With the aid of the Global Citizenship and Placement Funds at Bath Spa University, student Harry Watts travelled to Canada to collect data for his dissertation.
After an extensive written and interview process, in December 2021 I was awarded a three month (25 May - 16 August 2022) fully funded research internship at the University of Regina in Saskatchewan, Canada. The internship came from Mitacs Globalink, who align high achieving undergraduates with top ranked Canadian universities.
On 25 May I left Heathrow and arrived in Toronto. After getting through immigration and getting my work permit documentation signed and completed, I made it to the gate for the connection to Regina.
My research focused on a northern city in Saskatchewan called Melfort. This city successfully mitigated disruptions to their drinking water when 225,000 litres of crude oil leaked into the Saskatchewan River from a fractured Husky Energy pipeline on 21 July 2016.
At the University I met with members of the Best Management Practices Research Group and began working on my policy brief with a water policy recommendation for Melfort and GIS mapping of case studies and watersheds across the province. The data gathered will form the basis of my dissertation.
I undertook semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders including the City of Melfort, Carrot Riverwater Association and Water Security Agency. The internship also included a week-long field visit to Melfort where I met with the interviewees above, had a guided tour of the Star City Reservoir with an engineer and spent time archiving materials regarding Melfort’s water history.
About the fund
As a Geography student, being back out in the field travelling again after COVID was enriching and was one of the driving reasons in my decision to follow my passion for Geography into Higher Education. I'm proud that my policy brief and dissertation research will help advance the development of water management techniques and policy in oil spill prone regions to protect people and environments whilst reducing vulnerability and increasing resilience. Disaster Risk Reduction is an important area to work and research.
If you're in your first year, I'd highly recommend applying to join the Global Citizenship Programme. A placement is part of the programme and allows for funding and gaining valuable opportunities such as this.
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