SFU Environmental Science Honours Three Outstanding Graduates

July 28, 2022

This month, SFU School of Environmental Science recognized the outstanding work of three graduating students from the Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 batch and honoured their significant academic and extra-curricular contributions by awarding them a gift certificate for books valued at $150.

The SFU Alton Harestad Book Award not only celebrates the work of highly successful graduating students that reflects the university's commitment to taking a risk and embracing new opportunities but also honours Professor Alton Harestad. 

Dr. Harested was not only a leading faculty member in the Biological Sciences at Simon Fraser University but also part of the successful creation and operation of the Environmental Science program. The Environmental Science program has now grown to become one of the most successful of its kind in Canada, home to 150+ students.

From being one of SFU's newest science departments to conducting life-changing research on climate change and at-risk habitats, the SFU Environmental Science program continues to achieve significant new milestones.

This year's award celebrated the work of Hannah Deppiesse, an outstanding academic; Elise Carelse, a future environmental scientist passionate about community engagement and stewardship; and Zoey Schutz, an emerging pioneer in Environmental and Indigenous law.

Meet the Award Winners

Hannah Deppiesse, an outstanding academic and explorer

I learned a lot during my time at SFU, not only academically but also practically. While SFU did an amazing job helping me develop my academic skills, my knowledge extends beyond the lecture halls. My experiences at SFU Environmental Science furthered my understanding of the importance of time management, communication, and teamwork, which are skills that I will undoubtedly carry over into the real world with me. I plan on gaining some work experience over the next couple of years while volunteering in the community and returning to school to pursue a Master's degree. I am excited to see what the future holds for me as an SFU Environmental Science graduate.

Elise Carelse, a future environmental scientist 

I enjoyed pursuing my love for biology and the outdoors through the Environmental Science degree. Throughout my time at SFU, I connected with many amazing profs, TAs, and fellow students who made classes engaging and helped build a sense of community. My favorite classes included ones with hands-on components or outdoor fieldwork. For the environmental science capstone, my group wrote a proposal for community engagement on green rainwater infrastructure. I am excited to apply my knowledge at a local non-profit focused on environmental stewardship. 

Zoey Schuts, an emerging pioneer in environmental law

My passion for the environment has been life-long, and while I always envisioned myself going into a career that helped the environment somehow, I didn't know what that would look like. My time at SFU allowed me to learn about and experience different career possibilities in environmental science and to get a feel for what may be right for me. In my third year, I took an environmental law course and realized that a career in law could allow me to follow my environmental passion and utilize my scientific background while also addressing the social justice issues I care for. I am beyond excited to be entering the Law program at the University of Victoria this fall, where I plan to pursue environmental and Indigenous law.

Hannah, Elise, and Zoey are some of the many SFU environmental science students that have received awards for their extraordinary work. Check out our scholarship and funding opportunities here