October 2016

Samantha Page 
MSc Geography 
BSc Environmental Science

Samantha Page, MSc, recently became part of the team at the Ecology Action Centre in Halifax, a local ENGO that works at the local, regional, national, and international level to build a healthier and more sustainable world.  In her new role as Coastal Adaptation Coordinator, she will be working with coastal communities across the province to increase awareness of coastal impacts and build community capacity for adapting to climate change.  Samantha completed her BSc in Environmental Science at SMU and her MSc in Geography, also at SMU, which focused on assessing the vulnerability of coastal communities to erosion in the South Shore of Nova Scotia.  As part of her Masters, she also spent 4 months living in Trinidad & Tobago developing and implementing a coastal program with local NGOs, government, and communities. Volunteering and taking advantage of experience-building opportunities, including travelling, was a big part of her time spent at SMU. Samantha welcomes you to contact her if you are interested in gaining some experience volunteering with the Ecology Action Centre and have a background in coastal issues, or have a great idea for a volunteer project  You can reach her at
(Below) Samantha at the Caribbean Urban Forum in Barbados (2014) presenting on participatory mapping as a tool for coastal vulnerability assessments in the Caribbean. 
Caribbean Urban Forum in Barbados (2014) presenting on participatory mapping as a tool for coastal vulnerability assessments in the Caribbean
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The Environmental Science Department has submitted the following ads for Part-time instructor positions to CUPE 3912.
  • Course: ENVS 3430.2 (Lecture) plus ENVS 3430.2L (Lab)
    Environmental Information Management

    Semester: Winter 2017 (Jan. 04, 2017 – Apr. 19, 2017)
    Schedule: Lectures 1:00 – 2:15 Tue & Thu 
                        Lab 2:30 – 5:29 Thu 
          Deadline to apply: October 30, 2016
  • Course: ENVS 3840.2 (Lecture)
    Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

    Semester: Winter 2017 (Jan. 04, 2017 – Apr. 19, 2017)
    Schedule: Lectures   8:30-9:45 am  Mon & Wed  

    Deadline to apply: November 8, 2016       
The Geography and Environmental Studies Department has posted the following ad for Part-time instructor through CUPE 3912.

Course: GEOG 3380.2 (Lecture)
Climate Impact, Vulnerability and Adaptation

Semester: Winter 2017 Winter 2017 (Jan. 04, 2017 – Apr. 19, 2017)
Schedule: Lectures 11:30 am-12:45 pm Tuesday & Thursday 
Deadline to apply: November 7, 2016
Ecology Action Centre Job Posting

Sustainable Cities Coordinator

Apply by: 4pm, Thursday, November 3rd, 2016
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Canada’s Marine Coasts in a Changing Climate - Webinar
Email to register.
Thursday, November 10, 2016 – in Burke 202– 3:30-4:30 pm AST
Chapter 4 (East Coast Region) and Synthesis
Danika van Proosdij and Don Lemmen
Registration is open for Special Topics Course in Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. ENVS 3840.2. Email with any questions.
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Amy Heim, a PhD Applied Science candidate at SMU recently published two papers.

Vasl, A., & Heim, A. 2016. Preserving plant diversity on extensive green roofs - theory to practice. Israel Journal of Ecology & Evolution. 62(1-2), 103-111
Heim, A., & Lundholm, J. 2016. Phenological complementarity in plant growth and reproduction in a green roof ecosystem. Ecological Engineering. 82, 82-87
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Graduate student projects in PLANT COMMUNITY ECOLOGY
Dr. Karen Harper is looking for 1-2 accomplished and motivated M.Sc. students for study on vegetation structure across transitions in heterogeneous landscapes. Projects in plant community ecology would begin in 2017 in the Masters in Applied Science program in Biology or Geography at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Possible study sites include sites in Nova Scotia such as Kejimkujik National Park, coastal areas or Cape Breton, or sites in Belize or Brazil. Possible research topics include (but are not limited to): vegetation structure across forest edges, patterns of structural diversity, and relationships between structural diversity and plant species. Methods include field data collection and spatial pattern analysis. Research could be linked to conservation, climate change or species at risk.
If you are interested in research on the edge, please contact: Karen Harper, Adjunct Professor, Saint Mary’s University and Dalhousie University,
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Clean Foundation Scholarship

Clean Foundation is now accepting applications for the 2017 scholarship award for graduate-level research work in Environmental Studies
Clean Foundation provides the knowledge, tools and inspiration needed to encourage the individual actions that add up to positive environmental change. 
Each year, one $2,000 scholarship will be offered to a student attending a Nova Scotia university and who is engaged in graduate-level research work in Environmental Studies. “Environmental Studies” encompasses environmental science, engineering, management and conservation, as well as environment-related programs in other disciplines. The intent of this scholarship is to support education and research in those areas in which Clean Foundation seeks to effect change: climate change and energy, waste, water, air quality, environmental education, and the interactions of environment and health.
The application period ends February 1, 2017. More information can be found in the attached document, and at I am also available for any questions or further conversation. Thank you for helping us connect students with this opportunity.

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The series commenced on October 7 with Gavin Fridell, International Development Studies-SMU. Next up...

Oct. 28 - Matt Keliher, Manager Solid Waste Resources HRM
12:30-1:30 in Atrium Building, Room 216
Compost Matters

Nov. 4 - Cathy Conrad, Geography and Environmental Studies
12:30-1:30 in Burke Building, Room 207
Enhancing water and food security with a community-based approach: examples from Nigeria and The Gambia, West Africa
November 25 - Paul Manning, Dalhousie University
12:30-1:30 in Atrium Building, Room 216
Appreciating the Importance of Insect Diversity

Seminars are open to the public and light lunch is provided. You are also welcome to brown bag your own lunch!

Email to get on the seminar mailing list or visit
The Geography and Environmental Studies Blue Box Talks monthly series kicked off on October 25 with a talk from Post-doctoral Fellow, Michele Vitale, Exploring the Determinants of Immigrants' Weight Gains after Settlement in Canada The Role Played by Acculturation and Psychological Stress.

Next up on Tuesday November 22 at 4pm in Burke Building, Room 207 the department's newest member, Dr. Kevin Hamdan will speak about The Effects of Using Mobile Classroom Response System (MCRS) on Students’ Engagement and Performance.

All are welcome!

Email to be informed of upcoming seminars or visit

Gavin Fridell drinking coffee from his fair trade coffee mug after the seminar.   CHARMAINE MILLAIRE
Gavin Fridell drinking coffee from his fair trade coffee mug after the seminar.   CHARMAINE MILLAIRE

The School of the Environment Sustainability and Research seminar series hosted Dr. Gavin Fridell - International Development Studies, in its first seminar of the term. Gavin spoke with The Signal's Charmaine Millare  after his 'Does Fair Trade Fight Poverty?' talk. 
Subscribe to the Seminar Mailing list here:
See the full schedule here:
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Academic Initiative Fund for Sustainability Update:
Aquality Solutions aims to address the lack of food sovereignty in First Nations communities across Canada. Their food insecurity rates three times higher than that of the rest of Canada with Nova Scotia having the highest rate of food insecurity in Canada, aside from Nunavut, at over 17 percent. Beginning with a pilot project on the roof of Saint Mary’s University (designed and maintained by students), Aquality Solutions will work towards constructing a 1,000L, year-round aquaponics system. The goal is to see these systems replicated in First Nations communities, using recycled materials in order to grow fish and vegetables that can be consumed by the system operator and sold at an affordable price.
Aquality Solutions is allowing students to be inventive and contribute to a worthwhile project in their respective fields. Long term positive change will foster in other areas in Canada with a focus on First Nation communities especially those challenged with a colder climate than here in Nova Scotia. It will be proactive and empower communities to be self-sufficient, as opposed to  struggling to obtain healthy food.
If you would like to participate in the project please email
Dr. Ryan Gibson, Adjunct faculty member in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at SMU takes his post as the Libro professor of regional economic development for Southwestern Ontario

The role aligns with the London-headquartered credit unions’ mission to grow prosperity in the region, said president Stephen Bolton, and answer the question: “How can we collaborate and work better in the region, against the world and with the world?”

Read the full article here.
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