On April 3, the Department of Earth Sciences handed out more than $50,000 in scholarships and awards. Graduate and undergraduate students took home top prizes from a number of industry associations and businesses, and from individuals, or in honour of individuals, connected to the department.
“While the money handed out covers only a small portion of the cost of a university education, it certainly is an important contribution,” said Dr. Roger Mason, the interim head of Earth Sciences.
Receiving undergraduate student awards were Sheldon Barron, Katie Power, Samuel Boudreau, Jillian Evans, Mervin McDonald, Colin Brisco, Chelsea Squires, Marina Joury, Steven Porter and Melissa Mercer. Also recognized, but not present, were Mary Devine, Alex Howe, Peter Miskell, Katie Young, Mary Letourneau, Jessica Baldwin, Christopher Earle and Matthew Macmillan.
The graduate student award winners included Christopher Boyd, Hannah Mills, Anne Westhues, Ebube Azomani, Cassandra Tycholiz, Conor McInley, James Haley and Tiffany Piercey.
Also receiving recognition at the event were recent Imperial Barrel Award winners Megan McDonald, Lucy Newton, Ezgi Cinar, Kaan Eroglu and Frank Ryan.
Dr. Mason also took the opportunity to note the department’s strong presence in Canada.
“We are one of the largest and most diverse departments of Earth Science in the country and although the population of Newfoundland and Labrador is about two per cent of the population of Canada, we graduate something like 10 per cent of the Earth Science graduates in the country,” he said.
The changing focus of other Canadian universities away from a field school training model is helping the department stand out from its competition, according to Dr. Mason.
“In the last few years the department has started to incorporate more field work back into our program,” he explained. “We’re doing this at a time when a lot of other universities are getting rid of the field component of geological training – which we think is a bad idea.
“Field training is expensive and that’s partly why it’s being cut from so many programs,” he added. “By hanging on to our field schools and building up the field component of our training, I think we’re going to give ourselves a competitive advantage in terms of the desirability of our students.”