The Student Issue - SMU School of the Environment.
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Our summer issue highlights a variety of successes by environment students at Saint Mary’s.
July, 2016

School of the Environment
Recent Masters Graduates


Cintia Gillam defended her thesis Effects of Social and Environmental Inequalities on the Wellbeing of a Slum Community:The Case of Vila dos Pescadores in Southeast Brazil, supervised by Dr. Tony Charles (Environmental Science and Financial Information and Management Systems). Cintia graduated in May with an MA in International Development Studies. Cintia will be starting her PhD in Applied Science this fall during which she will conduct research on fisheries conservation that involves impoverished artisanal fishers in Timor-Leste. 

Kevin Neatt is the first graduate of the MA in Geography at Saint Mary's University. He defended his thesis Built-environment Variables Influencing Aggregate Walking: A Multivariate Analysis of Halifax Neighbourhoods, supervised by Dr. Hugh Millward (Geography and Environmental Studies). Kevin was recently named Director of Planning and Development with Clayton Developments Limited.  

Christa Skinner defended her thesis The Biogeochemistry of a Restoring Macrotidal Salt Marsh: Cheverie Creek, Nova Scotia, supervised by Dr. Danika van Proosdij (Geography and Environmental Studies). Christa graduated in May with an MSc Applied Science. She is currently finishing up a contract with Environment Canada Marine Programs Group assisting with the 'Disposal at Sea' program. 

Emily Walker defended her thesis Green Roofs as Urban Habitat for Native Plant Seedlings and Wild Bees, supervised by Dr. Jeremy Lundholm (Biology and Environmental Science). She also won the Best Graduate Student Oral Presentation at the 2016 Science Atlantic Environment Student Conference for her talk Increased 'Environmental Heterogeneity Affects Substrate Conditions & Alters Seedling Dynamics on Green Roofs'. Emily graduated in May with an MSc Applied Science. As a research associate in Jeremy Lundholm's lab (Ecology of Plants in Communities Lab), Emily is leading a project that is co-sponsored by the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources and the Nova Scotia Museum in which she is assessing bee communities in provincial heathlands.

2016 Esri Canada GIS Scholarship Winner

Michael Buckland-Nicks is a Masters student in the Applied Science program at Saint Mary’s University. He has a background in biology and has a passion for mapping, visualizing, and communicating data. In his undergraduate degree at Saint Mary’s University, Michael did an honours research project that used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to build a 3D model of a green roof and its surrounding buildings on the university campus to map plant growth and environmental conditions such as shading by the buildings. Following his interests in GIS and plant ecology, he continued his pursuit of mapping the environment by beginning a Masters research project in the Fall of 2015. His research will use an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to map plant communities at the fine scale for three coastal barrens sites in the Halifax region of Nova Scotia. He hopes that his research will reveal important landscape patterns in these ecosystems, helping researchers and conservation planners to better predict and locate species and communities of interest across large areas.

Environment Prizes awarded at
May Convocation

These prizes are awarded to students in their graduating year who have a strong GPA and who are involved with environmental initiatives on and off campus.

Environmental Science Prize

Rohid Premkumar (pictured right) was the recipient of the Environmental Science Prize. He graduated with a BSc in Environmental Science this May. He was the 2016  president of the SMU Environmental Society and co-organizer of  this year's Annual Halifax Dump and Run - Great Community Yard Sale. The Halifax Dump and Run began in 2002, a co-effort between the SMUES and Dalhousie’s Office of Sustainability. The goal is to eliminate the amount of waste that goes to landfills from students leaving after graduation. The proceeds from the event go to various charities in the city that support social and environmental causes. 

Environmental Studies Prize

Joy Samuel was the recipient of the Environmental Studies Prize. A graduate of the Bachelor of Environmental Studies program in the Faculty of Arts, Joy filled many volunteer roles during her time at Saint Mary’s, including a term as President of the Environmental Society in 2015 as well as volunteering off campus with the Ecology Action Centre, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) and Clean Foundation. Joy was the Valedictorian of the January 2016 Graduating Class.
Bridget Stevens is an Environmental Science student who recently won the 2016 HSBC Woman Leader of Tomorrow for Atlantic Canada in recognition of her Enactus volunteer work.
Tristran Brow graduated in January with a Bachelor of Science, double major in Environmental Science and Geography, and has been accepted at the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland to take an Advanced Diploma in Water Quality starting in September.
Kelsi Godin was the 2016 recipient of the CAG undergraduate award. Each year, The Canadian Association of Geographers presents awards to the most outstanding students graduating in Geography honours/majors programs at universities or colleges across Canada. Kelsi is currently working as a Landscape Geomatics Analyst and has been accepted into Dalhousie's Masters of Environmental Studies program for September 2017.

EYC Internship Program

Funded through Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Science Horizons Program, the Environmental Youth Corps (EYC) Internship Program gives eligible employers who work in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM), up to 50% of an intern’s salary (up to $15,000) for new full-time environmental jobs.

With over $7.0M in funding for 2016, this program helps businesses grow their teams and provide meaningful environmental jobs for young professionals.

Now accepting Phase 2 applications for the 2016 EYC program.

LEED Green Associate (GA) Training
When: August 13 2016 – 1:00PM – 5:00PM
Where: Dalhousie University - Sexton Campus B-Building - Room B227 -
Interested in getting involved in the Green Building Industry? Opportunities are plentiful in the field of sustainable design and LEED is at its forefront.
SMU students seeking project funding: Robin Rigby Trust Call for Proposals
Patricia Robin Rigby (Feb 28, 1977 - Dec 9, 2007) had the opportunity to live and study in a variety of cultures and geographical areas. Her research and professional work benefited greatly from this international experience, which enabled her to appreciate the need to adopt alternative resource use strategies within varied local frameworks. Established by Robin’s parents, Doug and Mary Rigby, the Robin Rigby Trust extends the benefits Robin had to other young people involved in the identification, sustainable use, and conservation of coastal and nearshore natural resources, so they can engage in meaningful international interactions, and carry out the kind of research and development work Robin loved.

The deadline for the upcoming round of proposals will be October 31, 2016. The funding criteria are outlined in the Call for Proposals. Those considering applying to the Robin Rigby Trust may find it beneficial to explore previous funded projects.‌ More information available at
CBEMN Environmental Equipment Bank available for summer & graduate environmental research projects

The Community Based Environmental Monitoring Network was recenlty awarded a Loblaw Water Fund Grant for the third year running.  With this funding, the CBEMN will be growing their network of partners westward while expanding and improving the water quality dataset. (
Will you be performing water quality monitoring this summer?  The CBEMN’s Environmental Equipment Bank is filled with water quality monitoring equipment ready to be loaned out. Check out for a full inventory of equipment available  free of charge.
Copyright © 2016 School of the Environment, All rights reserved.

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