Leela Witvoet

Undergraduate student, Leela Witvoet, was awarded the ICAN WISE Scholarship for the summer of 2016 to support research with her mentor, Dr. Katherine Boggs, of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Mount Royal University. 

EarthsCAN (coordinated by Dr. Boggs) is a new Canada-wide multi-discipline initiative designed to create research networks examining entire Earth Systems (atmosphere through the crust into the mantle) to approach challenges facing society today, such as climate change, population growth, natural hazards and sustainable resources.  Leela’s research project involved working with Dr. Boggs to develop multiple Geographical Information System (GIS) maps defining pilot programs for 2018 instrumentation installation.  These GIS maps with accompanying budgets are required to plan the future course of action for EarthsCAN.

Leela assisted in coordinating the Calgary August EarthsCAN brainstorming workshop.  This workshop included participants from the Geological Survey of Canada, Arctic Institute of Canada, US Earthscope program, and other Canadian, UK and US academics.  White papers were submitted from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and multiple academic institutes addressing applications of various instruments in addition to key gaps in our understanding of multiple aspects of oceanography, atmospheric and weather modelling in addition to the solid earth sciences. 

EarthsCAN is modeled after Lithoprobe (1984 to 2004) which involved ~1000 geoscientists who produced ~1500 scientific publications.  EarthsCAN will springboard off the technological advances from the US Earthscope program with the addition of atmospheric-oceanographic-weather/climate modelling.  Involvement in the first brainstorming workshop permits me to develop this summer’s project into a future undergraduate research project, future graduate research and possible future employment.