Rebecca ShearonRebecca Shearon, an MSC candidate in environmental studies, examines a sample of particulate matter from a Windsor neighbourhood.

Scholarship to support environmental studies major in air pollution research

A master’s student in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences will receive access to geographic information systems software, books, and on-line resources to further her research into air pollution in Windsor.

MSc candidate Rebecca Shearon won an Esri Canada GIS Scholarship, which also carries a $1,500 award. Esri Canada is a company that sells geographic information system (GIS) solutions.

Shearon examines the chemical characteristics of particles found on Windsor’s roadways and tree leaves, mapping out their distributions throughout the city’s neighbourhoods. She says she was thrilled to be chosen for the award.

“I believe this scholarship helps me enhance my geospatial skills and knowledge,” says Shearon. “It will allow me to use various media to visualize and develop exposure maps, which can eventually be coupled with other health-based data to determine the level of association between air pollution and local health outcomes, such as asthma, cancer, heart disease, etc.”

Her graduate advisor, Alice Grgicak-Mannion, notes this is the 12th year that the company has awarded a scholarship to a UWindsor student.

“We are grateful because students from a variety of disciplines are now starting to recognize how powerful GIS can be for a variety of applications,” says Grgicak-Mannion, geospatial learning specialist at the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research and in earth and environmental sciences. “This type of support just reiterates how important it is for us to continue to teach these skills at a multidisciplinary level.”