My research focuses on the intersection between risk, culture and environment within the context environmental change resulting from climate change and resource development. Given the coupled character of social and ecological systems, it is not sufficient to investigate environmental change from a singular disciplinary approach or without regard for the communities who are most affected by these changes. Thus, my research is informed by an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approach involving the social and biophysical sciences as well as community and First Nations partners.
- Risk, Culture and Environmental Decision-Making
- Indigenous Knowledge, Governance and Sovereignty
- Socio-Cultural Dimensions of Climate Change
- Water Governance and Management
- Community-Based Monitoring
- Social and Environmental Impact Assessment
My doctoral research will focus on First Nations concerns about the effects of resource development on the waters within their traditional territories. I will conduct a case study of community knowledge and responses to risks to water in order to understand the factors that contribute to First Nations perceptions of risk and how communities are working to address these concerns both locally and within broader governance processes. This research will be conducted in collaboration with the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council and four Yukon First Nation partners (Carcross/Tagish, Kluane, Trond’ek Hwech’in and White River First Nations).
Community-Based Research in the Yukon River Basin
I am Co-PI on a series of three Community-Based Research project with the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council and five Yukon First Nation partners. These multidisciplinary projects document First Nation concerns about the impacts of climate change and contaminants on water and develop a Community-Based Water Quality Monitoring network. Details about these projects are listed below:
Research project titled “First Nation Climate Change Policy: A regional, Indigenous approach to climate change adaptation, health and water governance” Awarded by Health Canada, Climate Change and Health Adaptation Program for Northern First Nations and Inuit Communities 2012-2013. Lead-PI and Co-PIs: Edda Mutter, Shannon Donovan and Nicole Wilson.
Research project titled “Climate Adaptation Strategies: An Intergenerational Effort to Combine Indigenous Knowledge and Western Science.” Awarded by Health Canada, Climate Change and Health Adaptation Program for Northern First Nations and Inuit Communities 2012-2013. Lead-PI and Co-PIs: Ryan Toohey, Shannon Donovan and Nicole Wilson.
Research project titled “Integrating Indigenous Knowledge and Public Health Concerns into a Community Contaminant and Climate Change Monitoring Program.” Awarded by Health Canada, Climate Change and Health Adaptation Program for Northern First Nations and Inuit Communities 2012-2013. Lead-PI and Co-PIs: Ryan Toohey, Shannon Donovan and Nicole Wilson (See Project Community Reports).
I conducted my MS thesis research on the socio-cultural effects of climate change on the subsistence livelihoods of the Koyukon Athabascan people of Ruby, Alaska. This research was conducted in partnership with the Ruby Tribal Council and the Yukon River Inter-Tribal Watershed Council.