Trent University Graduate Students Win Prestigious National Award


Kaitlin Breton-Honeyman and Jennifer Knopp Receive $15,000 as 2009/10 Canadian Northern Studies Trust Award recipients

Thursday, July 9, 2009, Peterborough

Two master’s candidates in Trent University’s Environmental and Life Sciences Graduate Program, Kaitlin Breton-Honeyman and Jennifer Knopp, have been awarded a prestigious Canadian Northern Studies Trust (CNST) Award and will receive $15,000 each to use towards further research.

Ms. Breton-Honeyman and Ms. Knopp are two of only six students in all of Canada to receive this award. They are being recognized for outstanding quality and commitment in Canadian northern research across all disciplines.

“I was ecstatic! And I felt so honoured to be chosen,” Ms. Breton-Honeyman said about receiving the news. “Winning this award means that the committee recognizes the importance of the research and values our work. That means a lot to me.”

Ms. Breton-Honeyman is currently conducting research on two populations of beluga whale, both of which are listed as an endangered species. The study involves research information from aerial surveys performed over the past 25 years. She is working with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Inuit Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) to identify critical factors that influence beluga whale habitat use and preference and determine what ecological factors are associated with these areas of importance.

Ms. Knopp’s research centres on Arctic charr, a freshwater and saltwater fish native to Arctic, sub-Arctic and alpine lakes and coastal waters. She is currently developing a community-based monitoring plan for Arctic charr in Sachs Harbour, Northwest Territories. Her study examines the links between scientific and traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) to determine indicators that can be used for monitoring Sachs Harbour’s charr populations in an attempt to see how climate changes are impacting the Arctic charr.

The Association for Canadian Universities for Northern Studies (ACUNS) administers the awards on behalf of the W. Garfield Weston Foundation. The purpose of the CNST Awards Program is to develop a cadre of scholars and scientists with northern experience and at the same time enhance the educational opportunities available for northern residents to obtain post-secondary education at Canadian universities and colleges. This year’s awards mark the conclusion of a three-year, $1 million scholarship program initiated by the Foundation to encourage Canada’s leadership in northern studies.


For more information, please contact:
Kaitlin Breton-Honeyman, master’s candidate, Environmental & Life Sciences Graduate Program, Trent University, (519) 803-5248 (cell)