Geographers in the News Archives

2014 / 2015 Academic Year

Geography Awareness Week November 17-21, 2014

This year, Western University’s Department of Geography is inspiring future learners throughout Geography Awareness Week! The Department invited local high schools to discover their world through the use of Geographic Information Systems and explore its benefits and significance throughout our everyday lives.

To start the week off, on November 17th, the Department of Geography is hosting Grade Nine students from Medway High School. Over the course of the afternoon, the 47 students will participate in a GIS workshop and lab exercises run by Kathy Tang (GIS Analyst at Geography Department) and graduate students Jonathan Raikes , Chris Hewitt, Xiaodong Huang and Ian Pritchard before touring some of the Geography Research and Teaching Lab facilities lead by a PhD student Edward Krynak and Western’s Map & Data Centre in Weldon Library.

To finish off the week, on November 21, Kathy Tang with two graduate students (Martin Lefebvre and Jonathan Raikes) will represent the Geography Department as they travel to Central Elgin Collegiate Institute to join five district geography teachers during professional development day where they will give a GIS-based lecture. Together, they will discover and explore the uses and benefits of GIS, with an emphasis on GIS at Western University, GIS research and applications and the abundance of career opportunities that come with an education in geography and GIS.

Spotlight: The SmartAPP Stands Out

The SmartAPPetite initiative was recently the focus of an article by food writer Bryan Lavery in eatdrink, a local food and drink magazine serving Southwestern Ontario.   On November 21, the SmartAPPetite team will launch a novel smartphone app and website that will make it easier for people to find, prepare and eat healthy, local food.  The project has a dual purpose: to help people make smarter dietary decisions, and to help strengthen local economies. For the full article, see: eatdrink, issue #50, pages 28-30, and www.smartappetite.ca.

Congratulations to our Graduates!

The Department of Geography congratulates all of our October Convocation Graduates. We celebrated 7 Master's and 4 Doctoral Successes.  Among those in attendance were Dr. Karen Ross, Dr. Jenna Dixon and Andrea Rishworth pictured here with our very own Department Chair, and Convocation Marshall Dan Shrubsole. [CLICK HERE]  Congratulations Graduates! 

SmartAPPetite Project ‘Revealed’ on RogersTV

The SmartAPPetite project is featured on the current episode of the 'Western Revealed' television show on Rogers TV. The SmartAPPetite project uses a novel smartphone app to help people find, prepare and eat healthy, tasty foods from Ontario.  The episode features several collaborators talking about the project, including: project director Dr Jason Gilliland of Western’s Geography Department. For more information about the SmartAPPetite project, see: www.smartappetite.ca.  [WATCH INTERVIEW]

WESTERN NEWS - Professor Gordon McBean heads International Council for Science

Geography professor Gordon McBean assumed the role of president of the International Council for Science at the conclusion of the organization’s General Assembly last month. McBean is only the second Canadian to take up this office. In his inaugural address, McBean said he was “proud of the role the council has played, and will continue to play, in planning, coordinating and ‘making happen’ global scale research for the benefits for all societies.” He emphasized the council “will continue to provide societies and governments with policy relevant science that can and should form the basis policy making.” McBean holds professorships in the Departments of Geography, Political Science and Physics, and is director of policy studies at the university’s Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction and co-director of the Centre for Environment and Sustainability.  [MORE]

WESTERN NEWS - Get in the ACT

Through a recent Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) grant, Geography professor Jason Gilliland, director of Western’s Human Environments Analysis Laboratory, will be tracking participants throughout the eight-month ACT-i-Pass program.  [MORE]

Well Done Belinda Dodson and Tony Weis

Professors Belinda Dodson and Tony Weis were Canadian collaborators on a multi-parnter SSHRC_IDRC project that is focused on improving food security in seven cities across Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean.  More details can be found on the IDRC website.

Congratulations Jamie Voogt, elected as President of the International Association for Urban Climate (IAUC)

Congratulations to Jamie Voogt on his election as President of the International Association for Urban Climate (IAUC).  As President, Jamie is responsible for many aspects of the organization including representing the IAUC to other bodies, such as the World Meteorological Organization, American Meteorological Society, and IUGG.  Congratulations Jamie!

Geography grad student Kevin Vuong, Swiss contest finalist

Geography grad student Kevin Vuong and his team were one of the global finalists for the Geneva Challenge on Empowering Women for Development on September 15.      Read More...

PhD research looks to make traditional knowledge accessible

Erin Huner wants to make the past accessible for one southwestern Ontario community.  The Geography PhD student has long been intrigued by the idea of nation-building – giving autonomy back to communities from which it had been taken away. And through a collaborative project with Bkejwanong First Nation (Walpole Island), she is helping the nation access at least one small piece of its past.    Read More...

Isaac Luginaah, Department of Geography, Named an Inaugural Member of 'The College'

Congratulations to Isaac Luginaah's on his selection as an inaugural member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. Those named to the College represent the emerging generation of scholarly, scientific and artistic leadership in Canada. This is a tremendous honor that recognizes Isaac's many achievements and contributions in the areas of environmental hazards and people's vulnerabilities in population health.

Grad Students Retreat 2014 - Camp Sylvan

For many years, the Department of Geography has welcomed incoming graduate students by going on a weekend retreat.  This year's retreat was held at Camp Sylvan and was another success.  The Department of Geography and the graduate students extend a very sincere thanks to Maurice and Judy Davidson for their generous and ongoing support. Link

Congratulations Sarah Mason 2014 Vanier Scholar

Sarah receives $50,000 annually for up to three years for her work on Community conflict and management challenges surrounding urban biosolids in rural areas.  Read more...

Western Geography Grad student answering the Geneva Challenge

Paul Mayne - Western News
Every year millions of Indonesian workers, predominately women, leave their families and villages to seek work abroad as migrant workers. Approximately 4.3 million legal workers are employed overseas, with 60 per cent of those in countries in the Middle East. Undocumented migrants inflate the number to almost 15 million.  Read more...

Challenging the President...but Only on the Golf Course

Marvin Nicholson a Geography major from the University of Western Ontario has reached back to his golfing roots to become President Obama's secretary of swing.  Read more...

Professor Jason Gilliland Moderates “Community Conversation” about London’s Future

Dr Jason Gilliland, Associate Professor of Geography and Director of the Urban Development Program, moderated “A Community Conversation” in London, Ontario on Sept 3 to give people an opportunity to discuss their views on various contentious issues in the city, such as the fractured nature of the current City Council.  Over 80 residents attended the event, which was hosted by Emerging Leaders, a nonprofit focused on the retention, development, and engagement of emerging talent as a means to a more vibrant, inclusive, and dynamic community. Gilliland said the topics discussed at the forum are “big issues, important issues for the future of London,” and so it is important for people to be able to have their say on them.  Over a dozen candidates for mayor and council attended the event, but they were politely asked t o listen and take notes, and leave the campaigning for after the event.  For more on event, see article in the  London Community News.

SmartAPPetite Project Makes Headlines

An interview with Dr Jason Gilliland of Western's Geography Department about the SmartAPPetite project was recently featured on the front page of the Londoner newspaper. SmartAPPetite is a smartphone app which aims to help users eat healthier while also helping to strengthen Ontario's local food economy. Seed funding for the SmartAPPetite project was provided by Research Western and the Ministry of Training, Colleges, and Universities.  The interdisciplinary team, which includes faculty and students from Western, Wilfrid Laurier University, and Brescia University College were recently referred to as “the faces of the new local food economy” in the London Community News. Come talk to the SmartAPP team at the London Training Centre's "Feastival" in London on July 17th.

Congratulations to our 2013-2014 SIOR Award Winners

Western's Department of Geography congratulates the following students who have received merit awards from the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR) Canada: Nathaniel Pace was awarded $1500 for the SIOR Award for Highest Overall Graduating Average in the Honours Urban Development Program 2014 Robert Richards and Kailey Brisbin were each awarded $750 for the SIOR Award for Best Research Paper in Geog 3461 Land Use and Development Issues Congratulations Nathaniel, Robert and Kailey, and thanks to SIOR for the generous support of Urban Development students! The Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR) is the leading professional commercial and industrial real estate association, with more than 3,000 members in more than 630 cities in 29 countries. Real estate professionals who have earned the SIOR designation are recognized by corporate real estate executives, commercial real estate brokers, agents, lenders, and other real estate professionals as the most knowledgeable, experienced, and successful commercial real estate brokerage specialists in any market.