Every year the W. Garfield Weston Foundation sponsors up to ten scholarships, valued at $15,000 each, for students currently enrolled in a master’s program in the natural sciences pursuing northern research. Candidates who compete and win the prize demonstrate: exceptional promise, academic excellence, and leadership, and a strong commitment to northern research.
As a master’s student in geography at the University of Ottawa, Marielle Fontaine is devoted to sharing her knowledge and research about various ecological landscapes in the western Canadian Artic. Especially with Northern communities whom she knows highly depend on the natural environment for traditional harvesting, transportation and community infrastructure. Marielle’s research, titled “Biogeochemical variations in Holocene and Pleistocene-age permafrost across various ecological landscapes in the western Canadian Arctic”, aims to better understand the environmental impacts resulting from permafrost degradation, which may be the key to addressing the concerns of interest in Inuvialuit and Gwich’in communities.