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Trent University Ph.D. Student Awarded Trudeau Foundation Scholarship

Rebecca Pollock one of 14 doctoral scholarship recipients

June 30, 2004, Peterborough

Rebecca Pollock, a Ph.D. student studying at Trent University's Frost Centre for Canadian Studies and Native Studies in Peterborough, Ontario is one of 14 recipients of the prestigious Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarship announced today in Montreal.

Reacting to her award Pollock stated, "I am honoured to receive a doctoral scholarship as an invitation to work with the Trudeau Foundation toward its vision of a more vibrant, democratic, and sustainable society. It is an enormous privilege to be now associated with the foundation which provides a fascinating and inspiring vision for scholars to work together."

Each student selected for a Trudeau scholarship receives $35,000 per year for up to four years plus an additional $15,000 annually to support research-related travel. Students are also matched with mentors who are prominent national and international leaders in their respective fields.

A resident of Parry Sound, Pollock's doctoral work explores the relationships between local knowledge and landscape management. Her studies examine the experiences of three Canadian Biosphere Reserves and seek to answer three questions:

  • How effective is the Biosphere Reserve concept for facilitating the production of local knowledge?
  • To what extent, and with what effect, is local knowledge used in governance processes such as land use planning and environmental policy creation?
  • What comparisons can be made between the actual and potential uses of local knowledge in management decisions, land use plans and scientific reports?

Describing the benefits of her research Pollock stressed important outcomes such as identifying what capacities exist in communities to define and work towards sustainability at the local level. At a time when there is great uncertainty around security threats, mad cow disease, SARS and West Nile, governance issues will become increasingly important; can new research lead to a better understanding that will help inform and develop regional and landscape governance models? Lastly, by engaging with the network of 12 biospheres in Canada, and other biospheres in the world, can new lessons be learned to understand the 'working landscapes' in which we live and work?

Pollock emphasizes citizen involvement is crucial to sustainable development and that organizations such as the Trudeau foundation, with its commitment to furthering debate on public policy issues related to environmental governance, is central to the education process. She adds, "The interdisciplinary setting for my studies at Trent University is unique. The assistance I have received from the Canadian Studies department has been outstanding and I am indebted to Prof. Joan Sangster who has been so supportive of my research and encouraged me to apply to the Trudeau foundation."

Prof. Chris Metcalfe, Dean of Research and Graduate Studies said, "The Trudeau scholarship is Canada's most prestigious graduate scholarship. We are very proud that a Trent graduate student has been selected as a recipient for this special award."

Commenting on the scholarship award, Prof. Joan Sangster, Director of Trent's Frost Centre for Canadian Studies and Native Studies stated, "Needless to say, I'm thrilled that Rebecca won this prestigious scholarship. She is a remarkable young scholar, and a wonderful credit to our new PhD program."

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For further information, please contact:

Don Cumming, Senior Director, Public Affairs, (705) 748-1011, ext. 1224 or

Andre Masse or Patti Robson, Masse Communications, (613) 733-2224, (613) 298-8353


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Last Updated June 30, 2004