Grand Prize

"Geochemical Rainbow" by Matt Lindsay (Arts and Science - Geological Sciences)

This photograph shows the confluence of two streams impacted by historic and modern mining on the Iberian Pyrite Belt in southwestern Spain. Mixing of acidic water from a metal-contaminated stream with more neutral water in the main river channel has produced a well-defined pH gradient. The distinct colour banding is produced by a mineral precipitation sequence that corresponds to specific pH values across this gradient. These minerals, which include jarosite (yellow), schwertmannite (red), and basaluminite (white), are important controls on dissolved metal concentrations and metal transport down stream of the confluence. Field sampling was conducted with collaborators from the Universidad de Huelva to examine the geochemistry and mineralogy of these mining-impacted waters. This research aims to improve understanding the geochemical reactions that produce these minerals, the ability of these minerals to sequester toxic metals, and the long-term stability of these minerals in the environment.

From the Field - Winner

"Snowy Saskatchewan - from the stratosphere!" by Adam Vigneron (Engineering Alumnus)

Three times higher than a jet airliner -- not bad for bachelor students! This balloons-eye view photo was taken during an April 2011 scientific ballooning campaign headed by the Department of Physics and Engineering Physics. Looking westward over Weyburn, the camera focuses on Moose Mountain Provincial Park with the Qu'appelle Valley visible on the centre-left. The experiment was designed and built by engineering physics students using consumer goods. Shielded by styrofoam and secured by an aluminum frame, the experiment collected photographs and recorded GPS and environmental data to determine the position and point-direction of each photo. The University of Saskatchewan's ballooning research continues to this day -- a recent campaign in Timmins saw the launch of prototype atmospheric instruments for a future Canadian satellite. With each launch, we are one step closer to showing the world just how much space this province can handle!

From the Field - Runner up

"Pond Plunge" by Michael Cavallaro (School of Environment and Sustainability)

This is my study pond, located in St. Denis National Wildlife Area. Here, I installed wetland enclosures to isolate columns of water. Each enclosure was dosed with an insecticide treatment. I hope to determine the effects of low-level, chronic exposure of insecticides on aquatic invertebrate life in Prairie wetlands.

More than Meets the Eye - Winner

"Plasma Chamber Music" by Adam Vigneron (Engineering Alumnus)

A highly symmetric pressure chamber is the serene setting for highly asymmetric plasma physics research. This vessel, found in the basement of the Physics building, is filled with gases at low pressures to mimic the conditions found in the upper atmosphere. The gases are heated by a large coil at the top of the chamber until they enter the fourth state of matter: a plasma. Now that the experiment is underway, the little probe on the right of the image plays a big role. This Langmuir Probe is used to profile the electrical characteristics of the plasma. From these currents and voltage, the density and temperature of the plasma electrons can be determined. This provides physical insight with a staggering number of applications; among them are telecommunications, satellite services, and the scientific understanding of the aurora and atmosphere. Science is truly a beautiful thing.

More than Meets the Eye - Runner up

"Red Fish, Blue Fish" by Connor Brenna (Medicine - Anatomy and Cell Biology)

A pair of embryonic Zebrafish appear to contemplate their contribution to science while under microscopic observation. Involved in research on the formation of bone, these fish offer insight into how manipulations of cellular communication can be used to encourage bone development. Bone is stained red, and cartilage blue, to illuminate differences in bone quantity between fish subject to varying experimental treatments at different points in time.

Community and Impact - Winner

"Working Towards a Better Education for Girls in Tanzania" by Kelsi Toews (Arts and Science - Psychology)

This is an example of the girls' dormitories at Mnara Secondary School in the Lindi/Mtwara region of Tanzania.  The dorms lack proper windows, doors, electricity, water, and beds, which are to be provided by the government.  The girls sleep 10-12 to a room with many of them sleeping on the floor, as the majority of the rooms are incomplete. Lack of sleep, personal space, and lighting to complete homework are only a few of the negative effects that these living conditions have on the girls. My research is focused on identifying factors that make it difficult for girls to excel and complete their secondary education, over and above traditional role expectations such as cooking, farming, and wood gathering. By working to identify these factors my research aims to bring awareness and resources to areas such as Mnara, to improve the quality of education, positively impact the girls' lives, and help them in their pursuit of secondary and high school education.

Community and Impact - Runner up

"How to Make Traditional Cloths (Elder Teaching Youth)" by Ranjan Datta (School of Environment and Sustainability)

Elder is teaching youth how to make traditional cloths in the Laitu Khyeng Indigenous Community, Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), Bangladesh. This photo is as part of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) dissertation to the College of Graduate Studies in the School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Saskatchewan, Canada.

Research in Action - Winner

"Soil Gas Sampling for Arctic Microbes" by Martin Brummell (Agriculture and Bioresources - Soil Science)

An array of soil gas probes have been hammered into the rocky ground of The Dome, a polar desert mountain near Alexandra Fjord on Ellesmere Island. The nalgene bottles increase the sample volume of soil gas we can analyze. Differences in concentration of carbon dioxide and other gases point to regions in the soil where microorganisms are most active. We then dig out the probes – the Pit Bag and shovel are waiting in the background - and collect soil from those regions and seal the soil in jars, so the activity can be carefully measured and the most interesting soils brought back to the lab at the University of Saskatchewan.

Research in Action - Runner up

"Busy Mom" by Émilie Bouchard (Western College of Veterinary Medicine - Veterinary Microbiology)

This research is about Toxoplasma gondii, a tiny parasite infecting a wide range of birds and mammals worldwide. It usually causes no symptoms but can cause neurological, ocular, and reproductive problems, especially if the immune system is compromised or if a mammal becomes infected while pregnant. As T. gondii can only produce eggs in the intestines of felids, which are rare in the tundra regions of the Arctic, there are other transmission mechanisms occurring. The main objective of this research is to determine major routes of transmission of this parasite in an Arctic ecosystem in Nunavut. We want to determine if the parasite is transmitted via the placenta (female foxes to the pups). To test this hypothesis, we collect and test blood samples from live-trapped adult and juvenile Arctic foxes. This research will provide important information about how Arctic people become exposed and the health effects in wildlife.

Viewers' Choice - Winner

"Creating Own God(s) Beauty" by Ranjan Datta (School of Environment and Sustainability)

Creating own God beauty, in the Rashi Para, Brahmanbaria Bangladesh. This photo is as part of pilot research for the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) dissertation to the College of Graduate Studies in the School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Saskatchewan, Canada.

Viewers' Choice - Runner up

"Traditional Ways of Collecting Drinking Water" by Ranjan Datta (School of Environment and Sustainability)

Traditional ways of collecting drinking water in the Laitu Khyeng Indigenous Community, Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), Bangladesh. This photo is as part of Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) dissertation to the College of Graduate Studies in the School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Saskatchewan, Canada.