in Cancun on Monday is a reminder of how tricky consensus on climate can be, an antidote may be to consider something that most of the world leaders gathered in Mexico can agree on: knowing more helps. [READ MORE]

MITACS Accelerate Internships Awarded

Congratulations to Nina Sampson and Tatiana Hrytsak who have both been awarded MITACS Accelerate internships for their MSc research funded through two geomorphology consulting companies.

Urban Geographers ‘Take to the Streets’ with Kids

Grade 4 to 6 students from Blessed Sacrament School participated in an ‘environmental audit’ of their school neighbourhood as part of Geography Awareness Week (GAW)/GIS Day exercises on November 17th led by a team of Urban Geographers from the University of Western Ontario. [READ MORE]

Geocaching at the Children’s Museum for World Town Planning Day

Richard Sadler, Matthew Maltby, and Martin Healy, graduate students in Prof. Jason Gilliland’s Human Environments and Analysis Laboratory (HEAL) in the Department of Geography created a GPS based treasure hunting game to get local kids interested in geography for World Town Planning Day. The geocaching course was set up around the Children’s Museum of London and extended down the Thames River trail. Dr Gilliland and a team of graduate students from the HEAL are also planning further exercises with local elementary school children for Geography Awareness Week.

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