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CRCs Dawn Sutherland, Mavis Reimer and Jacques Tardif with Acting VP Research & Graduate Studies Claudia Wright and CFI recipient Jeff Martin at a reception celebrating their awards

e-dition - March 9, 2007

CRCs Dawn Sutherland, Mavis Reimer and Jacques Tardif with Acting VP Research & Graduate Studies Claudia Wright and CFI recipient Jeff Martin at a reception celebrating their awards.

Celebrating Research at UWinnipeg:

From Tree Rings to Indigenous Science Education

By Ilana Simon

The University of Winnipeg’s expertise in environmental research, Aboriginal education, children’s literature and natural sciences were recently recognized by the federal government’s Canada Research Chairs program and the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).

The University of Winnipeg paid tribute at a celebration last month to its two newest Canada Research Chair (CRC) appointments, Dr. Dawn Sutherland and Dr. Mavis Reimer; a renewed Canada Research Chair, Dr. Jacques Tardif; and CFI recipient Dr. Jeff Martin.

“Congratulations to The University of Winnipeg for melding together its strategic directions with the Chairs program,” said John ApSimon, Executive Director of the Ottawa-based Canada Research Chairs Program. “With our key partnerships with CFI, we have had a massive impact on the scholarly and scientific research being performed by the 1750 Canada Research Chairs across the country.”


John ApSimon, Executive Director of the Ottawa-based Canada Research Chairs Program, said since the program's creation CRCs have played an important role in attracting and retaining top talent at Canadian universities.

Excellence in Research
“These appointments demonstrate the excellence in scholarship, research and teaching underway at The University of Winnipeg,” noted UWinnipeg President Lloyd Axworthy. “When you look at the areas of research being celebrated today, it speaks to who we are, our strengths… and what we are becoming.”

He said CRCs redefine a university and UWinnipeg’s new science complex will further advance our scientific research-like Tardif’s dendrochronology research and Martin’s Subatomic Physics Detector Lab. As well, the new science building and Richardson College for the Environment will serve to connect UWinnipeg with its inner-city community through active programs like Eco-Kids and bringing together Indigenous traditions and values with science education, Sutherland’s area of research. Reimer’s focus on the culture of children’s literature will help us better understand our own culture, Axworthy added.

Attracting Scholars
Dr. Claudia Wright, Acting Vice-President of Research & Graduate Studies, said the CRC program provides excellent collaborative opportunities for undergraduate students and provides a depth of scholarly research at The University of Winnipeg.  “The CFI program enables us to attract young, talented scholars like Jeff Martin—and keep them—by providing the infrastructure they require to do the work they love.”

Dr. Dawn Sutherland, awarded a five-year, $500,000 Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Science Education in 2006, is exploring the relationship between culture and science education in Indigenous communities, in particular in Manitoba. She aims to have Aboriginal culture integrated into school curricula so science education is more meaningful, interesting, and relevant for Aboriginal students. 

Dr. Mavis Reimer, Associate Professor in English, was named Canada Research Chair in the Culture of Childhood in 2005. A five-year, $500,000 appointment, this CRC focuses on children’s literature and the culture of childhood. The overall objective of Reimer’s research is to account for the cultural work of texts directed to children and youth and to encourage the critical thinking in young readers.

Student Collaboration
Dr. Jeff Martin, Assistant Professor in Physics, was awarded CFI research funding in 2006 for a Subatomic Physics Detector Lab.  The $220,000 in funding he received includes a $90,000 CFI-Leaders Opportunity Fund grant, $90,000 from the Province of Manitoba and $40,000 from various corporate donors.  The detector lab increases the capacity for research and training at UWinnipeg and enables students to contribute to collaborative subatomic physics research being conducted on an international scale.

Dr. Jacques Tardif, first named Canada Research Chair in Dendrochronology in 2002, had his CRC renewed in 2007 for another five-year, $500,000 appointment. Tardif, Associate Professor in Biology, conducts field and laboratory work to collect and analyze samples of tree-rings from various parts of Manitoba. His objectives are an improved understanding of climate change patterns, forest disturbances and providing an effective planning tool.  

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