Undergraduate Geography provides unique research opportunities

July 03, 2017

Destiny Allen-Green

Coming to Western as a Geography student, Destiny Allen-Green let her academic curiosity guide her.

Allen-Green originally wanted to study Chemistry, Engineering or Geography. Upon researching the Department of Geography at Western, she decided upon geography because there “were many more different module options”, she said.

Originally interested in Geographic Information Science, she completed two earth science courses in her first year, and decided to switch to a double major in Geography and Geology. Her varied interests led to opportunities for various research projects and hands-on learning opportunities.

“I really like to understand what’s going on around me,” said Allen-Green. “When I look at a landscape, I can now think about how it developed and formed.”

During her time as an undergraduate student, Destiny received two NSERC USRA grants for field work, which involved water sampling in South-western Ontario. She sampled the Thames River to look at the impact of water treatment plant inputs into the water shed, and Gold Creek to look at the impact of agricultural inputs into the water shed, by measuring the quality of water before and after farm input locations. Ultimately, this research will help increase the understanding of the impact of development and agriculture and how it impacts the Great Lakes.

In her third year, Allen-Green took an Urban Development course, which provided another layer of interest, as she considers the impact of urban landscapes on watersheds.

For her fourth-year thesis, Destiny looked at a sediment core from South Bay, Manitoulin Island, conducting Powdered X-ray diffractometry to determine the mineral composition of sediment layers, and determine past changes in lake levels in the region.

“Completing my thesis was very challenging,” said Allen-Green. “It was a way of learning I hadn’t experienced before.”

These research opportunities led Destiny to explore career options allowing her to be working in the field and she will be continuing her education with a Graduate degree in Land and Water Systems. She is interested in getting a better understanding of watershed management and understanding how to protect the environment while also allowing development.

Destiny Allen-Green completed an Honors Double Major in Physical Geography and Geology.

Upon graduation, Allen-Green received a Gold Media for BSc Honor in Geography and a Certificate of Merit for Academic Excellence in Geography.