Geography & Environment Society
The Geography and Environment Society represents and consists of students enrolled and interested in Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, or Geography. We organize social events, field trips (most notably our annual trip to Joggins Fossil Cliffs in Nova Scotia), and academic help sessions.
Goal: bridge the gap between the classroom and the wider community and provide students with an opportunity to meet other like-minded students, get to know their professors, and have some fun along the way!
The G&E society is for anyone interested in the environment or the department, you do not have to be an environment or geography student. If you like being outdoors, are interested in the local environment, or are just looking to make some new friends, be sure to come out and join us!
If you are curious about our specific events or want to see what we get up to, be sure to follow us on social media: Instagram/Twitter: @MTA_GEO, Facebook: Mt. A Geography and Environment Society, or send us an email @firstname.lastname@example.org
For the 2019-2020 academic year, the G&E Exec are:
Co-Presidents: Casey Doucet, Jacob MacPherson
Co-Social Chairs: Megan Gallant, Breanna MacLeod
Students carry out their own research as summer projects or as part of directed studies courses.
Students have chosen to research a diverse array of topics including: understanding the distribution of microplastics, which will lead to better management strategies for wastewater treatment facilities; inclusivity in Montreal’s Gay Village; and tick education, which has led to New Brunswick’s Department of Education using the curriculum created by the researcher.
Degree: Honors Environmental Science and minor Biochemistry
Supervisor: Dr. David Lieske
Project: Mapping seabird-fishery interactions with machine learning
Impact: This study is an intersection of machine learning and environmental management. We aimed to capture which interactions are driving the abundance of an important prey item for the gannets and use that knowledge to infer future risks.
Best part: This project has greatly increased my confidence in problem solving and dealing with challenges at the conceptual and computational level. It was an exciting project, and the best part was weaving all this work and data into a coherent and meaningful picture.
Degree: Major Environmental Science, minor Geographic Information Systems
Supervisor: Dr. David Lieske
Project: Remote sensing of tick expansion in New Brunswick
Impact: This project is a land cover change analysis of forests in New Brunswick. Specifically, the aim of the project is to show how ticks are expanding through fragmented forests in the province, to raise community awareness and monitor of ticks.
Best part: I've learnt a lot about remote sensing software and the challenges presented by such projects. This project has been an excellent opportunity to explore this technology in an academic setting and in a meaningful way.
Degree: BA Honours Environmental Studies, Minor Geography
Supervisor: Dr. Mike Fox
Project: The Ultimate Essential Competency: Outdoor Environmental Education. Developing Outdoor Strategies in a Small Rural Context
Impact: This project aims to assist with developing an Outdoor Education program at Dorchester Consolidated School. My main goal was to research the importance of outdoor education, to find out what resources teachers need to implement successful outdoor education, and to apply for grants to help acquire these resources (one of which was the Green Investment Fund through the MASU, which we were successful in getting funding from!)
Best part: The best part of completing this project was meeting and working with the teachers in Dorchester. They are incredibly driven towards making their school and community a better place for students, and towards embracing outdoor education through the beautiful natural surroundings in Dorchester!
MTA Environmental Audit – lead annually by a student, typically from our department. Just one of many environmentally focused summer jobs G&E students excel at through the summer months.
Degree: BSc Honours Environmental Science, Minors: Biology and Political Science
Supervisor: Dr. David Lieske
Project: Assessing awareness of ticks and Lyme Disease and the impact of geospatial visualization on public perception of risk
Impact: This project was focused on mapping the distribution of ticks across the Maritimes through Dr. Vett Lloyd’s Tick testing program, as well as assessing the public perception of risk and awareness of ticks and Lyme disease. Check out maritimetickmaps.ca!
Best part: Seeing the final product of my honours work and conducting focus groups!
Degree: BA Geography, Minors: French and Women’s and Gender Studies
Supervisor: Dr. Leslie Kern
Project: Exploring place and community in community gardens of south-east New Brunswick
Impact: This research will consider local food movements, food security, as well as the maintenance of community gardens as spaces of connection, knowledge, and community.
Best part: I am most looking forward to the opportunity work in depth on one topic over the summer and explore the local effects and connections of this research.
Degree: BSc Honours Environmental Science, Minor: Political Sciences
Supervisor: Dr. Josh Kurek
Project: Microplastic export near wastewater treatment plants in New Brunswick rivers
Impact: Microplastics are present in many of the products and materials that we use everyday. They also act as a contaminant in the environment and as vectors for other harmful pollutants. Understanding their distribution will hopefully lead to better management strategies of our wastewater treatment facilities.
Best part: I have learned so much alongside such great people! There is nothing more fun than having the opportunity to work outside in the field, even when things don't go as planned. I have been able to see so many nooks and crannies of this province as a result of my research involvement and would not trade it for the world!
Ella Porter (research done with Jamie Dalgleish)
Degree: BA Geography, Minors: Geographic Information Systems and Environmental Science
Supervisor: Dr. Tim Reiffenstein (for GENV 3701 Research Methods in Human Geography)
Project: Inclusivity and othering in Montreal's Gay Village
Impact: We wanted to see whether the Village was inclusive as gay neighbourhoods claim to be. We found that the village was a male space and did not welcome everyone equally.
Best part: The best part of the project was getting to travel to Montreal where we were given complete independence to do our research. Our project was truly our own.
Degree: BSc Double Major Honours Environmental Science and Biology
Supervisor: Dr. Zoe Finkel and Dr. Justin Liefer
Project: The macromolecular dynamics of Thalaisiosira weissflogii under steady-state and non-steady-state phosphorus stress
Impact: Quantifying and understanding what phytoplankton do with elements allows modellers to accurately represent the crucial role of phytoplankton in the food web, nutrient cycling over geologic time, and global primary productivity.
Best part: The best part of my research experience was having the space to figure out how I learn independently: where it is understood that every hiccup could be a constructive, teachable moment.
Degree: BA Community Planning, Minor: Sociology
Supervisor: Dr. Mike Fox
Project: Age-friendly Sackville
Impact: My project was structured around the provincial recognition of Sackville as an age-friendly community. I worked with stakeholders within the community, and gathered both quantitative and qualitative data. The final product was an application package submitted to Wellness NB, a provincial agency that promotes healthy living.
Best part: My favourite part of this research was the opportunity I had in developing professional skills in public presentation, document design, and community collaboration. I also really enjoyed my role as Secretariat on the Mayor’s Age-Friendly Advisory Committee.
Degree: BSc Environmental Science, Minors: Geography and Geographic Information Systems
Supervisor: Dr. Dave Lieske, Dr. Mike Fox
Project: 1) Independent study to develop a spatial analysis of land-based pollution sources that may be affecting water quality in the Northumberland Strait near Shediac Bay and Parlee Beach. 2) Independent study working with a local environmental consulting company in Sackville to develop a bibliography of climate change adaptation projects and research across all of Atlantic Canada.
Impact: Helped to determine some of the pollution issues at Parlee Beach and helped a local NGO understand how they can combat climate change.
Best part: Research at MtA gave me practical and meaningful real-word experience, enhanced my networking skills, and helped me prepare for my future after graduation. I am planning to attend UNB for a Master’s in environmental management, then will work as an environmental consultant.
Degree: BSc Honours Environmental Science, Minors: Biology and Women’s and Gender Studies
Supervisor: Dr. Dave Lieske and Dr. Diana Hamilton
Project: Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) stopover on the Acadian Peninsula, NB: An application of habitat classification using remote sensing
Impact: This project helped us understand an important Whimbrel habitat in northern NB using remote sensing and bird tracking data.
Best part: Getting the first-hand experience of conducting research in the field and lab, and learning how to deal with all the challenges that presents!
Degree: BSc Biology, Minor: Geography
Supervisor: Dr. Mike Fox and Dr. Vett Lloyd
Project: Citizen science and experience learning: Tick education for New Brunswick provincial curriculum.
Impact: Due to the success of the pilot program, and identified need for tick education in the province, the New Brunswick Department of Education and Early Childhood Development will be using the curriculum created in my interdisciplinary research. It will be implemented in high schools throughout New Brunswick in 2018.
Best part: A large part of my research involved community partnerships. It was really wonderful to be able to work with the university, a high school, and the provincial government in a collaborative way.