Sunday, March 06, 2011

Timely Topic

Congratulations to soon-to-be-doctored Merle Massie, who recently passed her Ph.D. defense (supervised by Bill Waiser) and is now leaving us to take up a postdoctoral fellowship. The goodbye will not be wrenching, though, as she is only going across campus to the School of Environment and Sustainability (SENS) where she will work with Dr. Maureen Reed.

Dr. Reed is the Canadian investigator of a three-country team (Sweden, Finland, and Canada) that researches environmental disturbances such as flooding, pests, major storm events, and economic restructuring in forest use. Merle's own contribution will look at flooding; given the floods last year in Manitoba and Saskatchewan and the forecast for this year, this is a timely topic indeed.

A secondary aspect of her research focuses on UNESCO biosphere reserves, particularly the Mt. Arrowsmith biosphere reserve at Parksville, BC (just outside of Nanaimo). This will build on Merle's doctoral work on Prince Albert National Park and the Prince Albert Model Forest.

Merle reports that she is excited (as she should be!) to be a part of this international and interdisciplinary project. We look forward to the occasional report from the far side of campus and wish Merle the best of luck.