Graduate Students

Veronica Mauel

Title: Knowledge Mobilization towards Environmental Sustainability 

Description: My research is part of a larger project in the Slave River Delta that looks at existing efforts toward communicating scientific findings from monitoring programs to the broader community. I will look at what tools are currently available and whether or how they can be improved. I am also interested in looking at how these processes are related to decision-making and used by knowledge users in the local community.


Razak AbuRazak

Title: Assessing the links between water, animals and people in the Saskatchewan River Delta

Description: My research is part of a larger project that seeks to assess the links between water, animals, and people in the Saskatchewan River Delta. Specifically, my focus is to document indigenous knowledge about the delta, and the socio-ecological changes resulting from the building of the E.B. Campbell dam in 1963. I seek to also explore the implications of altered ecosystems for long-time adaptation and wellbeing of the Aboriginal peoples in the region. The Saskatchewan River Delta is the largest inland delta in North America, located in the central lowlands of Canada, spanning the Saskatchewan/Manitoba border. It covers an area of about 10,000km2, and it is an important area for birds as well as diverse and abundant wildlife. It is also home to about 13, 000 people, 2/3 of whom are Aboriginals – Metis and First Nations. In the 1960s, two large hydro dams – the E.B. Campbell and Grand Rapids – were built on rivers associated with the delta, altering the natural flow and flood regimes. However, the impact of such hydro dam development is less studied. The study aims to employ a community-based participatory approach by allowing Aboriginal peoples who use the local resource, and who have lived on the land for a long time, to direct the research. It is hoped that through a better integration of both indigenous and western perspectives on land use and development, a better assessment of the impacts of hydro development will be achieved. The findings of the study are intended to guide policies on land use and development in Canada, and to inform sustainable and ecologically sound management practices.



Felicitas Egunyu


Originally from Uganda, Felicitas holds a B.Sc degree from Makerere University, a from ITC Twenty University and a Master of Environmental Studies from Wilfred Laurier University.

Felicitas is interested in social learning in environmental organisations. Specifically she hopes to use social network analysis to investigate social learning in forestry related environmental organisations in Canada and Uganda. Her research intends to describe the governance networks of the environmental organisations; explore the learning opportunities that are available within the networks; identify the types of learning that takes place amongst the environmental organisations; and extract lessons learnt to share within the larger networks of the environmental organisations.


Colleen George

imageTitle: Exploring Just Sustainability in a Canadian Context: An Investigation of Environmental Governance Strategies

Description: My current research interests critically explore aspects of the relationship between humans and the environment with a particular focus on justice and equality.  I am currently exploring the concept of 'just sustainability', which highlights an egalitarian conception of sustainable development, combining the environment justice movement and the sustainability paradigm. I am interested in how institutions, organizations, social movements, and public policies address environmental issues in their governance strategies.  Finally, I am interested in the discourse of oppression relating to environmental issues, including racist, feminist, and indigenous inquiries.


Sarah Welter Sarah Welter

Title: Aboriginal engagement and adaptive capacity: two important components for achieving sustainable forest management in the Prince Albert Model Forest.

Description:  My research focuses on Aboriginal engagement with the Prince Albert Model Forest (PAMF) in Saskatchewan. It will also attempt to look at a link between engagement and adaptive capacity by using Beardy's and Okemasis First Nation, a member of the PAMF, as a case study for adaptive capacity. The PAMF has been part of the Canadian Model Forest Network (renamed the Forest Communities Program in 2007) since 1992. This particular model forest strives for sustainable forest management through collective and collaborative engagement, participation and activities. I hope that my research will be able to provide the PAMF with additional information regarding Aboriginal participation and engagement and could lead to changes to help enhance that engagement. Also, this research could allow for capacity building for the Beardy's and Okemasis community by allowing members to define their own capacity needs and requirements, and examine their existing capacity strengths. The research plan will be done in a way as to enhance community interests, goals and aspirations and as a result, key individuals and actions may be identified that could help to deal with changes. I have been and will be engaging and giving back to the community by participating in youth programs and activities.



Astri Buchanan Astri

Title: The Influence of Gender on Adaptive Capacity: A case study from a Swedish reindeer herding community 

Description: Numerous studies have been conducted with regard to adaptive capacity and its ability to enhance community resilience in the face of change, and much of this research has to do with aboriginal and northern peoples. However, research involving the reindeer herding Sami of Northern Sweden and the adaptive capacity of their communities, particularly given the uncertainties they face regarding their social milieu in Swedish society, their means and ease of economic participation and the broad pressures associated with a changing environment, have not been studied in great detail. Specifically, studies about adaptive capacity at the community level generally regard communities as a homogenous entity, with little attention paid to the differing contributions of men and women to the adaptive capacity of their community as a whole. For this reason, my research concentrates on the need for research that addresses the changing context of Sami pastoralist life in Sweden with particular sensitivity to the roles men and women play in relation to community adaptive capacity. It asks, what are the contributions made by men and women respectively to the adaptive capacity of a Swedish reindeer herding community overall? My research aims to provide new insights and recommendations regarding the pursuit of traditional indigenous lifestyles in a changing global, national and regional context. As a result, tools for assessing and supporting community adaptive capacity that take advantage of the different contributions men and women make in this process will be recommended (where possible). Furthermore, a greater understanding of the meaning of adaptive capacity to a reindeer herding community will be achieved. Finally, it is the goal of this research to inform and improve decision-making and management practices surrounding community adaptation to climate change, not only in Sweden, but at the international level as well.



Hardi Shahadu Hardi Shahadu

Title: Adaptive Fire Management and Global Change: Analysis of the Diffusion of Innovations in fire management Institutions in Western Canada 

Description: My research forms part of a larger research project on collaborative resource governance in Canada. My study seeks to explain the emergence and diffusion of innovative wildfire policy and management practices and how these are enhancing institutional resilience and fostering learning within the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Specifically, I am interested in investigating how, why and where wildfire management and policy innovative practices are being adopted as tools for managing wildfire risks. Increasing costs, expansion of human settlements in the wildland-urban-interface and projected increase in fire events, severity and intensity due to climate change, challenge wildfire policy and management in significant ways, particularly in North America. Understanding these innovations and how they are diffusing to other jurisdiction can offer beneficial learning tools for other regions currently facing challenges in managing wildland fire.


Prof. M.G. Reed • School of Environment and Sustainability and Department of Geography and Planning • University of Saskatchewan • Room 328, Kirk Hall • 117 Science Place • Saskatoon, SK • Canada • S7N 5C8 • Email • Phone: (306) 966-5630 • Fax: (306) 966-2298