Ian Evans Graduates!

A big congratulations goes out to Ian Evans for the successful completion of his Master’s of Science in the Department of Geography and Environmental Management at the University of Waterloo. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Ian as his senior honors thesis advisor and Master’s over the past 3 years over which time he has set a standard for many undergraduate and graduate students in our lab.

As an undergraduate he was part of the University of Waterloo’s undergraduate cooperative education program working at Agricultural and Agri-Food Canada, Ministry of Transportation Ontario (MTO), and the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI). Throughout each of these work-term placements Ian was evaluated at Very Good or Excellent and the sentiment of his employers is uniform and exemplified by this statement from Rod Scott at MTO

“Ian was very enjoyable to have as part of our office – especially his dry sense of humour. He brought with him a strong work ethic and saw that each task was completed thoroughly. As for dependability, Ian handled any and all tasks that were presented, thought about the “how to”, and carried out the work in an efficient manner. Because Ian was able to quickly learn AutoCAD basics and MTO specifications for mapping deliverables, our department was able to meet our production schedule goals. The reports he devised for final analysis of quality assurance results were clear and appropriate.”

While working at school Ian often helped his fellow students and volunteered to help in classes he was not enrolled. His work ethic and collegiality was formally acknowledge by his peers and our Faculty as the runner up for our Faculty’s undergraduate valedictorian and he has held peer-elected positions as Secretary for the Waterloo Association of Geography Students (2014), Vice President for the University of Waterloo Music Club (2009, 2010), successfully acquired NSERC Canada Graduate Scholarship funding for his Master’s research, and published work from his undergraduate GEOG 481 course on “Benchmarking stereo-derived DSMs to lidar by land cover and slope for resource development in northern Ontario, Canada” in the International Journal of Remote Sensing.

This term he adds to his string of accomplishments his Master’s thesis “Quantifying Variation in Wetland Composition and Configuration for Landscape-Scale Reclamation Planning“, which takes a landscape ecology approach to quantify the patterns of temporary wetlands and the mosaic of land covers around those wetlands. In achieving this task he derives a set of  landscape pattern indices and the range in values of those indices across a gradient of disturbance. His results offer a set of references to ensure that reclamation efforts are 1) naturally appearing 2) self-sustaining and 3) integrated with the surrounding landscape. His research on this topic is part of a larger project funded by Alberta Innovates – Energy and Environment Solutions titled “Sustainable wetland habitat: reclamation targets, design criteria and wetland policy implementation“. Ian’s work will play a crucial role in the project as we seek to determine the effects of landscape composition and configuration as well as topography on indicators of biological integrity developed by a team lead by Dr. Rooney in the Biology Department here at Waterloo.

Prior to graduating, Ian accepted a GIS Analyst position with DNV GL and is working in Montreal.

Congratulations Ian!