Three Yukon College Students Win ACUNS Awards


(L-R) Iris Binger, Christine Spencer, Nicole Lamb

                                                                                                        (L-R) Iris Binger, Christine Spencer, Nicole Lamb

WHITEHORSE— Earlier this month, The Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies (ACUNS) announced their 2019-2020 academic awards. This year, they announced ten winners from the Northwest Territories and Yukon, three of whom are Yukon College students.

Iris Binger, Nicole Lamb and Christine Spencer were all awarded the $5,000 Polar Northern Resident Award. The award supports college and university students that are long-term residents of the north. The three were evaluated on their academic transcripts, quality of the written application, referee report, proposed community outreach activity, and the applicants’ commitment to the North and northern studies.

Born and raised Yukoner, Iris Binger, student in the Bachelor of Social Work will start working on a project around women’s transition housing in Yukon. The project aims to find low barrier service provisions for women and children.

Nicole, in her third year of the Northern Outdoor and Environmental Studies is identifying prehistoric wood samples to better understand paleo-ecology of the Little John Site. This project aims to identify species allowing for better understanding of the relationship between the land and its early inhabitants.

Bachelor of Science in Renewable Resource Management student Christine Spencer is working on an International Tundra Experiment (ITEX), assessing biomass as a response to experimental warming. She will spend time monitoring how tundra plants respond to warming temperatures.

"We're so proud of these three students,” said Dr. Bronwyn Hancock, Associate Vice President Research Development, Yukon College. “They are asking and answering questions, helping us to not only understand but to thrive in our communities and the land we live on. The work they're doing - studying our history, our communities and our lands - reflects the diversity of research and teaching that goes on here at Yukon College, soon to be Yukon University. These women are promising research leaders, and we're so happy to see them recognizing with this award."

All three students were encouraged my faculty and Yukon College mentors to apply and plan to stay in the Territory following their studies.

The ACUNS awards program supports college and university students who demonstrate academic excellence, leadership and commitment to northern science, and whose research projects contribute to the understanding of the North through the facilitation of collaborative research, knowledge mobilization, and education.


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