Dr Tristan Pearce is a Senior Research Fellow in Geography with the Sustainability Research Centre at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) and Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Geography at the University of Guelph, Canada. His research focuses on the human dimensions of global environmental change, in particular the vulnerability and adaptation of communities and socio-ecological systems to climate change. He is currently working on these issues in partnership with Indigenous communities in the Canadian Arctic, Pacific Islands, and Australia. In particular, he has long-term research relationships with Inuit communities in the Canadian Arctic that span over twelve years. Tristan takes a grassroots, ethnographic approach to research, which emphasises the importance of studying first hand what people do and say in particular contexts. He is the author of over 40 publications in high-ranking peer-reviewed academic journals (e.g. Human Ecology, Global Environmental Change, Regional Environmental Change), several book chapters, and government and industry reports including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Tristan is from Prince George, British Columbia, Canada.
Eric Lede is a M.A. Candidate in Geography at the Sustainability Research Centre at the University of the Sunshine Coast. Eric's masters research is part of Project: Community Vulnerability, Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Change in the Canadian Arctic. The aim of Eric's research is to examine the role of multiple climatic and non-climatic stressors in adaptation to climate change in the Arctic. This involved living and working with Inuit in the remote community of Paulatuk for two months where Eric conducted interviews and participated in daily livelihood activities. Eric holds a Bachelor of Science with a major in Environmental Sustainability and a minor in Environmental Science from Swinburne University of Technology (Melbourne, Australia). Prior to joining USC, Eric worked as a Research Assistant for the Nasivvik Centre for Inuit Health and Changing Environments and was the Research Coordinator for the NiKigijavut Nunatsiavummi Project (A Community-Led Food Assessment project in Nunatsiavut.
David Fawcett completed his M.A. in Geography at the University of Guelph in September 2017. His thesis research involved living and working with Inuit in Ulukhaktok, NT for two months to examine how climate change was experienced and responded to dynamically in the context of subsistence activities between 2005 and 2016, building on previous research completed by Dr. Pearce. This research involved taking a novel approach that led to a more dynamic understanding of vulnerability to climate change, including how socio-economic, cultural, environmental, and political factors interacted over time, and how the fluid processes of social learning and adaptation were undertaken in response. David is now working as a research associate for the ECRG while based in British Columbia. Much of his current work branches from his thesis research, including a project that focuses on the impacts of international climate governance on Inuit subsistence activities and wildlife co-management rights, and a project in collaboration with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans on the economics of subsistence in Ulukhaktok. He will also play an active role in the Nunamin Illihakvia and Toniktoyak projects over 2018-19.
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Renee Currenti is a M.A. candidate within the Sustainability Research Centre at University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). Renee completed a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science with majors in Geography and Sustainability at USC in 2015. Renee’s masters research focusses on the human dimension of climate change within remote populations in Pacific Island nations. Renee is particularly interested in the role that traditional ecological knowledge and traditional governance systems play in climate change adaptation. Renee is one of two postgraduate representatives on the executive board of The Australian Association for Pacific Studies (AAPS) and is a student representative on the USC Sustainability Management Committee.
DR. TRISTAN PEARCE
Roger Kitson is currently studying an undergraduate degree at the University of the Sunshine Coast, with a major in sustainability and minor in geography. He is also working at the Sustainability Research Centre, based at USC as a research assistant for the Environmental Change Research Group (ECRG). His area of interest includes sustainable livelihoods and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK). Roger was nominated for the Pearson Australia student of the year award 2016 and is currently involved in research regarding considerations for community-researcher relationships and creating audio visual productions which adhere to peer reviewed protocols as an alternative for academic publishing and dissemination of results.
Kerrie Pickering explores the intersection between health and the environment. Her interest comes from an international career as an RN and having completed a BSc Environmental Studies followed by a MA Geography. In 2016 Kerrie was awarded the first-ever Sustainability Doctoral Scholarship through a partnership with USC and Brock University, Canada. As a PhD candidate her research will examine the relationship among food security and the health and wellbeing of indigenous people in times of environmental change. Kerrie is also conducting research exploring if engagement in citizen science impacts the well-being of nursing home residents. Past research includes assessing the adaptive capacity of the Ontario wine industry for climate change adaptation; project manager for a Niagara climate change collaborative management project, research associate investigating adaptive collaborative management in biosphere reserves in Canada and Sweden. Kerrie is also President of the Ontario Nurses for the Environment Interest Group of the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, Canada.
Elizabeth Worden is a M.A. candidate in Geography at the University of Manitoba. Her research involves close collaboration with the community of Aklavik, Northwest Territories, exploring the social and environmental factors affecting the community’s decreased subsistence harvest of beluga whales. The project is a direct outcome from the 2016 Beluga Summit in Inuvik, where hunters from Aklavik expressed concern over the effect that a reduced beluga harvest could have on community well-being. It is hoped that an improved understanding of these dynamics will help identify opportunities to support sustainable livelihoods in Aklavik. Elizabeth completed a B.A. in Environmental Studies with dual focus areas of Conservation & Biodiversity and Stewardship at the University of Manitoba.
Mikayla Cover is an Honours student within the Sustainability Research Centre at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). She completed a Bachelor of Environmental Science, majoring in Sustainability at USC in 2016. Her Honours research focuses on developing a suite of indicators of ecosystem health by drawing on traditional and local knowledge, and conventional scientific approaches such as biophysical mapping based on remote sensing. Mikayla’s research is intended to contribute to the development of more productive and equitable environmental management decision making that better reflects and support the concerns, needs and livelihoods of local peoples in Sigatoka, Fiji.
Miguel van der Velden is an undergraduate student majoring in Sustainability and Journalism at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). He also functions as research assistant within the Environmental Change Research Group based at the Sustainability Research Centre in USC. His interests include how climate change and modern development affect small island states in the Caribbean and Indigenous communities in South and Central America. He is also interested in how these issues as well as other sustainability issues across the world are communicated. Miguel is from the island of Aruba in the Caribbean.
MIGUEL VAN DER VELDEN
Kate Whitaker has just completed an undergraduate Business degree at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), with a major in International Business, as well as Tourism, Leisure and Events. She is also working at the Sustainability Research Centre (SRC), based at USC, and recently participated in an exploration of community and tourist beliefs and behaviours, and their contributions to the regions’ cultural and environmental preservation in Vava’u, the Kingdom of Tonga. Kate is particularly interested in the economics of climate change as well as environmental policies, and anticipates to work for the United Nations in the future. As such, she intends to undertake post-graduate studies in the area of Climate Change and Sustainability in order further her knowledge and contribute towards environmental protection.
Georgia McGregor is an honours student and research assistant at the University of the Sunshine Coast. She completed her Bachelor of Business, majoring in tourism, leisure and events with a minor in sustainability in 2016. This year, 2017, Georgia’s honours research has focused on Sustainable Tourism Indicators for Socio-Cultural Impacts of Marine Tourism in Vava’u, the Kingdom of Tonga. Her research intends to test and develop an indicator set with community collaboration and traditional knowledge the forefront of the study. Establishing an indicator set relevant to the impacts experienced, can better assist with sustainable practice, management and monitoring of tourism in remote or vulnerable regions.
Shelly Barber is studying a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Business at the University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), with majors in Sustainability and International Business, and minors in Geography and Comparative Studies. In this dawning era of planetary stewardship, Shelly's goal is to help business owners address their impact on environmental change by helping them transform their traditional 'profit at any cost' business models into regenerative business models that shift the focus from climate-damaging activities to climate solutions for the future of humanity and our beautiful planet.
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Kristin Emanuelsen is a M.A. candidate in Geography at the Sustainability Research Centre at University of the Sunshine Coast (USC). Kristin´s masters research focus is to better understand how Inuit women are experiencing and responding to environmental and social changes, using a case study of sewing. This thesis is a part of the Nunmin Illihakvia project in Ulukhaktok, Northwest Territories, Canada. Kristin completed a bachelor in renewable energy at Western University of Applied Sciences in Sogndal, Norway, andprior to USC she worked as a writer for a magazine, driven by young people who care about the future that we live in; Infinitum Movement.