Kingston, ON – A $1-million graduate fellowship announced today is focused on training a new generation of world-class researchers on Arctic environmental issues. The TD Bank Financial Group Graduate Fellowship in Arctic Environmental Issues at Queen’s University will foster graduate student involvement in unlocking the answers to questions about the impact of environmental change in the Arctic.
Mentor for the new program is biology professor John Smol, Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change and a world-renowned Arctic researcher. Dr Smol was named Canada’s top scientist in 2004 when he won the Gerhard Herzberg Canada Gold Medal.
“This funding will be critical for developing and maintaining student-based Arctic research programs at Queen’s,” says Dr Smol. “In many respects, the Arctic is on the ‘front line’ of a wide spectrum of environmental problems, not least of which is climatic change. Arctic environmental research is not only a fascinating academic pursuit, but may well be critical for the future of our planet.”
Queen’s researchers have been involved in leading-edge Arctic research since the 1960s, but many exciting and important questions remain unanswered. This is due in large part to the very high logistical costs of field-based research in polar regions. TD’s established record of building and executing environmental programs in response to issues involving the environment and climate change makes this an ideal partnership.
“The Arctic is an area of significant environmental concern with issues ranging from diminishing ice to increasing atmospheric and ocean temperatures,” says Frank McKenna, deputy chair, TD Bank Financial Group. “This is a much needed program for both students and our country-we need to arm future generations with the financial support that’s often required to properly understand and hopefully tackle the wide range of environment-related activities affecting the Arctic and beyond.”