URISA Alberta is committed to fostering GIS-related education in Alberta.

To promote student involvement in the URISA Alberta community and recognize students excelling in GIS coursework and research, we offer a graduate scholarship, fund undergraduate awards, and we have also sponsored a junior high geospatial project!

All students are strongly encouraged to present their projects at a luncheon in Edmonton or Calgary, which will provide networking opportunities with geospatial professionals. Please contact Teresa at for information on our scholarships. Otherwise, contact Kristin at for details on presenting your project.  

Application Process: Submit your formatted application by June 15, 2024 via email to Teresa at for adjudication by URISA Alberta executive and select members. All masters or doctoral students undertaking research in GIS and/or remote sensing within the past year at a higher educational institution in Alberta, Saskatchewan, or Manitoba are eligible to apply. The submission must be a 4-page PDF and include the following:

  • Cover page with the project title, your full name, supervisor name, degree program (MA, MGIS, MSc, PhD, etc.), department, educational institution, and a 50-word biography that includes your future career goal
  • Maximum 500-word paper (two pages) describing the problem and solution
  • Map(s) to support your project (one page)

Value: $300 awarded to first place and a guaranteed slot to present at an upcoming Student Showcase lunch hour webinar. Also, the top three submissions receive a one-year URISA Alberta student membership and publication of their projects on the URISA Alberta website. Scholarship award will be granted only if two or more submissions are received by the URISA Alberta scholarship reviewing committee.



  • 2022-2023
    • No award
  •  2021-2022
    • 1st place: Simita Biswas, University of Alberta, “Development of Weather Responsive and Spatiotemporally Optimal RWIS Planning and Management Strategies”
    • 2nd place: Ajarat Adegun, University of Manitoba, “Higher COVID-19 Rates in Manitoba’s First Nations Compared to Non-First Nations Linked to Limited Infrastructure on Reserves”
  •  2020-2021
    • 1st place: Amirbahador Mansoori, University of Manitoba, “Development of Short Back-Fire Antennas and Electromagnetic Modeling Techniques for Remote Sensing of Oil-Contaminated Sea Ice”
    • 2nd place: Milad Nazarahari, University of Alberta,  “Development of novel wearable sensor technology for walking training toward functional restoration of stroke survivors”
  • 2019-2020
    • No award
  •  2018-2019
    • 1st place: Amr Shalkamy, University of Alberta, “Assessment of Available Sight Distance and Identification of Road Collision Causes using Remote Sensing Technology and ArcGIS Tools”
    • 2nd place: Shafiqul Islam, University of Alberta,  “Optimal Siting of Municipal Solid Waste to Energy Conversion Facilities using GIS-Based Framework”
    • 3rd place: Simita Biswas, University of Alberta, “Use of Space-Time Semivariogram Models Towards Developing Guidelines for a Region-Wide RWIS Network Implementation using Big Data”
  • 2017-2018
    • 1st place: Nima Karimi, University of Regina, “Multi-criteria spatial analysis of regionalized waste facilities in Saskatchewan using ArcGIS”
    • 2nd place: Liz Huayta-Hernani, University of Alberta, “Assessing road sediment production in the Livingstone Watershed”
    • 3rd place: Federico Riva, University of Alberta, “Distribution of cranberry blue butterflies (Agriades optilete) and their responses to natural and anthropogenic disturbances: what really matters?”

Applicants may reapply every year that they are a graduate student, but previous first place winners will be eligible to be selected for only another one-year student membership.May 31

Application Process: Submit the Continuing Undergraduate Awards application available in the online Student Centre through the MyUofC portal.

Value: $250 to $1100


  • 2022-2023: Ali Kara, Bachelor of Science (Geography), Faculty of Arts
  • 2021-2022: Hing Wai Wong
  • 2020-2021: Maria Le
  • 2019-2020: Alison Kolodnicki 
  • 2018-2019: Jeffrey Plett
  • 2017-2018: Jaron Swain
  • 2016-2017: Luke Bungay
  • 2015-2016: Christine Nesbitt
  • 2014-2015: Colton Allan Grant
  • 2013-2014: Kyle Chau
  • 2012-2013: Luxi Li
  • 2011-2012: Gregor Cuddeback
  • 2010-2011: Nina Connors
  • 2009-2010: Rebecca Hansen
  • 2008-2009: Kellie Dearden
  • 2007-2008: Victoria Walker
  • 2006-2007: Krystal Chin
  • 2005-2006: Benjamin Giesbrecht
  • 2004-2005: Brent Else
  • 2003-2004: Jennifer Talerico
  • 2002-2003: Matthew Sheldrake
  • 2001-2002: Anoop Pullivelli
  • 2000-2001: Joshua Goertzen
  • 1999-2000: Curtis Kemppainen
  • 1998-1999: Andrew Davison
  • 1997-1998: Russell Bruder
  • 1996-1997: Graham Gerylo
  • 1995-1996: Agnes Tokarczyk
  • 1994-1995: Christine Earl
  • 1993-1994: Sara Masterson

Application Process: Nomination by the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences after completing EAS 221 and EAS 351.

Value: $250


  • 2018-2019: Libby Tunney
  • 2017-2018: Tenea Dillman
  • 2016-2017: Allison Rubin
  • 2015-2016: Nicole Bonnett
  • 2014-2015: Lucas Sherwin
  • 2013-2014: Rebecca Himsl
  • 2012-2013: Alan Shapiro
  • 2011-2012: Jake Muffly
  • 2010-2011: No award
  • 2009-2010: Natasha Jmaeff
  • 2009-2010: Jennifer McGetrick
  • 2008-2009: No award
  • 2007-2008: Maureen Stonehouse
  • 2006-2007: No award
  • 2005-2006: Justin Bairnes
  • 2004-2005: No award
  • 2003-2004: Erin Doxsey-Whitfield
  • 2002-2003: Catherine Gold
  • 2001-2002: Shasta Rudyk
  • 2000-2001: Mei Mei Chong
  • 1999-2000: Inian Moorthy
  • 1998-1999: Jared Hewko
  • 1997-1998: Erik de Groot

Application Process: Nomination by the Department of Geography for highest academic achievement and positive contribution and involvement in GEOG 3740 (see page 57).

Value: $500


  • 2020-2021: Nicole Byford
  • 2019-2020: Ryan Demkiw
  • 2018-2019: Emily Jones
  • 2017-2018: Kailyn Nelson
  • 2016-2017: Trevor Deering
  • 2015-2016: Bryan Ogden

As part of URISA Alberta’s commitment to fostering educational opportunities in Alberta, the URISA Alberta Executive recently agreed to sponsor the SABLE Project for a 3 year term.

One of the extra-curricular projects offered at Sir George Simpson School in St. Albert, Alberta is known as SABLE (St. Albert Balloon Launch Experiment). Students involved with SABLE work collaboratively with one another and staff to experience science through the field of high altitude ballooning. Students decide on, and design, projects that use small payloads (usually under 1 kg. ), which are then carried into near space by high altitude weather balloons. Students track and recover their payloads with a combination of VHF radio and GPS. Often times, payloads include cameras and small simple experiments. Children and adults alike are always amazed and excited with these high altitude balloon projects. These projects take theory from a textbook and make it hands on with a tangible outcome. We take great satisfaction in knowing that we are part of a process which brings science alive, excites kids and goes where no student has gone before!!

SABLE’s 3 year plan is to launch and recover a rockoon (rocket launched from a near space balloon platform). One of SABLE’s goals is to have the rockoon reach a maximum altitude of 200,000 feet.

Please see the following links:

An example of the tracking technology we use:

SABLE 5 video on You Tube. There are some interesting shots from various altitudes. The video is 8 minutes in length including credits. Be sure to watch for the burst!!

New release –  SABLE 7 video.

  • Jill Muirhead, Bachelor of Applied Technology Geographic Information Systems