University of Calgary

Russell Copley

  • Master's Student
  • Masters Thesis Students

Biography

I am a MSc Student in the University of Calgary's Department of Geography working under the supervision of Dr. Victoria Fast. My interests in health, geographic information sciences, critical theory, and social justice orient my studies. My research focuses on the theory and methods needed to build a spatial index score for determining the accessibility of our communities. Our society rests on a fundamental assumption that, in a democracy, we are all equal. However, there are many aspects of the built environment that actively or passively exclude people based on mental or physical ability. When people are barred from a full participation in daily life, our communities suffer as a result. Drawing attention to these spatial inequities can help address them. 

I earned a Bachelor of Arts from Simon Fraser University in 2019. I majored in geography, with a minor in health sciences. I also earned a certificate in spatial information systems: statistics, remote sensing, and geographic information sciences. My background at the intersection of healthcare and geography has enabled a richer understanding of the complex social determinants of health, and by placing an emphasis directly on the role of place in informing health, I bring the two fields of public health and geography together.

My past work points to a dedication for building stronger communities. I’ve worked in student services, as a harm-reduction and first aid worker, as a volunteer peer-educator fighting against sexual violence and have given my time in peer-mentorship programmes through organizations like the Red Cross or SFU’s libraries.

My research fits into the pattern of my life so far, and I hope that this same dedication to stronger communities can help build a stronger and kinder future.

Photograph of Russell Copley

Current Studies

  • Master's Student
    Degree: Master of Science
    Supervisor: Victoria Fast
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