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The Ontario Chapter of SWCS is happy to announce that the Award Committee has selected Meaghan Mechler as this year's recipient of the A.D. Latornell Award of Merit for 2016.

Meaghan Mechler
2016 A.D. Latornell Award of Merit winner

Meaghan Mechler is beginning her Masters of Geography and Environmental Management, studying soil biogeochemistry at the University of Waterloo where she completed a joint honours degree in Biology, and Environment & Resource Studies. She has been “passionate about studying soils and agriculture since her second year of undergrad” and found herself taking numerous water, soil, botany, and microbiology courses. Meaghan is excited about soils, in particular agricultural soils, and the strong influence soil management and health can have on both water and air quality. “Soil degradation is an issue of serious importance” to her and she would “advocate that many others would reflect upon soil impacts in their work so that a larger quantity and diversity of solutions to soil degradation could be found”.

Apart from her studies, Meaghan has been analyzing the soil quality on her family’s organically-managed farm and designing a soil-building permaculture experiment to conserve the land, biodiversity, and spring-fed creeks on the property. For many years Meaghan has been involved with the County of Wellington Green Legacy program. There she contributed in many ways to the planting of trees for buffer zones and living windbreaks, as well as teaching school children about local biodiversity and resource conservation. Meaghan hopes this award will provide opportunities for networking to connect her to SWCS and other resources to further her education and studies, but as importantly to discover ways she can develop and contribute her evolving skills to projects in the soil and water conservation community.

Congratulations Meaghan!

Students, if you would like support for your outstanding conservation and environmental studies? Please apply for the A.D. Latornell Award of Merit - SWCS Ontario wants to help you!

Each year, SWCS Ontario presents a student with the A.D. Latornell Award of Merit. The Arthur D. Latornell Award of Merit Program celebrates Mr. Latornell’s commitment and service to our Society. Art was involved in virtually every aspect of resource conservation during his lifetime and was a role model for many beginning a career in conservation. He took particular interest in the mentoring and development of promising young people in the conservation field. He was President of the SWCS in 1978 and filled many Ontario Chapter Executive positions.

Winners of this Award receive:

  • A full year membership to SWCS,
  • A cash award of $600, and
  • Registration to attend one day at the Latornell Conservation Symposium (www.latornell.ca), Ontario’s premier environmental conference, and the dinner at which the Award is presented (Tuesday, November 15, 2016).The Latornell Conservation Symposium is a three day event held November 15-17, 2016 in Alliston, Ontario

Scholarship Application Form

Amy Lanford, Wanhong Yang
Amy Langford received the SWCS Ontario's 2015 award of merit from Prof. Wanhong Yang 19 November 2015 in Alliston.

Congratulations to Amy Langford, a 4th year University of Guelph Environmental Engineering student, for being the recipient of SWCS Ontario's Arthur D. Latornell Award of Merit. We are very pleased to award this important award to such a deserving person. Prof. Wanhong Yang presented the award prize and certificate at the 2015 A. D. Latornell Conference in Alliston on 17 November. Prof. Yang is SWCS Ontario's representative to the conference organizing committee.

Amy is very committed to water management in Ontario. Amy revived the University of Guelph Student Chapters for the Water Environment Association of Ontario (WEAO) and the Ontario Water Works Association (OWWA).  Amy is currently leading a team of executive student chapter members to grow the membership of the University of Guelph student population. The Guelph Chapters' goal is to facilitate the knowledge transfer from seasoned professionals in the water and wastewater industry to students interested in water conservation. Part of the activities include organizing events, plant tours and inviting industry guest speakers to increase awareness of water/wastewater issues and treatment methods while emphasizing the need to protect Ontario source water.

Amy's most recent co-op position was at the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs in the Environmental Management Branch in Guelph. Her work included gathering expert knowledge on Ontario's phosphorus sources inventory and increase awareness of the need to quantify agricultural phosphorus flows. She presented the preliminary results of the project to quantify Ontario's phosphorus inventory at the Grey to Green Conference at Ryerson University (June 2015). Amy also developed a visual representation of energy, water and composting resources of a farm with an interactive Google Earth model.

In addition to describing her professional and volunteer activities for the Award application, Amy also completed two brief, thoughtful essays about her education and her ideas about soil and water conservation.