The world needs to hear and make space for a diversity of opinions and ways of seeing problems to improve our environment, health, and technologies for today and the future.
Dr. Dena McMartin is a leading researcher in rural water management and will be appointed the University of Lethbridge's new Vice-President Research July 2021. She holds a Bachelor of Agriculture and Bioresource Engineering, as well as a master's and PhD in Environmental Engineering from the University of Saskatchewan.
What is your area of study?
I study water quality and quantity and how climate change is impacting both.
What excites you about science?
I love that every discovery leads to more questions and a new way of seeing the world around us. There’s always something new to learn and someone new to learn with.
What sparked your interest in science?
I grew up in a small town where there is a lake that is culturally and medically important to plains Indigenous people. It’s also some of the most dense and complex water in the world. I had to learn more about what makes that water unique and why it’s found at Manitou Beach, Saskatchewan.
Tell us about the first time you felt really excited about what you were learning in science.
My parents are both teachers and we spent a lot of time talking about history and geography and how both are connected with how we view the natural environment. Those conversations and the experiences they provided to me were always so exciting. And they still are!
What do you hope to accomplish through your scientific research and/or work?
I have so many goals. I want to improve affordable, safe ways to treat drinking water for rural, remote, resort and reserve communities. I want to enhance designs that protect our communities during floods and droughts. And I want to see remediation of oilsands tailings ponds back to a natural state.
What words of inspiration would you like to share with the next generation of women & girls in science?
We can do anything we can dream. The world needs to hear and make space for a diversity of opinions and ways of seeing problems to improve our environment, health, and technologies for today and the future. Your ideas matter. Your voice is important.