Physical Geography Lab to aid student research

Paul Mayne // Western News

Western supporters Judy and Maurice Davidson joined a group in celebrating the opening of the Department of Geography’s Physical Geography Lab, located in the Social Science Centre.

Whether viewing organisms through microscopes, or sifting through sediment at the bottom of the Thames River, Western Geography students now have a new space outfitted with the latest tools to get the answers they need.

On Friday, the Department of Geography unveiled the new Physical Geography Lab, located in the Social Science Centre. Fully equipped with new cutting-edge technology, the lab will enable students to perform lab-based activities and analysis on data that has been collected from the field.

“With these types of skills from the field to the lab, we’re enhancing the employability and research capability of graduate and undergraduate students,” said Dan Shrubsole, Geography chair. “This is an integrative facility that allows for the examination of water, air and land.”

The space will be used for class lectures and hands-on learning. The room is outfitted wall-to-wall with tools for exploration. Along with a high-powered electric sifter, data from the field can now be downloaded directly onto computers, and state-of-the-art microscopes will help determine the quality of environments.

The project became possible with the generosity of Judy and Maurice Davis, who have a long history of contributing to Western’s graduate studies.

“This is the way we like to have things for students coming along the way – to support them and the university,” Judy Davis said.

Students will be excited to work in a lab that improves their standing nationally and internationally for the future of geography, Shrubsole said.

“Environmental sustainability is a big theme on campus and we have a number of students in Earth Science, Biology and even some Engineering students taking our courses,” he continued. “All of those students are going to benefit from this.”