Erika Hille has received the Garfield Weston Award in Northern Research, a $50,000 cash prize, for her research on the impacts of permafrost thaw on freshwater systems.
Hille began her Ph.D. in 2019 with Queen’s University and currently serves as the Director of the Western Arctic Research Centre in Inuvik.
Her Ph.D. research project examines what factors are controlling water quality and permafrost landscapes, in addition to looking at how important permafrost thaw is to water quality.
While her research focuses on the Beaufort Delta Region, she will be comparing her results to watersheds less sensitive to permafrost thaw, such as the Apex River Watershed and the Meacham River Watershed, both in Inuvik.
Aurora College President Andy Bevan says her research is relevant to Northerners, particularly where the effects of permafrost thaw on freshwater systems are not fully understood.
“This research will generate applied knowledge in the North, for use by Northerners,” he adds.
Hille has been with Aurora College’s Aurora Research Institute for 10 years and has previously been awarded with an Alexander Graham Bell Canadian Graduate Scholarship and a POLAR Northern Resident Award.