Sable Island Post-Secondary Award 2021

We were blown away with the quality of the proposals we received for our first ever “Inspired by Sable Island” Post-Secondary Award!

Sable Island has been inspiring people for centuries, and Friends of Sable Island keeps that tradition alive through our education program and by supporting ongoing research and promotion of the island. This new award, in partnership with Parks Canada, helps us continue to connect with the hearts and minds of the next generation of young people who will care for Sable Island National Park Reserve. And the students who applied for this award were truly inspired!

We are thrilled to introduce Grace Nissen of Acadia University as the first “Inspired by Sable Island” award winner for her proposal titled “Study of the freshwater lens on Sable Island”. The Review Committee was very impressed with her application and rated her most highly on viability and clarity. She demonstrated a good depth of research on the topic, strong support from within her academic community, and a high level of collaboration with other researchers – specifically the Dalhousie Groundwater Lab. Most importantly, she clearly articulated the benefit of her activities to the future of Sable Island for which climate change is the primary risk.

Grace’s proposal summary can be found below. She received $500 and a daytrip to Sable Island National Park Reserve with Parks Canada. We look forward to sharing the results of her trip to Sable Island.

This award is funded through our Membership Program. Please consider becoming a member or gifting a membership. See more at

Study of the freshwater lens on Sable Island

Proposal Summary

Grace Nissen

Acadia University

I am currently completing the final semester of my Environmental Science degree at Acadia University. My goal is to be able to make a difference in protecting the environment and combating climate change. I have had the wonderful experience of working for Natural Resources Canada during my past three coop terms. During my time working for the Geological Survey of Canada, I have developed an interest in marine geology and I envision pursuing a future career in this field. The co-op program at Acadia has helped me to discover an area of study that I feel passionate about working in. The lasting impact of the receiving this award would be to provide important data about the freshwater lens of Sable Island. The information would contribute to the current research program under the direction of Julia Cantelon and Barret Kurylyk. The data would build upon the foundational and ground breaking hydrogeology characterization that is already in place on Sable Island. The Sable Island ecosystem relies so heavily on the freshwater lens that it is critical that we understand the risks and work to support its preservation.