The Morwick Groundwater Research Centre wins Learning by Design’s “Outstanding Project Award”

Last June, the MG360 Institute launched a campaign to build the Morwick Groundwater Research Centre (MGRC), a cutting-edge hub for groundwater studies at the University of Guelph. The campaign kicked off with an initial donation from Ted Morwick, and is now over 60% of the way towards achieving its goal. We invite and encourage people to connect with us to help meet our fundraising target, and are excited about what the MGRC will offer as a space to showcase new technologies, carry out valuable research, and to train the next generation of groundwater science professionals.

Today, we are excited to share that the MGRC has won an “Outstanding Project Award” from Learning By Design, whose Architectural and Interior Design Awards of Excellence program recognizes exceptional educational spaces.

Designed by WalterFedy architects, the MGRC will be built on the same footprint as the existing Bedrock Aquifer Field Facility, minimizing the environmental impact of the renovations. The Learning By Design committee stated that when complete, the MGRC will be “a modern learning environment that exhibits many design attributes that others may emulate.” In particular, the judges indicated that “the Net Zero Carbon approach is commendable, something for which the community can be grateful for, which benefits society as a whole. Preserving the existing barn is tremendously beneficial to the environment, as are the other measures indicated. Exposed structure becomes a theme and a point of continuity between program spaces. The building is appropriately scaled and reflects the nature of the earth-science focus.”

Rendering of the MGRC exterior.

The finished MGRC will be a multi-functional space. It will house two classrooms that can become a larger room for conferences, and a two-story transparent groundwater well in which downhole instruments will be demonstrated. An onsite borehole into the underlying bedrock aquifer will provide a unique hands-on teaching tool, linking lectures to real-world demonstrations. In addition, a rock wall in the atrium will replicate the Silurian dolostone sequence and formation, typical of the local bedrock aquifer used by the City of Guelph for municipal, commercial, and industrial water supply. The MRGC will also house a rock core library, enabling students and professionals to put their research methods to the test. All together, these features will make the MGRC a world-class facility for research, technology demonstration, education, and public outreach. Groundwater is a vital resource to Canadians and to communities across the globe, and the research carried out at the MGRC will help ensure its sustainable future.

The Learning by Design recognition is an exciting affirmation of the value that the MGRC will bring to students, researchers, partners, and the community, and we are keen to keep the campaign momentum going. You can stay tuned to our blog for future updates, learn more about the MGRC here, or reach out to us directly about ways to help our campaign.

Rendering of the MGRC classrooms.
Rendering of the MGRC atrium with the Silurian dolostone rock wall.

Morwick G360 PhD student Julie Zettl awarded Thomas Krug Memorial Scholarship

Julie Zettl is this year’s recipient of the Thomas Krug Memorial Scholarship – congratulations!

Julie is a new PhD student with Dr. Beth Parker at the Morwick G360 Groundwater Research Institute.  Dr. Parker’s high impact research over the last 35+ years has aided in building a framework for the scientific, private and publics sectors to inform their decision-making regarding groundwater contamination assessment, in-situ remediation of groundwater systems, and groundwater management. Julie is a welcome addition to the team, and we are excited to have her aboard and to celebrate her scholarship.

The Thomas Krug Memorial Scholarship was established in memory of Thomas Krug, who showed immense commitment to environmental stewardship through his 30-year career at Geosyntec applying novel approaches to environmental remediation. Geosyntec is multi-national civil and environmental engineering consulting firm serving clients from more than 80 offices in North America, Europe, and Australia. Thomas loved northern Canada and he inspired many of his friends and family to explore these beautiful lands. He passed away two years ago, survived by his loving wife Janet and his three adult children. Thomas’ family and the employees at Geosyntec were thrilled to award this scholarship again this year.

Julie’s research project reflects Thomas’ commitment to environmental stewardship in northern Canada. She will take part in a study of groundwater quality in the Liard Basin near the community of Fort Liard. Dr. Parker is the Principal Investigator of this multi-disciplinary, cross-institutional project. The project has many collaborators including Morwick G360 Groundwater Research Institute, Acho Dene Koe First Nation, the Hamlet of Fort Liard, Beaver Enterprises, the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) and the National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada, with the aim of completing a baseline groundwater quality investigation in the Liard Basin.

A network of monitoring wells will be installed as part of the research project and later will be operated by the GNWT. The research will enable the development of a groundwater monitoring network that will support the NWT water stewardship strategy to ensure water remains clean, abundant and productive. This scholarship and research program are examples of the synergies the Morwick G360 Institute and Geosyntec have had here in Canada and in the USA over the years.  It is suitable that the project involves water protection in Canada’s North, as this was a true passion of the late Thomas Krug.

The American Academy of Environmental Engineers & Scientists Recognizes Dr. Beth Parker as a Board Certified Environmental Engineering Member

The American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists® (AAEES) is a not-for-profit organization serving the Environmental Engineering and Environmental Science professions by providing Board Certification to those who qualify through experience and testing. We are pleased to announce that Dr. Beth Parker has been certified by Eminence as a Board Certified Environmental Engineering Member (BCEEM) in the category of of Hazardous Waste Management and Site Remediation as of April 2020. The BCEEM title is internationally recognized as a premium credential that is awarded to experienced professionals who have demonstrated expertise in one or more areas of specialization.

The Academy also provides training through workshops and seminars, participates in accrediting universities, publishes a periodical and other reference material, interacts with students and young professionals, sponsors a university lecture series, and rewards outstanding achievements through its international awards program. To learn more about AAEES, visit their website at https://www.aaees.org/.

 

Dr. Beth Parker Awarded the Tage Erlander Professorship for 2021

Congratulations to Dr. Beth Parker who was awarded the Tage Erlander Professorship by the Swedish Research Council for an 8 month visiting professorship at Lund University for 2021. This professorship was created in 1981 to mark the eightieth birthday of the late Mr. Tage Erlander, who was the Swedish Minister of Education 1945-1946 and then Prime Minister until 1969. Appointments are by invitation only and scientists of the highest distinction are invited. The professorship is meant to contribute to the Swedish researcher society with the personal influence of an excellent scientist and to the building of lasting scientific networks.

 

 

G³⁶⁰ MASc Student Featured in University of Guelph Virtual 3MT Competition Final

Kathleen Johnson, a G³⁶⁰ MASc student working with Dr. Beth Parker, is one of the 14 graduate students featured in the University of Guelph 3MT 2020 Final, an opportunity for graduate students to present their research in three minutes or less. Her presentation focuses on her thesis work related to “Understanding Groundwater in the City of Guelph.” Kathleen was one of top two winners for the College of Engineering and Physical Science 3MT competition in March 2020 to advance to the university competition final, which is now virtual. A panel of judges will decide who advances to the Regional Finals to be hosted virtually by the University of Windsor in September.  You can vote for your favourite presentation and help decide who will receive the People’s Choice Award. View all of the videos, including Kathleen’s here. Voting is open from June 29 to July 12.