Student Voices

Three Minute Thesis 2013: Blake Byron Walker, Geography

June 01, 2013

SFU's Three Minute Thesis finals took place on March 6, 2013. Blake Byron Walker (Canada), Geography, spoke on "Spatial-Temporal Dimensions of Violent Injury in Urban Environments."

Blake's Master's research, under this year's Excellence in Graduate Supervision award winner Dr. Nadine Schuurman, focused on violence as a public health issue, exploring how we can use geographic information systems to make our cities safer.

In the year 2012 in Vancouver, there were over 35,000 reported violent crimes, not to mention the numerous unreported incidents. His research, under the supervision of Dr Nadine Schuurman, uses data collected in trauma hospitals to identify hotspots of violent injury in Vancouver. Using geographic information systems (GIS), he examined patterns in space, time, the built environment, victim age and sex, and weapon used to refine our understanding of the spaces in which urban violence takes place.

Blake is continuing towards a PhD at SFU in the GIS and health research lab, shifting into cancer research and population health, with the hope of discovering some of the ways in which people can live well in the face of health challenges.

Congratulations to Blake for receiving the Dean's Convocation Medal for being one of the top graduating students in 2012–13!

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