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Ms. Anne St. Clair receives Dean’s Convocation Medal
As one of SFU's most outstanding graduate students from the Faculty of Environment, Anne St. Clair is being recognized with the Dean of Graduate Studies Convocation Medal. On behalf of SFU, we congratulate Ms. St. Clair as well as all Convocation Medal recipients on their outstanding achievements.
For her master's thesis, St. Clair identified patterns in how backcountry recreationists incorporate avalanche bulletin information into their travel decisions. She used those patterns to establish different types of recreational users based on how they process the information. With the typology in mind, she applied educational hierarchies of learning to offer stage-based solutions for communicating avalanche hazard to different users. Her research offers important prescriptive insights to better understand and address a wide range in audience comprehension with risk communication design.
St. Clair’s research gained interest and curiosity within Canadian and international avalanche safety communities as well as at SFU. Her findings were presented at several industry meetings and forecaster training sessions as well as provided to Avalanche Canada, a supporting partner on the project.
Dr. Pascal Haegeli shares enthusiasms for St. Clair's research by stating, "Ms. St. Clair's combination of intelligence, broad academic training, natural curiosity, aptitude to acquire new skills, dedication, and organizational skills have led to a tremendously exciting research outcome that will change how avalanche risk is communicated in Canada and around the world for years to come.”
Says St. Claire, “I am sincerely grateful to all who contributed to this study, especially to the interview participants, to my supportive research colleagues and dedicated supervisor, Dr. Pascal Haegeli, and to the engaged professional community.”
Anne St. Clair works with Avalanche Canada as a public avalanche forecaster. With the support of a Graduate Dean’s Entrance Scholarship, she is continuing her doctoral studies at SFU. For her PhD studies, she aims to improve the collective understanding of avalanche knowledge systems across Canada's diverse mountain communities to help risk communications resonate most effectively with all Canadians impacted by avalanche hazard. By engaging in Indigenous-led research collaborations, St. Clair is eager to contribute to more targeted, equitable, and effective communication strategies for complex environmental risks.
Written by Candice Chic