The Jack Middlemass Memorial Graduate Award in Northern Environmental Research is administered by the Office of Student Awards. Value of the award for the 2022-23 academic year is $2,000.
The Jack Middlemass Memorial Graduate Award in Northern Environmental Research was created to honour Jack Middlemass. The purpose of the award is to encourage and support graduate students at Wilfrid Laurier University who are conducting fieldwork in the Canadian North and are associated with the Centre for Cold Regions and Water Science (CCRWS).
2023 Award Winner
This year’s winner was Elise Brown-Dussault. Elise is a Yukon resident who loves the boreal forest, sandhill cranes, spruce tips, black bears, and bog cranberries. She is a first-year Master’s Student in Integrative Biology at Laurier. Her research is about caribou habitat restoration and takes place in the Southern Great Slave Region of the Northwest Territories.
Applicants are asked to share reflections on the challenges and rewards of northern research.
I have been a northern resident since 2017 and conducting field work in the north since 2019. The unique frustration and gratification that northern field work brings are familiar!
To me, a big part of what makes northern field work challenging is its high access barriers. Requisite post-secondary schooling, lower pay, short contracts, and the requirement for expensive outdoor equipment pose a socio-economic barrier to many northern residents who deserve the opportunity to care for their homelands professionally. I have many northern colleagues that cannot partake in field work because it would not allow them to hold a second job or care for their family.
The rewarding aspects of northern fieldwork are obvious. Being welcomed at community events this past year, such as a fish fry and an on-the-land camp, have given me memories I cherish. I will also never tire of northern skies; the beauty, spectacle, and sheer commotion northern birds always bring (looking at you, sandhill cranes); and berry stains on your face and field clothes at the end of a day well spent. I never take my luck to work in conservation and on the land for granted.
Fund Details and Applications
To be an eligible candidate for the Jack Middlemass Memorial Graduate Award in Northern Environmental Research, applicants must be:
- registered as a graduate student at Wilfrid Laurier University,
- associated with the Centre for Cold Regions and Water Science (i.e. either the Cold Regions Research Centre or the Laurier Institute for Water Science),
- conducting fieldwork related to the environment in the Canadian North,
- are in good academic standing,
- demonstrate the need for financial assistance to conduct their field work.
Applicants are eligible to apply for and receive this award more than once during their studies.
An application package for the Jack Middlemass Memorial Graduate Award in Northern Environmental Research should include:
- the applicant’s CV,
- an up-to-date unofficial academic transcript,
- a short (max 200 words) personal reflection on the challenges and rewards of northern research, and
- a short email from the applicant’s supervisor that confirms:
a) that the applicant is in good academic standing,
b) the need for financial assistance to conduct their field work.
The deadline for submitting an application is Friday December 2, 2022.
Applications will be evaluated by an ad-hoc subcommittee of at least 3 Laurier faculty members who are involved in research in the Canadian North but who are not directly supervising any of the applicants.
- The evaluation criteria will include candidates’:
- academic performance;
- university or other research or scholarly activity, service and/or engagement;
- reflection on the challenges and rewards of northern research; and
- the supervisor’s letter.
Complete application packages should be submitted by email to email@example.com