Mapping his future

Jun 13, 2002, vol. 24, no. 4
By Marianne Meadahl

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You could say Peter Schaub (left) mapped his life out at an early age.

That's when Schaub, the recipient of the dean's convocation medal in the faculty of arts, first began sketching his interpretations of space and the environment.

“I have been hand drawing detailed maps of fictitious and real places, on one-metre sheets of paper, for most of my life,” says Schaub, who completed an honours degree in environmental geography. His stellar academic record includes 18 marks of A+.

“In fact, this first allowed me to articulate my understanding of space and my interest in design.”

Before completing his degree, Schaub began work as a cartographer at UBC's centre for health services and policy research, where he designed the recently released 144-page British Columbia Health Atlas.

He is currently on leave and working with researchers at the University of Calgary's department of community health sciences. Researchers are tracking the effect of income inequality and other socioeconomic factors, such as housing and urban stress, on population health.

Using his expertise in geographic information science, Schaub is assisting researchers to determine why people in some areas are healthier and more satisfied with life than in others.

Schaub says his grounding in geography has opened doors to a wide range of opportunities. Specifically, he's concerned with the effects of forest policy on single-industry towns in B.C., which was the topic of his honours essay, and the effects of human attitudes toward nature.

“Geography is an integrative environmental discipline,” he suggests. “It provides our eyes and ears in a world where place matters.”

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