Currents of Change: Inspiring, Creating, Transforming

Currents of Change: Inspiring, Creating, Transforming

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Building a foundation for the future

By Tanya Kampherm Martin, Hydrogeologist, Regional Municipality of York & Latornell Steering Committee Member

“The Latornell Leadership Award is dedicated to the memory of A.D. Latornell and his passionate understanding that a healthy planet today is important to healthy generations in the future.  It recognizes the importance of leadership in the areas of education, advocacy, research, inspiration, and action in maintaining and advancing environmental conservation in Ontario today.  As one of the five recipients of the award in 2013, I was humbled by the accomplishments of the people with whom I stood.  Looking back over the list of previous recipients, is akin to reading a history of environmental conservation in Ontario.

Each day I am reminded of the significance of this recognition, not only for what I have achieved in the field of environmental education, but also in accepting the trust the award extends: I must continue to use my abilities, wherever possible, to lobby for understanding and stewardship of the natural environment.  By so doing, I am challenged to do my part in contributing to an irreplaceable and precious environmental legacy for those, as yet, unborn.” Peter Middleton, Master of Ceremonies for the 2015 Latornell Leadership Awards
Nominated by Grey Sauble Conservation back in 2013, Peter was and is still recognized today for  his passion of environmental protection and his dedication to education, which has guided thousands of children and adults alike to explore, appreciate and respect nature.

You too, can play a part in recognizing environmental conservation leaders, such as Peter, by submitting a Latornell Leadership Award nomination.  Contributions made by an individual through work, career or volunteer experiences are all eligible.  Simply complete and submit a nomination form (link below) by Friday, June 26, 2015.

We hope that you will join us November 17 – 19th, 2015 at the Latornell Conservation Symposium, alongside with our Master of Ceremonies, Peter Middleton, to celebrate the legacy of Art Latornell at the 2015 Leadership Awards.

To access the nomination form or learn more about the Latornell Leadership Awards click here.

Tanya Kampherm Martin is a Hydrogeologist in the Environmental Services Department at The Regional Municipality of York. She is also a newer member of the A.D. Latornell Conservation Symposium Steering Committee and one of several committee members who will be evaluating this year’s Leadership Award nominations.

Friday, 5 June 2015

A Word from the WiSE

By Umna Arshad, Mechanical Engineering Student & Women in Science and Engineering Club (WISE) Executive, University of Guelph

Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) is a University of Guelph student organization dedicated to supporting and encouraging women and girls who are interested or engaged in science or engineering careers. WiSE works towards fostering an academic environment where both female and male students can promote the participation of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) fields.

Throughout North America, universities and colleges are taking aggressive steps to recruit and retain females in STEM fields. Looking at recent statistics, there are more than 50% females enrolled in science programs while there are less than 20% enrolled in ‘TEM’ fields in Canada.

Interestingly, University of Guelph’s engineering community holds female enrolment at almost 30% and was named the first Women Friendly Engineering School by the Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation. Further, Guelph has consistently ranked first with the percentage of female Engineering faculty members compared to other universities in Ontario. One such faculty member is Jana Levison (EIT) who is a Water Resources Engineering professor at Guelph. Previously, Dr. Levison was a postdoctoral fellow at the Université du Québec à Montréal, working on multidisciplinary ecohydrological modeling related to climate change. Her research projects look at how climate change may impact groundwater quantity and/or quality in rural settings. The objective of one of her project is to define and quantify the transport of excess nutrients, specifically nitrogen related to cash crop modifications and variable weather, into groundwater to anticipate and mitigate potential water quality impacts. Nitrate concentrations in groundwater will be examined and modeling will be used to determine if groundwater contamination will be impacted in case of varying climate conditions. Another project Dr. Levison is working on focuses on investigating the potential opportunities and challenges for agricultural production limited by the availability of groundwater supplies and environmental constraints in a rural setting. An improved understanding of watershed dynamics in an intensive agricultural setting in the context of climate change will be beneficial for agricultural and water management sectors.

By 2020, 95 000 professional engineers will retire resulting in a huge skill shortage and the big untapped skill pools are women. Professionals such as Dr. Jana Levison (EIT) are making some of the biggest advances in our society and with half of the population being female; we deserve to have the female perspective; it will only get better with the female perspective.

Umna Arshad is a fourth year Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Guelph and an executive for the Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) club at Guelph.  She is focusing on Interdisciplinary Mechanical Engineering Design and hopes to pursue her career in renewable energy, more specifically, solar and wind energy.