Learning opportunities and recognition: student participation in the WDCAG conference

Undergraduate and graduate Geography students were recognized for their high-caliber research paper presentations at the WDCAG conference

SOGS group photo

Society of Geography Students group photo in the student union building at UFV in Abbotsford (Photo provided by Trilby Buck)

This past weekend, from March 2nd to March 5th, the Society of Geography Students, graduate students, and faculty members attended the Western Division of the Canadian Association of Geographers (WDCAG) conference. From start to finish, spatial tales of hope for the future were the backdrop for the showcased research. Students had the opportunity to learn about the Abbotsford area and present their research, and many students received awards due to the high quality of their research presentations.

Salmon drying

Indigenous salmon drying rack from field trip about the cultural and geographic place names of the Stól:o First Nation (Photo by Dimitri Giannoulis)

Day one was marked by field trips around Abbotsford, with topics including agriculture and the cultural and geographic place names of the Stól:o First Nation. On day two, UVic Geography students made well-received research paper and poster presentations. Colleen Fish (BSc Physical Geography and Earth Sciences program) won an award for best research paper presentation by a BSc student for her work on rock glaciers in the north central Stikine Ranges of British Columbia’s Cassiar Mountains. Other presenters included Christine Kuizema (BSc Geomatics program), Madison Guthrie (BSc Honours program), Nalin Dhillon (BSc Honours program), Dimitri Giannoulis (BSc program), Yujia Xu (BA Geography and Environmental Studies program), Rachel Jampole (BA Environment and Sustainability program), and Molly Blower (BA program).

Geography graduate students Sasha Nasonova (MSc program) and Jill Harvey (PhD candidate) won awards for their research paper presentations. Sasha Nasonova spoke about "Understanding the Impacts of Rapidly Changing Sea Ice in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Why Do Melt Ponds Matter?” and Jill Harvey presented on “The influence of grassland proximity on insect and fire activity in interior British Columbia.” Other graduate presenters included Anna Galbraith (MSc program), Lauren Farmer (MSc program), Lee A. S. Britton (MSc program), and Bryan Mood (PhD candidate).

Undergraduate Research Topics

  • Theresa Dawson, Yujia Xu, Dimitri Giannoulis, et al. - "Learning in the Round: Reflections on applying feminist geography principles to course design and delivery"
  • Nalin Dhillon – "Comparing Risk and Prevalence for Ischemic Heart Disease in South Asian Populations"
  • Madison Guthrie – "A Dendroglaciological Investigation of Late Holocene Behaviour at Forrest Kerr Glacier, British Columbia Coast Mountains"
  • Rachel Jampole, Molly Blower, et al. - "A thematic representation of at risk bird and plant species of Island View Beach, Victoria B.C." 
  • Christine Kuizema – "Determining spatial distribution and clustering of Japanese Knotweed (fallopia japonica)"

Graduate Research Topics

  • Lee A. S. Britton - "Shoreline retention of diluted bitumen in Juan de Fuca and Haro strait"
  • Lauren Farmer - "Mid- to Late Holocene Behavior of Klinaklini Glacier, British Columbia Coast Mountains"
  • Anna H. Galbraith, Dan J. Smith, et al. - “Holocene Glacial Advances at Queen Bess Glacier, Pacific Ranges, British Columbia Coast Mountains”
  • Bryan Mood and Dan J. Smith - "Historic snowpack reconstruction to 1710 AD from using tree-rings, southern Pacific Ranges, British Columbia, Canada"
Article generously provided by Society of Geography Students member Trilby Buck (BSc Geomatics program).

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