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2006 James W. Bourque Studentship in Northern Geography - Jessica Tomkins

Sedimental journey
Can you imagine having a view of the North Pole from your campsite? Jessica Tomkins doesn't have to imagine it. She lived it last May when she spent two weeks on Nunavut's Ellesmere Island drilling through two metres of ice to collect lake-sediment samples.

Tomkins, the recipient of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society's 2006 James W. Bourque Studentship in Northern Geography, is trying to decipher ancient climate and water conditions in the area to better understand recent environmental changes.

“Lake sediments can work like a history book,” says Tomkins, a Ph.D. student at Queen's University in Kingston, Ont. A year's worth of information is encapsulated in just a few millimetres of silt and clay, providing “a window into the past.”

Annapurni Narayanan

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