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Greater Essex County District School Board
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High School Student Aids University Research

​​Ben Chittle sitting in fron of computer screens.jpgBen Chittle is in Grade 12 at Riverside Secondary School but he already has a taste of university life and has done work at the post-graduate level.

As a student in the Environment Specialist High Skill Major program, Ben needed an industry-relevant co-op placement in order to earn his red seal. This past summer he landed a spot with a team of graduate students doing environmental research at the University of Windsor and he did more than just tag along for the experience.

Ben wrote a computer program for the team that helped them better interpret data from ground-penetrating radar surveys at St. John's cemetery in west Windsor. The project was aimed at looking for unmarked graves.

As well, Ben, using his considerable computer programming skills, helped another team of researchers analyze data collected from an airplane by a laser-based mapping system called LiDAR. His work is helping provide important insights into what controls dunes along beaches and how they recover following large storms. His codes are being used by UWindsor grad students currently in PEI surveying the damage from Hurricane Dorian. It will also be used in an international conference presentation that will be given at the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.

Dr. Chris Houser, Dean of the UW Faculty of Science says, "Ben was an amazing student and took the lead on analyzing the data and building the code that was needed by our group. It was great work."

Ben will graduate from Riverside next June, but the SHSM program has given him​ a head start on his post-secondary education.