Alyssa Matthew will spend her summer break amidst the beauty of Gros Morne National Park.
Thanks to the 2007 Gros Morne National Park University Environmental Internship, the fourth-year environmental science student will be studying the trails of Western Brook Pond to measure the impacts of limestone gravel paths on native plants.
Ms. Matthew, a native of Summerside, PEI, has been awarded $4,500 to conduct her research, which will study the pH levels of the soil; in particular, she will focus on how limestone gravel may change plant species around the trail.
She'll walk along the trails roughly two-to-three days a week laying "transects" - markers that will outline a set area for study around the trail. These transects will aid in determining the "distance versus effect" factor.
In her final year of study at Grenfell, Ms. Matthew will use her research findings as part of her honours research project.
"The research I do will help support Gros Morne National Park's mandate to protect the natural environment," she said.
Ms. Matthew heads off to Western Brook Pond at the beginning of June and will return during the month of August.
The Gros Morne National Park University Environmental Internship is jointly sponsored by Gros Morne National Park of Canada and the Gros Morne Cooperating Association. Open to students in environmental programs at SWGC, the internship provides an opportunity (with $4,500 funding) for students to participate in research projects related to environmental and conservation issues concerning the park and surrounding ecosystems. Evaluation criteria include academic achievement, project design and quality, as well as relevance of the project to park research needs.