[CRYOLIST] Northern cryosphere focused MSc and PhD positions in the Department of Geography and Planning at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

Robert Way rw104 at queensu.ca
Thu Aug 23 07:48:30 PDT 2018


Northern cryosphere focused MSc and PhD positions in the Department of Geography and Planning at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
I am a new assistant professor of physical geography at Queen’s University currently in search of graduate student candidates for MSc and PhD positions in what will be my northern research laboratory. Students are being sought for Fall 2019 and Fall 2020 start dates but other opportunities such as research or field contracts may begin prior to that point, if it is of interest to prospective students.
For students who do not want to pursue projects in my laboratory, I would still be happy to touch base if any of our work is of interest or even for other purposes such as advice with respect to schooling in the natural sciences. I am also very interested in graduate supervision of northerners and particularly those who may have a unique interest in studying Labrador where most of my work takes place. I am from central Labrador (HVGB) and am of mixed Inuit ancestry, I have tried to be aware of the unique challenges of working in northeastern Canada and the difficulties present for those pursuing graduate studies.
My main research area has been on environmental change in Labrador with a focus on the region’s climate, its glaciers and its permafrost. I believe in using cross-disciplinary approaches which combine field specific investigations with modelling and/or remote sensing. In the future, I am hoping to continue working in those three fields but will be pursuing work related to ecology and northern infrastructure development as well. Recently, my field research projects have been in northern Labrador in the Torngat Mountains National Park and in and around Nain, Nunatsiavut. I have some potential projects in progress for prospective students at either an MSc or PhD level but am open to other alternatives if an interesting project is suggested in the general area relevant to the natural sciences in the region.
Sample of current and future graduate student opportunities and projects
[1] Ecological impacts of multidecadal changes in prostrate shrub cover and height in the Torngat Mountains National Park and adjacent areas of northern Labrador. [MSc or possibly PhD project; Co-supervision]
[2] Distribution, characteristics, historical and future changes in peatland permafrost in coastal Labrador from Cartwright, NL to Nain, NL. [1 MSc and 1 PhD project]
[3] Snow characteristics and distribution across mountain ecotones and landscapes in eastern Labrador. [1 MSc and/or 1 PhD project]
[4] Historical and future changes in permafrost distribution in the Labrador region of northeast Canada using spatial modelling. [1 MSc and/or 1 PhD project]
[5] Influence of experimental snow removal on ground freezing across a variety of Labrador ecozones. [1 MSc and/or 1 PhD project]
[6] Synoptic climatology of Arctic and Subarctic environments in coastal Labrador [1 MSc]
For prospective students
The ideal candidate for a MSc project would currently be pursuing a degree in geography, environmental studies, environmental science, biology and/or other natural science areas and would be comfortable with potentially participating in fieldwork in remote areas of Labrador during the summer and/or winter. Grades and research experience are considered in terms of applicant adjudication but more important is that students are enthusiastic about the prospect of working in northern environments. Most research projects will include spending time within indigenous land claims so it is also important that prospective students are considerate of cultural norms in the regions they are working. Depending on the project, knowledge of geographic information systems would be considered an asset but openness to development of additional skills is necessary. Due to the nature of fieldwork, students will be required to undertake training for remote and wilderness first aid, handling of firearms and UAV certification.
The ideal candidate for a PhD project would currently be pursuing a graduate degree (MA/MSc) in a field related to the natural sciences (although not strictly obligatory) and would be comfortable with working outside in the field in remote areas of Labrador during the summer and/or winter. Grades and research experience are considered in terms of applicant adjudication but more important is that students are enthusiastic about the prospect of working in northern environments. Most research projects will include spending time within indigenous land claims so it is also important that prospective students are considerate of cultural norms in the regions they are working. Knowledge of geographic information systems and statistics would be considered an asset but openness to development of additional skills is once again necessary. Due to the nature of fieldwork, students will be required to undertake training for remote and wilderness first aid, handling of firearms and UAV certification.
Financial support
Standard financial support provided by Queen’s University’s Department of Geography and Planning includes graduate stipends of $14,000 per year for master students (maximum of 2 years) and $18,000 per year for doctoral students (maximum of 4 years). These stipends are provided assuming that the prospective student provides service as a teaching assistant (TA) throughout their time at Queen’s University. Additional support linked to research grants may be provided for specific assistance on ongoing research projects but this will be project specific and will be negotiated at a later date.
If applicable, MSc and PhD students can receive additional/contributing financial support by applying for external funding from  the Ontario Graduate Scholarship program (http://www.queensu.ca/sgs/prospective-students/awards-scholarships/ontario-graduate-scholarship [http://www.queensu.ca/sgs/prospective-students/awards-scholarships/ontario-graduate-scholarship]), the Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies (http://acuns.ca/en/awards/ [http://acuns.ca/en/awards/]), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Students-Etudiants/PG-CS/index_eng.asp [http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Students-Etudiants/PG-CS/index_eng.asp]) and the Northern Scientific Training Program.
Note: International students may not qualify for all of the funding opportunities listed above so it is important to consider other potential funding opportunities which may be available for international students.
For additional information regarding these opportunities please contact:
Dr. Robert G. Way, robert.way at queensu.ca [mailto:robert.way at queensu.ca], Assistant Professor, Department of Geography and Planning, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
A curriculum vitae, sample publication and/or university transcript may be requested from prospective students depending on the project and academic level (MSc, PhD).
Also see the following information for indigenous students considering Queen’s:
https://www.queensu.ca/sgs/aboriginal-students


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Dr. Robert G. Way
Nunatsiavummiut,
Assistant Professor, Physical Geography
Department of Geography and Planning
Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

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