MAEP student and graduate tackle plastic pollution in Gros Morne

A current graduate student and an alumna of the master of arts in environmental policy at Grenfell Campus recently presented a Facebook Live talk  titled “Tackling plastic pollution in Gros Morne National Park.” 

The presenters were graduate student Jackie-Ray Bauman and alumna Rebecca Brushett, executive director of the Atlantic Healthy Oceans Initiative (AHOI). Ms. Brushett, who holds a B.Sc. in marine biology (Dalhousie), a B.Ed. in secondary education (MUN) along with an MA in environmental policy (MUN), says created AHOI in 2019 because she felt there was a gap that not only promotes and builds prosperous coastal communities but also respects and looks after the health of our coastal and marine ecosystems surrounding the Gros Morne region. She also works remotely for the Ecology Action Centre as their sustainable fisheries co-ordinator to help promote healthy commercial fisheries within the Gulf of St. Lawrence and, as their marine planner for Gros Morne, will be working with the communities to create a sustainable marine plan for the region that looks after the people and the long-term health of our oceans together.

The objectives of AHOI are to develop educational programs, to implement conservation products, to uphold environmental protection laws, to conduct research and to work with the public, with the overarching goal to make the Gros Morne Region Plastic Waste Free by 2025.

Caption: Rebecca Brushett (foreground) and her AHOI team after a successful beach clean-up at Back Cove, Cow Head, NL.

“Obviously were looking at plastic pollution, but some other (areas of interest) that we’re interested in and will work on over the coming years are reduction of high impact overfishing, especially for this area,” said Ms. Brushett. “We’ll look at climate change and how it’s affecting the marine biodiversity In the ocean around Gros Morne and western Newfoundland, but also how it’s impacting our coasts, erosion, bigger storms, and how it’s affecting our communities as well.”

She said marine conservation and protection is another topic the organization will investigate, examining, “how we need to look after sensitive marine habitats. And then lastly, keeping an eye on impacts from offshore oil and gas exploration and drilling, especially as it relates to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and how it may impact this national park, the Gros Morne region, and any community up the coast of Western Newfoundland.”

AHOI collaborates with businesses, schools, governments and NGOs, such as the Gros Morne Co-operating Association, Grenfell Campus, Tour Gros Morne, and the Towns of Norris Point, Trout River and Rocky Harbour.

Ms. Bauman, who holds a BA in environmental governance (Guelph), worked with AHOI during a summer internship, during which time she helped develop a proposal to ban single use plastics and reduce local pollution. She said the internship allowed her to do research, collect data, undertake policy creation and reviews and take advantage of network opportunities.

“I was looking to different levels of government… and I was building on some of my networking from my experience as a master student with the environmental policy program,” said Ms. Bauman. “So that was really helpful that I could bring in some of my previous knowledge dealing with policy.”

Part of her work with AHOI involved conducting waste audits of trash found along the shorelines of the Gros Morne area.

One particular clean-up, on Wild Cove Beach, Norris Point, yielded plastic pieces, food takeout packaging and single use plastics, fishing and industrial materials, hygiene-related items and shotgun shells – a total of 31,000 pieces of trash weighing 400 pounds. 81.9% of the trash was due to micro and macro plastics.

This is problematic, said Ms. Bauman, because of “bioaccumulation in the food chain and (the fact that) these tiny plastics continue to break down.” 

Going forward, there are a number of projects AHOI will undertake, including the “Blue W” program, which encourages people to use reusable water bottles at filling stations; the “Boomerang Bag,” which will provide consumers with reusable, returnable bags at various establishments; and further down the road, sustainable takeout containers. 

“The idea is that we can have this bulk order of compostable takeout containers,” said Ms. Bauman. “I’ve done some research to find out what are some of the best companies where we can find real compostable, biodegradable products.” 

For more information about AHOI and their programming, contact Ms. Brushett at or (709) 691-0485.  

An interdisciplinary approach for the Future of Ocean and Coastal Infrastructures.

Dr. Paul Foley: Photo by Grenfell Campus

This week’s Insight-blog article is a celebration, not only for Dr. Paul Foley, but also a commemoration of World Oceans Day, which was this past Monday, June 8.

2019 Vice-President (Grenfell Campus) Research Award recipient, Dr. Paul Foley (Environmental Policy Institute), is a distinguished scholar with publications in journals such as Marine Policy, New Political Economy, and Fish and Fisheries. Dr. Foley has extensively worked, not only on research, but also with students in the Environmental Policy Institute, the Environment and Sustainability Program, and the School of Fisheries at the Fisheries and Marine Institute. The accolade is awarded every year to one faculty member through a nomination process by their colleagues.

Continue reading “An interdisciplinary approach for the Future of Ocean and Coastal Infrastructures.”

Grenfell Campus and Community Engagement.

In this new INSIGHT-BLOG podcast we hear from Dr. Mery Perez, a postdoctoral fellow working with the Grenfell Office on Engagement. Dr. Perez is leading a project to better understand Western Newfoundland communities and engagement by Grenfell Campus. We discuss her research methods as well as plans for future engagement using information gathered by this study.

Continue reading “Grenfell Campus and Community Engagement.”

Emerging Scholars: Graduate Student Researchers on Bat Behaviour and Hydrological Cycles in Newfoundland.

Miss Darrian Washinger conduct,ing field research; Photo by Darrian Washinger.

Welcome to Emerging Researchers, Insight-blog’s new series showcasing Grenfell’s student researchers across all graduate disciplines. In this segment we feature Miss Darrian Washinger and Mr. Sashika Perera. Both students are in the Boreal Ecosystems and Agricultural Sciences (BEAS) program.

Continue reading “Emerging Scholars: Graduate Student Researchers on Bat Behaviour and Hydrological Cycles in Newfoundland.”

Community Based Research in Indigenous Areas – More Than a Set of Data.

Ayo 1
Mr. Ayotunde Omosule in Flat Bay; Photo submitted by Mr. Omosule.

Ktaqmkuk (the Mi’kmaw place name referring to the island of Newfoundland), has been an important hunting territory that has been travelled by Mi’kmaq for generations. Many Mi’kmaw communities across Ktaqmkuk continue to hold rich cultural history, tradition, and environmental knowledge.

Continue reading “Community Based Research in Indigenous Areas – More Than a Set of Data.”

From the Archive: INSIGHT-FELL Newsletter, November 2018.

From the Archive
This edition of the INSIGHT-FELL Newsletter was originally published in November 2018. The most recent edition of the Newsletter (November 2019) can be found here. You can also subscribe to get email updates by emailing us at and stating you would like to subscribe.

November 2018

Welcome to INSIGHT-FELL, an online research newsletter that highlights the exciting, dynamic, and multi-disciplinary research of Grenfell Campus’s students, staff, and faculty. An initiative of the Associate Vice President of Research and Graduate Studies’ office, the newsletter focuses on our individual and group research projects and provides opportunities to share information and connect with each other. Please find links to the content of this INSIGHT-FELL issue below, which covers research from winter and summer 2018.

Continue reading “From the Archive: INSIGHT-FELL Newsletter, November 2018.”

NSERC Discovery Grant: A Paradigm of Illumination and Communication

Dr. Ngatched
Dr. Telex Magloire N. Ngatched; Photo submitted by Dr. Ngatched.


Wireless communication has grown exponentially in the last couple of  years. Research and technology have worked hand-in-hand to accommodate data traffic needs and are currently using 4G networks. Due to the projected demand for bandwidth-intensive media and devices, industry and academia will continue their efforts to ensure that technology keeps up with the projected need for more powerful communication networks.

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Canadian Mining Abroad: Shaping Social Identities in Latin America


Lukas crossroads
Lukas Bosch; Photo by Lukas Bosch

Mr. Lukas Bosch, a 2nd year student in the Master of Arts in Environmental Policy program, considers himself as being “from all over Canada.” He says that having lived in many different provinces has allowed him to learn how diverse the country is and travelling has sparked his passion for Canadian politics, environmental policy, and environmental assessment topics.

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Interventions in Western Newfoundland’s Built Environment

Cameron Forbes; Photo submitted by Cameron Forbes

The term Built Environment refers to spaces and infrastructures developed by humans. The built environment can range in scale from highway networks to fishing stages, and even a sandcastle built at the beach. In Professor Forbes’ art practice, she considers human interventions with the natural landscape and already developed environments as a creative act. In her current project Active Site: Interventions in the Built Environment Forbes’ key question is to understand what the built environment means in Western Newfoundland.

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Taking Action on Health and Nutrition


Dawn Pittman, Western Regional School of Nursing, Newfoundland and Labrador
Dawn Pittman; Photo submitted by Dawn Pittman


Nutrition is a determinant in numerous aspects of health and well-being. Dawn Pittman, of the Western Regional School of Nursing (WRSON), is exploring how we can help improve nutrition among older adults in Western Newfoundland and throughout the province. It is work that is vital to understanding and addressing the health challenges that are facing a population that is aging and often geographically isolated.

Continue reading “Taking Action on Health and Nutrition”