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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Arts
October 24, 2014
Canadian Excellence

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Geography and Environmental Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University is a strong, dynamic and innovative Department that prides itself as a consistent provider of high quality scholarly activity, programs and courses.

At the undergraduate level we offer nine programs that cover a broad spectrum of Geography. We offer BA and BSc degrees at both the Honours and General levels as well as combined programs. Our newest undergraduate program is the Geography and Geomatics degree.

At the graduate level, we offer MA, MES, MSc and PhD degrees in four fields of specialization: Environmental and Resource Management, Environmental Science, Human, and Geomatics.

The mission statement of the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies stresses its commitment to: continuing to provide a dynamic undergraduate program covering a full range of knowledge, techniques and applications in geography and environmental studies; providing an array of stimulating undergraduate courses as a service to students from other disciplines; a graduate program emphasizing independent knowledge generation; faculty members engaged in developing new knowledge, innovative technical and educational approaches, with national and international horizons and fields of activity.

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Laurier-led research project receives $2.5 million in funding Laurier-led research project receives $2.5 million in funding
(Headline - Oct 01)
Laurier researcherís Project SOIL examines food production at schools, hospitals and other institutions
(Headline - Jul 28)
Laurier researcher Philip Marsh wins prestigious J. Tuzo Wilson Medal Laurier researcher Philip Marsh wins prestigious J. Tuzo Wilson Medal
(Headline - May 21)
Alumni Association presents Awards of Excellence Alumni Association presents Awards of Excellence
(Headline - May 09)
Laurier event explores exciting field of citizen science
(Headline - Mar 14)
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Undergraduate Advisor (Geography)

Dr. Steven Roberts
Phone: 519-884-0710 ext. 2420
Office:  Arts 3C11
Office Hours: email for appointment  

Undergraduate Advisor (Environmental Studies)
Dr. James Hamilton
Phone: 519-884-0710 ext. 2061
Office:  Arts 2E11
Office Hours: email for appointment 

People at Laurier

Tyler Vaness, Geography & Environmental Studies Advisor: Dr. Bill Quinton Research: "Controlling Spatial and Temporal Patterns of Active Layer Thaw: Insights into Permafrost Thaw" The objectives of Tyler's research are: 1) Measure the rate of ground thaw at selected peat plateaus from the beginning of the snow free period until late summer 2) Evaluate the spatial and temporal variability of thaw within and among the selected plateaus 3) Identify the site factors controlling the ground thaw rate at a point, and demonstrate their relative importance 4) Use the results of this study to draw conclusions. Some of the observations made during the course of his research are: * Across the peat plateau, there are marked consistencies found in snow depth and time of snow removal with regard to water available due to snow water equivalent (SWE), subsequent soil moisture content, and canopy cover in controlling the development of the frost table across the plateau * Where specific individual locations are free of snow earlier, and relatively clear of canopy cover, frost tables develop rapidly * When comparing average soil moisture content to average frost table depths, a clear correlation has been found in higher soil moisture content to deeper frost table topography * As the thawing season moves forward to end of summer measurements, soil moisture remains highest at individual points where frost table depths have progressed more rapidly * On the plateau, individual points that are found to be located on topographic depressions hold higher soil moisture content over the thawing season and develop minor closed-system bog-like structures with frost tables experiencing noticeable degradation when compared to surrounding, elevated points.

Tyler Vaness
Master of Science Candidate,
Geography & Environmental Studies