Dr. Karl C. Ivarson Agricultural Scholarship
This scholarship was created by Dr. Karl C. Ivarson through a bequest to the Agricultural Institute of Canada Foundation, now CFFAE. In establishing this award, Dr. Ivarson wished to support students from his home province of Alberta in their pursuit of studies in agricultural sciences. The first scholarships were awarded in 2013.
2017 Scholarship Recipients
Amy Gainer, a PhD candidate in Toxicology/Soil Science at the University of Saskatchewan, received the PhD scholarship of $16,900. She is was born in Alberta and obtained her Bachelors and Masters degrees at the University of Alberta.
Both within and outside her thesis, she is researching remediation and toxicity of agricultural soils impacted by a range of products like fertilizers, salts, pesticides and petroleum products, an important and growing area of soil toxicology as global food demands continue to rise.
For the past two years, she has volunteered with the Student Planning Committee for the Canadian Ecotoxicity Workshop (CEW) annual conference and in 2017 co-chaired a session on soil contamination and toxicity. She also co-chaired a soil focused session at the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry North American conference in Minneapolis in 2017.
Amy has mentored young women in the scientific communities at the University of Alberta and the University of Saskatchewan and was a volunteer with the Big Brother Big Sister Boys and Girls Club of Edmonton. She volunteers at the University of Saskatchewan’s Women’s Centre where she leads discussion-based workshops on current issues that women face. She received the Women’s Centre Award for her volunteer contributions in 2017.
She has worked in the private consulting industry as a soil scientist conducting soil and plant assessments on agricultural lands. She obtained her professional status as a Professional Agrologist with the Alberta Institute of Agrologists and currently holds a part time job as a Student Ambassador with the Saskatchewan Institute of Agrologists and the Ministry of Agriculture.
Amy hopes to pursue employment as a professor of soil ecotoxicology conducting research and educating the next generation of scientists.
Leanne Ejack, a student at McGill University in Montreal, received the Masters scholarship of $10,000. She grew up in a farming community in Central Alberta, where her family still farms.
Leanne attended Red Deer College before transferring to the University of Saskatchewan to finish her undergraduate degree at the University of Saskatchewan. She later attended Kwantlen Polytechnic University in B.C. to complete an applied science degree in Sustainable Agriculture. During her university years, Leanne served in a variety of volunteer positions including an executive member of the University of Saskatchewan Biology Club, as well as co-president of the Kwantlen Polytechnic Sustainable Agriculture Students Association. She also volunteered at several extension events, including most recently, the Living Soils Symposium at Concordia University in October 2017. There she facilitated roundtable discussions between conference attendees, including scientists, academics, farmers, students, NGOs, and consumers, around the role of healthy, living soils in addressing issues related to air and water quality, food security, human health, and social justice.
After obtaining her first undergraduate degree, Leanne worked as a crop scout and advisor, monitoring fields for weeds, fungal disease, and insect pests, and preparing crop scouting reports for clients. She then spent several months in Australia and Southeast Asia volunteering on a variety of farms, most of which practiced farming methods aimed at restoring soil health and creating resilient farm ecosystems.
Leanne is currently in the Soil Ecology Research Group at McGill University. She is studying how different combinations of fall cover crops and manure applications influence soil nitrogen dynamics over the winter, and the effect this has on the growth and yield of subsequent spring crops.
Leanne plans to make agricultural research her career by undertaking a PhD, then returning to her home province of Alberta to pursue her career and to use her skills and scientific knowledge to encourage policymakers to prioritize agriculture and soil health in their decision-making.
The Ivarson Agricultural Scholarships are awarded on the following criteria:
1. Academic Achievement
2. Areas of Study
3. Community Involvement
4. Career Interests
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