Blog post co-authored by Victoria Fast, Daniel Liadsky, and Claus Rinner
Ryerson’s Department of Geography and Environmental Studies is celebrating two gold medal recipients this fall. The Ryerson Gold Medals are the University’s highest honours, presented annually to one graduate of each Faculty. Victoria Fast (PhD in Environmental Applied Science and Management, supervised by Dr. Claus Rinner) received the Gold Medal for the interdisciplinary programs housed at the Yeates School of Graduate Studies, while Daniel Liadsky (MSA in Spatial Analysis, supervised by Dr. Brian Ceh) received the Gold Medal for the Faculty of Arts.
Victoria’s PhD research investigated the potential of novel geographic information techniques to reshape the interaction of government with community organizations and citizens through crowdsourcing and collaborative mapping. The study applied a VGI systems approach (Fast & Rinner 2014) to actively engage with urban food stakeholders, including regional and municipal government, NGOs, community groups, and individual citizens to reveal and map uniquely local and community-driven food system assets in Durham Region. The Durham Food Policy Council and Climate Change Adaptation Task Force are currently using the results to support informed food policy and program development. Victoria’s research contributes to geothink.ca, a SSHRC Partnership Grant on the impact of the participatory Geoweb on government-citizen interactions.
Daniel’s research in the Master of Spatial Analysis (MSA) examined how dietary intake is mediated by individual, social, and environmental factors. The Toronto-based study was stratified by gender and utilized self-reported data from the Canadian Community Health Survey as well as measures of the food environment derived from commercial retail databases. The results uncovered some of the complex interactions between the food environment, gender, ethnocultural background, and socioeconomic restrictions such as low income and limited mobility. In addition and as part of an unrelated investigation, Daniel undertook a feasibility study into a mapping and data analytics service for the non-profit sector.
Another year has passed and another ‘generation’ of professional Geographers has completed our Master of Spatial Analysis (MSA) degree. Congratulations to the 17 graduates of the Fall 2015 class!
MSA students are required to conduct an independent research project that is documented in a major research paper. This MRP is formally defended and subsequently revised prior to degree completion. This year’s MRPs span the range of applications from sustainable development, Toronto’s SmartTrack transit plan, food retail and foodscapes, health-care service locations, bank branch networks, crime patterns, urban heat islands, and housing. Methods chosen by the students include visual data exploration, multiple regression, multi-criteria decision analysis, risk terrain modeling, self-organizing maps, and many more.
I would also like to note that four students are extending their MSA research phase by one or two semesters to write an MSA thesis. The first student to complete this option, Heather Hart, graduated in Spring 2015 with a thesis on “Maps as Evidence in Health Care Service Improvement and Monitoring” (supervised by Dr. Rinner), which was also recently added to the list at http://www.ryerson.ca/graduate/programs/spatial/abstracts/index.html.
Ryerson students, faculty, staff, and the local community are invited to explore and celebrate Geographic Information Systems (GIS) research and applications. Keynote presentations will outline the pervasive use of geospatial data analysis and mapping in business, municipal government, and environmental applications. Research posters, software demos, and course projects will further illustrate the benefits of GIS across all sectors of society.
Date: Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Location: Library Building, 4th Floor, LIB-489 (enter at 350 Victoria Street, proceed to 2nd floor, and take elevators inside the library to 4th floor)
1:00 Soft kick-off, posters & demos
1:30-2:00 Dr. Namrata Shrestha, Senior Landscape Ecologist, Toronto & Region Conservation Authority
2:00-2:30 posters & demos
2:30-3:00 Andrew Lyszkiewicz, Program Manager, Information & Technology Division, City of Toronto
3:00-3:30 posters & demos
3:30-4:00 Matthew Cole, Manager, Business Geomatics, and William Davis, Cartographer and Data Analyst, The Toronto Star
4:00 GIS Day cake!
GIS Day is a global event under the motto “Discovering the World through GIS”. It takes place during National Geographic’s Geography Awareness Week, which in 2015 is themed “Explore! The Power of Maps”, and aligns with the United Nations-supported International Map Year 2015-2016.
Event co-hosted by the Department of Geography & Environmental Studies and the Geospatial Map & Data Centre. Coffee/tea and snacks provided throughout the afternoon. Contact: Dr. Claus Rinner