Postcard from Brazil: UBC PhD student travels to Southern Amazonia to find the water footprint of local farms

Following its colonization of large areas of natural vegetation, Brazil is one of the largest soybean producers on the planet. Given the intense seasonal rains that Southern Amazonia receives between October and May, farmers can grow soybean without any irrigation; however, this may change given that climatic conditions and atmospheric feedback from deforestation could decrease regional rainfall.  

Postcard from India: Carleton University “Fish Woman” Brings New Tools to Fisheries Conservation

Yet people from the village of Valnur in Kodagu (Coorg district) took the sight in stride, affectionately dubbing us the “fish women” and inviting us into their homes for lunch and their temples for festivals. They listened to our descriptions of the project and offered invaluable perspectives on their relationships with their communities, their river, and the mahseer.

Cauvery River in India

Keeping an eye on climate change

Sina was beginning his program at the University of Northern BC’s Natural Resources and Environment Studies department when he was given the opportunity to apply his specialized knowledge of watershed management to an Accelerate project for lumber giant Canfor.

“We have a pulp mill in Prince George that draws water from the Nechako River,” says Mike Bradley, Director of Sustainability for Canfor Pulp. “That means the water level and its clarity are very important to us. We were concerned about how changes over time would affect our business.”

Postcard from Vietnam: grad student researches the human and environmental risks of agricultural growth

Fast forward a few months later, I reached out to him to supervise a project, an opportunity made possible through the Mitacs Globalink Research Award.

I am a master of public health student at the University of Guelph. I am working on a project titled “Health risks of agricultural intensification in Vietnam,” under the supervision of Dr. Sherilee Harper at the University of Guelph, Dr. Tran Thi Tuyet Hanh at the Hanoi School of Public Health, and Dr. Nguyen Viet Hung at the International Livestock Research Institute.

Postcard from Brazil: anthropology PhD student uncovers the history of ancient indigenous communities

The Tapajó lived in the Santarém and surrounding area between the 10th and 18th centuries until they disappeared due to European conquest and the mercantile expansion of the Americas. Archaeological and ethnographic data in the region shows that they produced elaborate Santarém pottery. The region is also distinguished by the presence of various archaeogical landscapes consisting of anthropogenic soils, ancient trail networks, and inland wells.

Where are they now? Former Accelerate intern spreads the word about Mitacs

During Juan’s postdoc, he undertook four Mitacs Accelerate internships with FORRx Consulting Inc., a Vancouver-based firm specializing in ecosystem modeling. Juan credits his Accelerate experience with giving him a significant professional jumpstart:

“The funding was key to developing my academic career, my relationships, and my understanding of the use and transfer of my research for real-life and business situations.”

Postcard from China: McGill student takes her research to the Tibetan plateau

Almost half the world’s population cooks with highly polluting, traditional biomass stoves that burn wood or crop residue. The resulting household air pollution is one of the world’s leading causes of death and contributes significantly to climate change.

Postcard from Turkey: Ryerson graduate student proposes a model for environmental sustainability in ICT

I am a PhD candidate in the Environmental Applied Science and Management program at Ryerson University. I am interested in approaches that will help software developers design products that meet customers' needs, require less energy to produce, are longer lasting, and can be safely and responsibly disposed. I am studying the interrelationships between product quality and sustainability and I’m enthusiastic about finding and removing their boundaries so that software developers aren't afraid to be more sustainable.

Sowing the seeds of success

Adam is the brains behind the Eden Project, a unique social enterprise with a mission to offer local, organic produce at competitive prices.

“Global food systems are changing due to a variety of stressors, and food prices are climbing. We believe that urban agriculture and locally-grown food will play an important role in future food supplies as our societies adapt to these changes,” he explains.

A seed was planted

Reclaiming the future

Her friend and colleague, Amber Jarvinen, approached her about the possibility of using bacteria to clean up oil and chemical spills. Amber had founded a small environmental start-up and was looking for a partner with expertise in environmental biology.

The big launch

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