Mariah Mund

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Mariah was born and raised in the Lower Mainland of BC. A volunteer trip to Kenya, where Mariah learned about water scarcity, food shortages, and the impact western civilization has on other parts of the world inspired her to pursue an environmental degree.  During her undergrad at Simon Fraser University, Mariah was inspired by Dr. Mark Jaccard to pursue a Master’s in Energy Management. Today, Mariah continues her thesis under the guidance of Dr. Jaccard, while continuing to enjoy the perks of being a British Columbia by taking advantage of nearby hiking trails and lakes and continuing to make time for friends and family.

What inspired your current research topic?
To limit climate change, global transportation systems must be changed. Our vehicles today are dominated by oil. In some parts of the world (ex. Sweden and California), we are starting to witness a transition to renewable fuels for personal vehicles. The transition in some regions, provides hope that the transition is possible everywhere. But what are we going to do with large, heavy vehicles (like freight)? The uncertainty regarding heavy vehicles is what inspired my research. We need to know how to transition heavy vehicles toward renewable fuels otherwise these vehicles will continue to be dominated by fossil fuels.

Why do you think this topic is important?
Heavy vehicles are seen as a technology that is difficult to decarbonize because they are dominated by diesel and few renewable alternatives are readily available. Furthermore, experts rarely agree on whether hydrogen, biofuels, or electricity will replace oil in heavy vehicles: My research intends to end this debate, so that experts focus on “how renewable fuels will replace oil in heavy vehicles” rather than focusing on “which renewable fuel will replace oil in heavy vehicles.”

How will the BC Graduate Scholarship, Dean’s Graduate Fellowship, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Graduate Scholarship help you achieve your research goals?
The generous support I have received from the BC Graduate Scholarship, Dean’s Graduate Fellowship, and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Graduate Scholarship shows that my research topic is important beyond my lab. This funding has given me the time to delve into complex issues fully, so that I can become a high-quality, rigorous researcher that will produce a properly researched, well-thought out project.