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New smartphone app helps users ‘Buy Local, Eat Smart, Get Healthy'

Western University researchers and partners released the SmartAPPetite app today (Nov 21st), providing Southwestern Ontarians customized tips about local food, healthy eating, recipes, and information about local farmers and food providers.  [More]

Scientists have a heart-to-heart for Children’s Health

Over the past 12 years, Western Geography Professor Jason Gilliland has conducted interdisciplinary research on how the physical environment influences children's health and well-being.  The collaborative work of Dr Gilliland and colleagues from the Lawson Health Research Institute and Children’s Health Research Institute (CHRI) was recently the focus of an article in the London Health Sciences Centre’s (LHSC) Inside magazine.  The article also announced Canadian Pacific’s generous donation of over $1.3 million to the CHRI and LHSC, which will help build their capabilities to improve kids’ heart health by bettering the understanding of the causation and outcomes of heart diseases in children. [MORE]

Geography Awareness Week November 17-21, 2014

This year, Western University’s Department of Geography is inspiring future learners throughout Geography Awareness Week! The Department invited local high schools to discover their world through the use of Geographic Information Systems and explore its benefits and significance throughout our everyday lives.

To start the week off, on November 17th, the Department of Geography is hosting Grade Nine students from Medway High School. Over the course of the afternoon, the 47 students will participate in a GIS workshop and lab exercises run by Kathy Tang (GIS Analyst at Geography Department) and graduate students Jonathan Raikes , Chris Hewitt, Xiaodong Huang and Ian Pritchard before touring some of the Geography Research and Teaching Lab facilities lead by a PhD student Edward Krynak and Western’s Map & Data Centre in Weldon Library.

To finish off the week, on November 21, Kathy Tang with two graduate students (Martin Lefebvre and Jonathan Raikes) will represent the Geography Department as they travel to Central Elgin Collegiate Institute to join five district geography teachers during professional development day where they will give a GIS-based lecture. Together, they will discover and explore the uses and benefits of GIS, with an emphasis on GIS at Western University, GIS research and applications and the abundance of career opportunities that come with an education in geography and GIS.

Spotlight: The SmartAPP Stands Out

The SmartAPPetite initiative was recently the focus of an article by food writer Bryan Lavery in eatdrink, a local food and drink magazine serving Southwestern Ontario.   On November 21, the SmartAPPetite team will launch a novel smartphone app and website that will make it easier for people to find, prepare and eat healthy, local food.  The project has a dual purpose: to help people make smarter dietary decisions, and to help strengthen local economies. For the full article, see: eatdrink, issue #50, pages 28-30, and

Congratulations to our Graduates!

The Department of Geography congratulates all of our October Convocation Graduates. We celebrated 7 Master's and 4 Doctoral Successes.  Among those in attendance were Dr. Karen Ross, Dr. Jenna Dixon and Andrea Rishworth pictured here with our very own Department Chair, and Convocation Marshall Dan Shrubsole. [CLICK HERE]  Congratulations Graduates! 

SmartAPPetite Project ‘Revealed’ on RogersTV

The SmartAPPetite project is featured on the current episode of the 'Western Revealed' television show on Rogers TV. The SmartAPPetite project uses a novel smartphone app to help people find, prepare and eat healthy, tasty foods from Ontario.  The episode features several collaborators talking about the project, including: project director Dr Jason Gilliland of Western’s Geography Department. For more information about the SmartAPPetite project, see:  [WATCH INTERVIEW]

WESTERN NEWS - Professor Gordon McBean heads International Council for Science

Geography professor Gordon McBean assumed the role of president of the International Council for Science at the conclusion of the organization’s General Assembly last month. McBean is only the second Canadian to take up this office. In his inaugural address, McBean said he was “proud of the role the council has played, and will continue to play, in planning, coordinating and ‘making happen’ global scale research for the benefits for all societies.” He emphasized the council “will continue to provide societies and governments with policy relevant science that can and should form the basis policy making.” McBean holds professorships in the Departments of Geography, Political Science and Physics, and is director of policy studies at the university’s Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction and co-director of the Centre for Environment and Sustainability.  [MORE]


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