Sarah Thompson

Name: Sarah Thompson


Hometown: Whitehorse, Yukon

Education: BSc in Civil Engineering with a specialization in Energy and Environment (University of Calgary)

Thesis: Pathogen Removal in Arctic Wastewater Stabilization Ponds

Research Group: Nunavut Wastewater Treatment (

Abstract: Wastewater treatment systems in Canada's North must be upgraded to minimize risk to environmental and human health. Wastewater stabilization ponds are a viable treatment option in northern communities, but these systems are relatively understudied in terms of performance under arctic conditions with short summers, low temperature and extended photoperiod. It is expected that there is a strong relationship between sunlight penetration, algae growth and pathogen removal during the summer treatment season. Also, the long, extreme arctic winters are expected to affect the microbial community, particularly pathogen survival. I plan to investigate how arctic specific environmental conditions impact the microbial/algal community and to quantify this impact on pathogen removal.