At the University of Manitoba, Dr. Oakes studies the relationships between people and the environment, and teaches aviation geography. She has more than 100 publications, and is currently working on an exhibition of circumpolar footwear for the Bata Shoe Museum in Toronto. Promoting, educating and inspiring women into aviation-related activities is Jill’s primary passion, with support from the academic and aviation community. Two years ago, Jill facilitated the donation of Cessna 150, C-FLUG to the 99’s, making it more financially feasible for women pilots to time-build toward their commercial license. She manages the club plane along with a team of volunteers, including an AME, and airline pilots committed to increasing the number of women in the industry.
Jill also regularly organizes events inviting women to go flying and attend classes, preparing them to write their pilot learner permit exams, for free; making them eligible for flight training scholarships. To support women aviators at all levels, Jill is instrumental in establishing numerous Manitoba 99s Scholarships, including the Club Plane, Ground School, and Broadening Horizons Scholarships. This year these scholarships were presented to 17 women pilots, from beginners starting ground school to women preparing to be hired by the airlines.