As Editor-in-Chief of Land, it gives me great pleasure to announce the three winners of the 2020 Travel Award sponsored by Land. Given the abundance of outstanding applicants, the award committee had to take particular care and consideration when deciding upon the winners.
The Travel Award was granted to Dr. Cynthia Isley, Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Department, Macquarie University, Australia; Ms. Tzu-Hsin Karen Chen, Ph.D. student in the Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University, Denmark; and Ms. Rebecca Riggs, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences, Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia, Canada.
Dr. Cynthia Isley’s research aims to identify and reduce contaminant exposure, benefiting society through providing scientifically tested advice to citizens living in contaminated areas. As well as being involved in the citizen science programs VegeSafe and DustSafe, which are focused on broadening community knowledge of contaminants and promoting safe gardening practices, Dr. Isley is investigating the most effective methods to remove perfluorinated substances (PFAS) from contaminated groundwater, an emerging global environmental concern of great significance to health and economic development.
Ms. Tzu-Hsin Karen Chen seeks to reveal the impacts of urban environmental changes on people’s health outcomes across the life course. Her work is characterized a synergy of machine learning, remote sensing, and human geography. In her current project, she is using Landsat time-series and deep learning approaches to investigate urban densification in Denmark and mental health trajectories during the rural–urban migration process. In her ongoing and future research, she is keen to understand how medium-sized cities transit, and how their influences on human well-being differ in European countries compared to the Global South.
Ms. Rebecca Riggs seeks to contribute to understanding the drivers of change in rural forest landscapes and the opportunities for sustainable development. For her doctoral research, Rebecca examined forest landscapes in Cambodia to understand local perceptions and institutional leverage points for nurturing landscape transitions for prosperity and sustainability. She is interested in how systems approaches support evidence-based decision making, including identifying social and environmental trade-offs and communicating evidence to decision-makers. Through her work, Rebecca hopes to demonstrate the value of place-based sustainability science and the importance of engaging with people in landscapes where changes are occurring.
The prize consists of 800 Swiss Francs each to support travel for attendance at an academic conference in 2020 or 2021. To encourage the passion of young researchers and enable their attendance at academic conferences, we rewarded three researchers in total.
The standard of applicants for this award was exceptionally high, with each exemplifying innovative practice and interesting approaches toward addressing land-based research issues. All of the shortlisted applicants would have been worthy recipients of this year’s travel award. This made the final decision difficult, and we would like to thank all applicants for submitting details of what was, collectively, a diverse and fascinating range of research topics. Finally, we wish to congratulate the winners on their accomplishments.
Prof. Dr. Andrew Millington