Guam News - Community Events
Guam - At its Spring 2012 Commencement Ceremonies, the University of Guam conferred the first ever Presidential Thesis Award to Christine Simard, a recent Master of Science in Environmental Science graduate.
In her thesis entitled, “Analysis of Salinity in the Northern Guam Lens Aquifer,” Ms. Simard undertook a statistical analysis of the historical trends in salinity in the more than 100 production and observation wells on northern Guam. Among her findings were that three-quarters of the drinking water production wells show significant increasing trends in salinity over the past four decades.
[L-R:Dr. Ross Miller, Program Chair, Environmental Science Masters Program, Christine Simard, Presidential Thesis Award Winner, and Dr. John Jenson, Professor of Environmental Geology.]
Her most intriguing finding is that the increasing salinity trend observed across the aquifer is also found in the part of the aquifer in which the fresh water is not in contact with seawater. This suggests a meteoric and/or man-made source of salt resulting from something other than pumping. Each of these discoveries is worthy of publication in professional literature, and Ms. Simard already has made plans with her thesis advisors to publish her results.
“In addition to its inherent scientific and practical merits, this thesis is superbly written,” said Dr. Ross Miller, Program Chair, Environmental Science Masters Program. “It not only reflects the diligent and high-quality work that Ms. Simard has put into this project over the past two years, but is an indication of her personal talent as a scientist and technical writer. “
The Presidential Thesis Award is conferred to theses presented for graduate degrees. Chairs from the 15 graduate degree programs were invited to submit theses from students graduating in fall or spring 2011-2012. Ms. Simard’s thesis was selected from a total of four candidates, which were submitted for review by the Quality Review Committee of the Graduate Council. The other nominated theses were written by masters graduates Jayne Flores, Vince Manibusan, and Eunice Perez.
“This is an ideal thesis, along with those by the other three nominees, to set a benchmark standard for the new Presidential Thesis Award,” Dr. Miller said.
Ms. Simard will receive a stipend of $1,000, and each of the other three nominees will receive $100 as recognition for their excellent work.
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