Subatomic planning

A Grenfell Campus physicist has played a major role in the creation of a subatomic physics long range plan for the Canadian Institute of Nuclear Physics, raising the campus’s profile in the process.

Dr. Svetlana Barkanova, a faculty member in Grenfell’s physics program, led the quantum chromodynamics/hadrons scientific working group on the white paper committee, along with four other working group chairs from across the country, representing nuclear astrophysics, nuclear structure, fundamental symmetries and education and training.

“This long-range plan is the result of extensive consultations with the nuclear physics community and is our vision for subatomic physics in Canada for the next five years and onward,” she said.

Dr. Svetlana Barkanova. Lori Lee Pike photo.

Long-term and international context

According to the white paper’s introduction, the duty of the committee was to “gather community input and prepare a document placing the Canadian nuclear physics contributions within a long-term and international context, and make some overall recommendations.

It states: “We hope that it will be of value to the Canadian Subatomic Physics Long Range Planning Committee as it works to establish the vision and goals for the whole subatomic physics community in Canada.”

Dr. Barkanova was especially pleased that Grenfell Campus was highlighted in Section 5.2 of the report, which focuses on outreach.

A graduate and a current student at Grenfell Campus contributed examples of how Grenfell’s outreach activities supported their future careers. A Grenfell alumna and a Grenfell current student are quoted in the white paper.

“I’m currently a PhD candidate in the Netherlands using a supercomputer to simulate the atmospheric boundary layer and large-scale wind farms,” stated Jessica Strickland, a holder of a bachelor of science degree from Memorial.

“However, my first research projects were in subatomic physics, with Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council/Institute of Particle Physics/European Organization for Nuclear Research summer awards. Though the physics I do now is more applied, I wouldn’t be here without the foundation that I received at the Grenfell Campus of Memorial University of Newfoundland. The professors always had an open door, put in the time and genuinely wanted us to succeed. Not only did I gain research and computing skills which I use to this day, but I also learned that great things were not out of reach.”

“Drs. Aleksandrs Aleksejevs and Svetlana Barkanova are the only two subatomic physicists in the province, both at Grenfell Campus, and I was lucky to have them as my mentors,” stated current Grenfell student Nicholas O’Neil.

“Their classroom environments allow students to be comfortable and develop confidence, along with the aspiration to become physicists. They encourage their students to network extensively and provide funded research opportunities and summer scholarships. As an Indigenous student, being funded for the summer has brought me incredible research and learning opportunities, such as working to develop theory input for an experiment at Jefferson Laboratory. Being a minority in the field can be sometimes difficult, but with the guidance of Drs. Aleksejevs and Barkanova, who is also a huge advocate for women within the STEM community, there has been an increase in the number of research opportunities and the number of physics students, so I feel much more like a part of a team now.”

“It is wonderful that Dr. Barkanova’s work and Grenfell Campus are featured so prominently in this Canadian plan. Our campus is well represented among the leaders in the world of nuclear physics.” – Dr. Michele Piercey-Normore, dean, School of Science and the Environment

Co-operation and communication

Dr. Barkanova’s integrative approach to STEM outreach (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) by combining science and culture was also highlighted, as well as a program led by her in partnership with the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council’s PromoScience, Qalipu First Nation, Parks Canada, and N.L. Hydro.

This Gros Morne partnership was highlighted in the Canadian subatomic physics plan: Parks Canada, the Grenfell Observatory and other partners presented a “Star Party” at Trout River Pond last year, led by Dr. Svetlana Barkanova, Grenfell physics professor. Submitted photo

The program features female and Indigenous role models, engages in Indigenous storytelling, discusses a wide range of career opportunities and emphasizes a diverse set of skills required in modern science, such as co-operation and communication.

“It is wonderful that Dr. Barkanova’s work and Grenfell Campus are featured so prominently in this Canadian plan,” said Dr. Michele Piercey-Normore, dean, School of Science and the Environment. “Our campus is well represented among the leaders in the world of nuclear physics.”


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.

Continue reading “NSERC Discovery Grant: A Paradigm of Illumination and Communication”

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.

Continue reading “Canadian Mining Abroad: Shaping Social Identities in Latin America”

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.

Continue reading “Interventions in Western Newfoundland’s Built Environment”

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”