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The 2020-2021 Academic year was like no other we have seen before. The COVID-19 Pandemic resulted in post secondary education going on-line. Labs and site visits were cancelled as a result of stringent Public Health Orders. For our Environmental Health students, the lack of in person learning and access to labs resulted in restricted opportunities for research projects. For the most part, lab facilities were unavailable or very limited, and in person surveys could not been completed safely. As such, students had to think outside the box in order to comply with COVID limitations. Incredible creativity resulted in projects that were important, timely and relevant. Most students conducted on-line surveys and the area of most interest was COVID 19, in particular how mental and physical health has been impacted by the pandemic. There were also studies on hand sanitizer, vaccination, and mask wearing knowledge and behaviour, kombucha and returnable/reusable food containers; to name a few.
In September 2021, students went back to in person learning. The Pandemic continues – now in its fourth wave. We hope that this is the last wave and students can get back to having all the facilities previously available to them for projects. In the meantime, we did clearly see how much can be accomplished in terms of excellence in research during a Pandemic!
Enjoy reading our 2021 Environmental Public Health research projects!
Helen Heacock, PhD