Graduate Studies Opportunities

The Department of Geography, University of Lethbridge is recruiting students for their graduate programmes in several areas and for several specific projects. The application deadline for Fall 2015 admission is May 1, 2015.

The Department offers competitive funding for graduate students. For full list of funding see, visit SGS Award Opportunities


Title of Project or Area of Study:

Arctic coastal fog from satellite remote sensing analysis

Project Description:

Remote sensing analysis of spatio-temporal patterns in Arctic coastal fog using a variety of satellite data. This project has two main branches, one that will lead toward improvement of fog detection over glacierized terrain, and a second that involves spatio-temporal analysis of fog extent in regions with ground control. Required are some knowledge of optical remote sensing (RS) of clouds, satellite data selection, RS classification and manual interpretation, RS and GIS software use for statistical data analysis with emphasis on trend analysis and spatial statistics, and some experience with DEM analysis and basic knowledge of Arctic terrains and/or meteorology. This graduate project is one of the sub-themes of the NSERC-funded research program "Effects of Arctic sea fog on glacier melt", which has a main focus on glacierized coastal regions in Greenland and Arctic Canada.

Programme of Study: MSc or PhD

Funding: Research Assistantship through NSERC-supported supervisor. Potential additional funding through several internal and external awards, including Teaching Assistantship.

Contact: Dr. Hester Jiskoot

Learn more.


Title of Project or Area of Study:

Arctic land-terminating glacier changes and related surface mass balance

Project Description:

Remote sensing and DEM analysis of short and medium term changes in glacier area and volume using a variety of remote sensing and DEM data, as well as supplemental mass balance data. Candidates require a solid background in glaciology, and especially knowledge of surface mass balance and glacier remote sensing, including semi-automated and manual digitization of land-terminating margins from high resolution images. Also required are one or more of the following: an active understanding of glacier system response to climate change, experience in analysis of GIS and RS-based glacier inventories, historical glacier fluctuations, satellite image and surface DEM processing/differencing, and surface mass balance data. This project is one of the sub-themes of the NSERC-funded research program "Effects of Arctic sea fog on glacier melt", which has a main focus on glacierized coastal regions in Greenland and Arctic Canada.

Programme of Study: PhD/PDF

Funding: Research Assistantship through NSERC-supported supervisor. Potential additional funding through several internal and external awards, including Teaching Assistantship.

Contact: Dr. Hester Jiskoot

Learn more.


Title of Project or Area of Study:

Short-term Arctic glacier response to fog

Project Description:

Remote sensing analysis of spatial and temporal patterns in glacier melt, surface albedo and calving variability related to fog, using a variety of data, including time-lapse and satellite imagery. Candidates require some background in glaciology, incl. knowledge of surface ablation and calving dynamics, and of glacier remote sensing, incl. semi-automated and manual digitization of calving margins from medium- to high-resolution images. This graduate project is one of the sub-themes of the NSERC-funded research program "Effects of Arctic sea fog on glacier melt", which has a main focus on glacierized coastal regions in Greenland and Arctic Canada.

Programme of Study: MSc

Funding: Research Assistantship through NSERC-supported supervisor. Potential additional funding through several internal and external awards, including Teaching Assistantship.

Contact: Dr. Hester Jiskoot

Learn more.


Title of Project or Area of Study:

Monitoring the geography of an invasive insect and pathogen

Project Description:

An economically devastating crop disease may soon enter Canada from the USA, vectored by a small flying insect that so far does not occur here. Research is being conducted to sample, monitor, and forecast the potential invasion, using GIS and biometeorology.

Programme of Study: Candidate for graduate degree at the University of Lethbridge (Environmental Science or Geography)

Funding: Growing Forward 2 Research Cluster (Potato Psyllid and Zebra Chip; Dan Johnson, PI and National Network Coordinator)

Contact: Dan Johnson


Title of Project or Area of Study:

Project 1: Social justice and regional watershed planning

Project 2: Water Governance – Theory and Practice

Project Description:

The projects are part of SSHRC network “Water Economics, Policy and Governance Network.” The network runs from 2012 – 2018.

Programme of Study: MA or PhD

Funding: SSHRC network funding

Contact: Wei Xu


Title of Project or Area of Study:

Mitigating the wildfire hazard at the rural-urban interface

Project Description:

The project, which has been developed in collaboration with local municipal authorities, will examine ways of reducing the household-level risk associated with wildfires in areas near cities. The project, will use a participatory research approach and will involve field work. Applications are sought from those with a background in geography, planning, community development, resource management, environmental studies/science, or a related area.

Programme of Study: MA (Geography)

Funding: Support for this position, including field expenses, will come from a mix of graduate teaching assistantships (GTAs), scholarships and bursaries, and project funding.

Contact: Tom Johnston

Other Information: Learn more about the FireSmart Programme.


Alberta Terrestrial Imaging Centre (ATIC) Research Opportunities

The Alberta Terrestrial Imaging Centre (ATIC), which is located in the Department of Geography, offers Masters, Ph.D. and PDF opportunities in remote sensing and related fields. Areas of application cover a broad landscape, including such areas as agriculture, forestry, mountain terrain analysis, water, atmosphere, oil and gas, and northern studies, as well as instrumentation, analytics, modeling and techniques development and calibration including hyperspectral and LiDAR. Students can receive partial funding from a NSERC CREATE AMETHYST grant that provides science and career development workshops as well as internships with government, private industry and university partners in Canada, USA, Europe and elsewhere, administered through the Alberta Terrestrial Imaging Centre (ATIC).

Contact Information: ATIC Co-Director Dr. Derek Peddle

Learn more.


About the University of Lethbridge and the City of Lethbridge

The University of Lethbridge is located in southern Alberta, and has an enrollment of over 7,500 undergraduate students and about 550 graduate students. The Geography Department has a current enrollment of approximately 30 graduate students, 20 of which are studying at the master’s level.

Lethbridge is one of Canada’s sunniest cities. It boast a remarkably agreeable climate and is well known for its affordability and ease of getting around. The University is one of the largest employers in the City of Lethbridge so its impact on the city economically is unmistakable. And with a world-class art collection and an international student body representing nearly 90 countries, the University makes a substantial contribution to the cultural richness and diversity of the City of Lethbridge.

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