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Participating in the Environmental Studies program at the University of Winnipeg was a horizon-expanding opportunity for me. It opened my eyes to so many different challenges that our planet faces, viewed from so many different angles and perspectives.

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The multi-disciplinary approach taken in this program gave me a broad understanding of many different fields, but also allowed me to specialize where I thought fit; no two graduates have taken identical paths to completion.

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The program is extremely flexible, allowing students to take time off to work and travel, and gives multitudinous course offerings and options.

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I believe it has given me a better understanding of the world in which we live and that it has left me well-prepared for my post-university life, both in terms of my career and my personal life.

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The many lessons learnt, papers written, sleepless nights, and laughs throughout my classes, will always be cherished as a great chapter in my life.

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Throughout my studies at the UW, the exceptional aptitudes and expertise portrayed by professors and instructors have been intellectually and personally, enriching.

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The University of Winnipeg's Environmental Studies program familiarized me with the complex and evolving nature of environmental issues, which extend beyond the scientific domain into the social, economic and the ethical.

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Wong Research GroupESS faculty members are involved in diverse projects in three broad fields of study:

  • ecological applications of dendrochronology,
  • forest ecosystem health, and
  • public involvement in resource and environmental management.

ESS students have many opportunities to work alongside professors as research assistants, to do fieldwork, and to take field courses.

Faculty Research Interests

Darshani Kumaragamage
Dr. Kumaragamage's research program focuses on the environmental impact of agricultural practices. The main goal of her research is to increase soil productivity and minimize soil degradation and environmental pollution through the application of chemical and hydrological principles to environmental problems related to agricultural activities. Her research interests include environmental impact of using synthetic fertilizers and animal manure as plant nutrient sources, transformations and mobility of phosphorus in soils.

Alan Diduck
Dr. Diduck's research deals with public involvement, social learning, and resource and environmental management. The broad goal of his work is to contribute to the ongoing development of resource and environmental management approaches that recognize and respond to complexity, uncertainty, and conflict. Such approaches are fundamental to the current search for new scientific paradigms (e.g., sustainability science), and are linked to important emerging models of social-ecological systems. A specific objective of his work is to advance understanding of public involvement programs that enable organizational and community learning for sustainability. Another objective is to contribute to knowledge of how conflict is resolved in resource management organizations, how such organizations learn in response to changing circumstances, what prevents learning, and who controls the learning process.

Jacques Tardif
As Canada Research Chair in Dendrochronology, Dr. Tardif is collecting samples of trees from across Manitoba, with the goal of establishing a network of tree chronologies of at least two hundred years in length and distributed across the breadth of the province. His research focuses on the dominant boreal tree species, including jack pine, black spruce, white spruce, eastern larch and white birch, which are known for their sensitivity to climate. He is also collecting species like white cedar, red pine and white pine, which reached their northern distribution limit in Manitoba and hold significant potential for climatic reconstruction. Dr. Tardif's three primary objectives are to: develop a better understanding of the ecology of tree species reaching their distribution limit; obtain a better understanding of the linkage between forest disturbances and climate variability; and get more insight into the past and present climate of Central Canada using climate reconstruction derived from tree-rings.

Richard Westwood
Dr. Westwood's research interests include the use of arthropods as biological indicators of forest ecosystem health and function and as tools for environmental impact assessment, assessment of the toxicological effects of forest pest control products on non-targeted forest organisms, the management and protection of urban forests, the impact of emissions from coal fired electricity generating developments on forest health, the use of arthopods as indicators to assess the impact of climate change in the boreal forest, the biology, ecology, taxonomy of Lepidoptera and the role they play in orchid pollination.

Charles Wong
Research interests of Dr. Charles Wong are in the area of environmental chemistry, and focus on elucidating the fate, behavior, and effects of anthropogenic compounds in the environment. A thorough understanding of how chemical pollutants move, react, and persist in the environment is crucial for finding solutions to the risks they may pose to the public, to wildlife, and to environmental resources. Of particular interest are chemicals that are widely produced and released as a result of human activity, and/or chemicals that bioaccumulate up aquatic and terrestrial food webs that are globally distributed from long-range transport.

Related Research Institutes at the University of Winnipeg

WebsiteCentre for Forest Interdisciplinary Research

WebsiteInstitute of Urban Studies

Back row, L to R: Jules Carlson (PDF), Shira Joudan (UG, Carleton), Zhe Lu (PhD), Neda Nikoobakht (PhD), Jon Challis (BSc ‘11, MSc), Pascal Cardinal (MSc), Brian Asher (PhD ‘11).
Front row, L to R: Jennifer Low (Research Associate/Lab Manager), Clare McConkey (MSc), Hilary Bews (UG), Chas Wong, Caitlin Bartel (UG). Not pictured: Julie Anderson (technician), Shara Wang (MSc), Irit Stoichet (UG), Alistair Brown (UG).