50th Anniversary

Fifty inspiring alumni: David Mark, Nola Markey and Oliver Love

November 06, 2015
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As part of SFU's celebrations to mark the University's 50th Anniversary, the Office of Graduate Studies & Postdoctoral Fellows asked graduate program staff, faculty and retirees to choose the top 50 most inspiring graduate students from the more than 22,000 who have earned graduate degrees from SFU in the last five decades. 

David Mark, MA ’70, PhD ‘77, geography

Helping to establish an entire discipline would be a pretty amazing feat for any academic. David Mark did it twice. An SFU charter student, Mark is currently a SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Buffalo.

He was one of the pioneering academics that helped develop Geographic Information Science (GIS) and recently kick-started another groundbreaking field called ethnophysiography. This field examines how language and culture are related to people’s native conceptualizations of the physical space. 

Nola Markey, MA ’01, sociology and anthropology

Nola Markey is helping Aboriginal groups in Canada protect and take control over their cultural and environmental resources. She leads the Crane Heritage Research consultancy and has worked for more than 15 years as a cultural anthropologist and archaeologist.

Markey, a Saulteaux member of the O-Chi-Chak-Ko-Sipi First Nation, conducts archaeological assessments and traditional land use studies with First Nations groups to ensure their heritage is preserved during resource-management development projects such as mining or hydro. 

Oliver Love, PhD ’07, biological sciences

According to National Geographic News, climate models predict that the Arctic’s permafrost could be almost entirely melted by the end of the century. However, predicting the future of the wildlife that depends on it is a little trickier. Luckily, Oliver Love is on it.

Love is a professor and a Canada Research Chair in Integrative Ecology at the University of Windsor’s Department of Biological Sciences. His research examines the role of environmental stressors in shaping population health in our northern-most climate.