As part of the Building Community Resilience conference, CRRF launched a new initiative aimed at building rural policy capacity among graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. In September 2015, CRRF invited 18 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from across Canada to participate in this new innovative program. 

This new initiative is an opportunity for students/postdocs to develop a policy brief on a topic of interest to them and contributes to the broad conference theme of building community resilience. A series of workshops and discussions have been held with participants in advance and after the conference to facilitate the development of their policy brief. Each participant will also have the opportunity to receive input from two mentors:  leading rural scholars, policy makers, and knowledge mobilization experts. At the conclusion of this initiative, CRRF will co-publish an online edited volume of policy briefs. This initiative will provide participants an opportunity to contribute to rural policy discussions, build new networks, and have a published output. 

The Rural Policy Capacity Building Initiative is co-led by Ryan Gibson (Saint Mary’s University) and Heather Hall (International Centre for Northern Governance and Development, University of Saskatchewan). This initiative has been funded through a Connections Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. 

Participants

Allen Barnett
 Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Anthropology, University of New Brunswick

Through his experiences and education in the fields of marine biology, ecology, and social science, Allain has developed a fascination with the diversity of animal and plant life, and the diversity of ways that humans interact and relate to the natural world. He took particular interest in the drastic transformations of rural coastal communities and ecosystems in Atlantic Canada over the past 30 years. This has motivated Allain to study how diverse stakeholders and resource users come together in rural coastal communities to consider pathways for a vibrant future.

Allain Barnett is a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Anthropology at the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, with a focus on sustainable coastal communities. His research focuses on the interplay between governance, property rights, common pool resources, individual and collective action and practice, and changing economic and ecological conditions.

Ashley Julian
Master of Education candidate, University of New Brunswick

Ashley is a Mi’kmaq woman from the Indian Brook First Nation, Sipekne’katik Band, Nova Scotia. Ashley is a success leader in all her endeavours, as a secondary teacher, Masters of Education candidate, traditionalist, activist, and Head Coach for Team Atlantic girls’ hockey team at the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships (NAHC). Ashley has coaching experience as an Aboriginal apprenticeship coach with U18 Team Nova Scotia girls’ hockey team for the 2015 Canada Games, and was an Athlete Coordinator for Team NS at the North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) in 2014.

As a youth role model, Ashley co-founded the Mi’kmaq Maliseet Atlantic Youth Council (MMAYC) representing Atlantic Mi’kmaq Maliseet youth ages 18-25. In 2010, Ashley served as female co-chair on the Assembly of First Nations National Youth Council (AFC NYC), representation the national youth voice at the table with the AFN National Chief and Regional Vice Chiefs.

Ashley has an entrepreneurial spirit and is enthusiastic when it comes to culture and language revitalization. Ashley speaks her Mi’kmaq language and she is also passionate in educating Mi’kmaq culture and language through demonstrations, facilitated workshops, music, dancing, and coordinating powwows.

Ashley believes in lifelong learning. Ashley is currently in her second year as a Masters of Education candidate at the University of New Brunswick (UNB). Her thesis title is: Thinking Seven Generations ahead: Language Resurgence in the Face of Settler Colonialism. Ashley continues to present her topics at conferences including the 2014 Congress Borders without Boundaries Conference at Brock University, 2015 Congress at Ottawa University, and will present at the 2016 Congress in Calgary University. Ashley works as a researcher at UNB with the First Nations Innovation team, and is the first graduate executive secretariat on the Canadian Association for Studies in Indigenous Education (CASIE).

Ashley expresses a strong positive social attitude that continues to feed her ambition and commit to improving her community’s potential. 

Naomi Finseth
Master of Rural Development candidate, Brandon University

Naomi Finseth grew up on cattle farm in rural Alberta. In 2009 she completed her Bachelor of Arts in Political Studies at the University of Alberta, Augustana Campus. Naomi research interest focuses on rural municipal governance, collaboration, and knowledge translation and mobilization. Currently she is a graduate student in the Rural Development program at Brandon University and is also a student research assistant for the Rural Development Institute researching innovation in agri-food in rural Manitoba. Before coming to Manitoba Naomi spent four years working at the Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities as a research assistant and then as the executive assistant. Her work focused on sustainability planning, regional governance and protected areas in Alberta.

Sarah-Patricia Breen
PhD candidate, Simon Fraser University

Sarah-Patricia Breen is a PhD candidate with the School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University. Her dissertation examines the link between rural drinking water infrastructure and resilient communities. More broadly her research interests focus on rural regional resilience and sustainable development. Sarah is an Executive Board Member with the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation. Originally from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Sarah has lived and worked across the country and is currently enjoying life in the mountains around Nelson, BC.

Visit her website at http://www.rem.sfu.ca/water/people/sarah-breen/

Shelly Bridges
MA in Island Studies, University of Prince Edward Island

Shelly has always been fascinated, concerned and engaged in the impact policy makes on shaping communities. As a parent, student, and citizen, Shelly has had the unique opportunity to experience the difference good policy can have on a community. Having had the benefit of both Island and mainland realities, Shelly has resided in Ontario and Prince Edward Island for most of her life. She completed her BA in Political Studies in 2010 from UPEI and that experience really planted the seed and the desire for policy participation.

In Ottawa, Shelly Bridges trained in the legal field as a law clerk and paralegal and participated in areas from aboriginal restorative justice to adult education development. Shelly has participated in the community through supporting youth initiatives like spoken word outreach programs for youth and a volunteered at The Ottawa Little Theatre contributing time and learning a great deal on many productions.

Shelly is currently pursuing her Master of Arts in Island Studies at the University of Prince Edward Island and resides in rural Prince Edward Island.

Joshua Barrett
 MA in Geography, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Born and raised in Newfoundland, Josh has a strong interest in regional development within rural communities and how the two are interconnected. He completed his Bachelor of Arts at Memorial University in 2014, where he focused his studies in Geography and Political Science. Currently, he is completing his Master of Arts in Memorial’s Geography department. The purpose of Josh’s Masters research is to study the impacts of employment mobility on community development in source communities, with a particular emphasis on the case of nickel processing workers in Long Harbour, NL. While existing literature about commuting impacts on communities has focused on the construction phase of megaprojects, generally a temporary form of employment, more research is needed to understand how commuting affects communities within the operation phase, which provides more permanent employment.

Laurie Brinklow
Coordinator, Institute of Island Studies, University of Prince Edward Island

Currently Co-ordinator of the Institute of Island Studies at University of Prince Edward Island, Dr. Laurie Brinklow is a writer, editor, and former book publisher, founding Acorn Press in 1993. A 2007 graduate of UPEI’s Master of Arts in Island Studies (MAIS) program, she has a PhD in Geography and Environmental Studies from University of Tasmania. A long-time “islophile,” Laurie was Publishing Co-ordinator with the Institute of Island Studies from 1990 to 2004 and helped co-ordinate the North Atlantic Islands Programme (1994-98). She recently chaired the Building Community Resilience Conference (the 10th North Atlantic Forum and 27th Canadian Rural Restructuring Foundation annual conference) held in Summerside. She teaches “Islandness” in the MAIS program at UPEI and is particularly interested in the power of place and story, and their impact on identity. She has published in several academic journals and books, and is the author of a book of poetry, Here for the Music (Acorn, 2012). 

Chris George
Master of Philosophy Policy Studies, University of New Brunswick

I have had a foot in both Indigenous and non-Indigenous worlds all of my life being born of mixed ancestry. My broader research focuses on the legacy of settler colonialism and the damage it continues to have on holistic growth and development for Indigenous society. I am currently enrolled in the Master of Philosophy Policy Studies (MPHIL) at the University of New Brunswick. My thesis will highlight a holistic and culturally appropriate decolonization and reconciliation process that will empower intergenerational holistic growth and development for Indigenous-Wabanaki society. Also, I am a research assistant at the Mi’gmaw-Wolastoqey Center at UNB.  

Lisa MacDougall
Master of Education, University of Prince Edward Island

Lisa MacDougall grew up in the small rural community of Shaunavon, Saskatchewan. After studying psychology for several years at the University of Lethbridge, she transferred to the University of Calgary where she received a Bachelor of Arts in historical studies in 1997. She did some graduate work in the history of science at the University of Saskatchewan and is currently working on a thesis for the Master of Education program at the University of Prince Edward Island. Her current research examines the complex relationship between schooling and society, with a particular focus on socio-economic status and schooling in rural settings. In addition, she conducts health research using the framework of the social determinants of health with the School of Nursing at Dalhousie University.

She is currently Secretary of the Board of Directors of the Prince Edward Island Home and School Federation (PEI HSF), which is the umbrella organization of local school council organizations and represents parents and school staff in 53 of 56 schools across Prince Edward Island. In April 2015, her Resolution calling for a provincial school lunch program was passed by the organization. As a result, the PEI HSF has joined FoodSecure Canada’s Coalition for Healthy School Food and is working with them to advocate for a joint national-provincial universal school food program in Canada. Lisa lives with her husband and two children in Summerside, in the lovely Prince Edward Island.

Mangla Shandal
Master of Rural Planning, University of Guelph

Driven by her passion for the environment and global food security, Mangla is a master’s candidate in Rural Planning and Development, specialising in International Agricultural Development Planning, at the University of Guelph. Her thesis examines how young farmers are responding to the agricultural crisis in Punjab, India, while protecting their traditions, the environment, and local food security. Mangla holds a Certificate in Food Security from Ryerson University and a Bachelors of Social Science from the University of Ottawa.

Mangla is also a life-long learner, a cyclist, a yoga practitioner, and a community mentor. She began her career as an agri-environmental policy advisor at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Ottawa. However, her passion for food security, specifically the interaction between people and the environment, led her to work in an indigenous community in Northern Ontario as well as rural farming villages in Punjab, as a researcher and advocate for the poor. While her aspirations are internationally minded, she remains connected to her local community as mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Guelph. 

Meggie MacMichael
Research Assistant, Mount Saint Vincent University

Meggie MacMichael grew up in the rural community of Debert, Nova Scotia. She received her Bachelor of Arts in with Honours in Geography at Mount Allison University. Having recently completed her Masters of Environmental Studies at Dalhousie University, Meggie is passionate about the sustainability and vibrancy of rural communities. Being from rural Nova Scotia herself and having heard many young people looking to move out of their rural communities, she wanted her research to help change that conversation and so focused her master’s research on young people who have returned or moved into rural Nova Scotia. Now Meggie is acting as Team Support for the RPLC Governance Team. In addition to her role with the RPLC, Meggie is working as research assistant at Mount Saint Vincent University and project coordinator at the Dalhousie Agricultural Campus, including projects such as the development of an online course on the connections between Agriculture, Food, and Well-being.  

Paul Kraehling
PhD candidate in Rural Studies, University of Guelph

Paul Kraehling is currently a Rural Studies PhD Candidate, Sessional Instructor and Researcher with the University of Guelph’s School of Environmental Design and Rural Development. Mr. Kraehling is interested in sustainability factors for rural communities. The potential use of ‘green infrastructure’ as a collaborative force in planning/developing resilient communities is his current research focus. Previous to this, he was a practicing municipal policy planner working for over 30 years in various Ontario municipalities. He has also worked as a parks planner in Saskatchewan. Paul is a graduate of the School of Urban and Regional Planning, Environmental Studies, University of Waterloo.  

Kyle Rich
PhD candidate in Kinesiology, University of Guelph

Kyle is a PhD Candidate at Western University studying in the School of Kinesiology. Kyle’s primary interests involve the management of sport in diverse contexts and the potential for sport in these contexts to produce social outcomes. His PhD research involves a participatory research project with a rural recreation committee and examines the management of sport and recreation in their community.

Growing up in Northern Ontario, Kyle was an enthusiastic multi-sport athlete. Diverse experiences in sport at many levels allowed him to develop a keen interest and involvement in community sport. Kyle remains an avid recreational hockey player and is also trained as an Instructor Trainer with the Canadian Red Cross and Lifesaving Society as well as a community sport coach through the NCCP.  

Angela Pollak
Instructor, University of Western Ontario

Early experiences in Algonquin Park, Ontario enriched Angela Pollak’s understanding of remote living and rural ways of life in profound ways. When she noticed how mainstream academic conversations in Library and Information Studies favour urban, professional contexts, she seized the opportunity to take a better look at the periphery. Attempting to capture largely oral, informal and nonformal traditions, her research examines how and why people seek, share, and avoid information in remote, rural and blue collar contexts across the work, leisure and everyday life spectrum.

Angela currently teaches in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada. She is working on modeling ways to identify and commodify local knowledges, and to mobilize that information in the form of community benefit initiatives. www.AngelaPollak.ca.

Michelle Porter
PhD candidate in Geography, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Michelle Porter is a doctoral candidate in the Geography Department at Memorial University of Newfoundland. She focuses upon home and rurality in women’s narratives of residential mobility in rural Newfoundland and Labrador. Her researched combines critical geographies with feminist and narrative perspectives to comment upon changes in rural places. She has plans to broaden that focus to consider island food security and gardens as hybrid spaces.

Emily Thomas
Institute of Island Studies, University of Prince Edward Island

Emily Thomas grew up in the rural island community of Little Cranberry Island, Maine and currently lives in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. With a background in geography, community planning and development, and island studies, Emily is interested in how rural island and coastal communities remain in place, particularly those dependent upon sustainable resource use. Her graduate thesis Sustaining Island Fishing Communities: Policy and Management in Practice in Maine and Newfoundland (2014) compared fisheries policy and fisheries management decisions from six small communities across her study regions. Emily loves exploring rural coastal and island communities everywhere she travels.

Mentors

Ken Coates
Canada Research Chair in Regional Innovation and Director of the International Centre for Northern Governance and Development at the University of Saskatchewan

Ken is a Professor and Canada Research Chair in Regional Innovation in the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy.  He is also the Macdonald-Laurier Institute’s Senior Policy Fellow in Aboriginal and Northern Canadian Issues.

He has served at universities across Canada (UNBC, UNB and Waterloo) and at the University of Waikato (New Zealand), an institution known internationally for its work on Indigenous affairs. He has also worked as a consultant for Indigenous groups and governments in Canada, New Zealand, and Australia as well as for the United Nations, companies, and think tanks. Ken has also served as the past president of the Japan Studies Association of Canada.  

David Douglas
Professor Emeritus, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, University of Guelph

David Douglas is past-President (2009-11) and a Board Member on the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation (CRRF), co-host of the national Rural Research Workshop (2011, 2012) in Ottawa, the Rural Development Expert Advisor for the Province of Zakarpattia, Ukraine (2011-13), a co-investigator on a major four university project on “new regionalism” in Canada, editor and author of Rural Planning and Development in Canada (Nelson, 2010), was Advisor for the pilot project on rural regional collaboration in Western Canada and the North, the Community Collaboration Project (Brandon University), and is a Member of the OECD LEED Forum on Partnerships and Local Governance.  Primary Areas of Academic Interest: Rural community development and governance, local and community-based economic development, rural development policy, strategic planning and management, regional development planning, sustainable development, participatory process, local government, organizational analysis and development, small community design, planning and development theory.

Joy Dornian
Business Development Specialist, Manitoba Agriculture, Food, and Rural Development

Bojan Fürst
Manager of Knowledge Mobilization, Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development, Memorial University

Bojan Fürst is manager of knowledge mobilization with Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development at Memorial University of Newfoundland. He holds a journalism degree from Mount Royal College in Calgary, postgraduate diploma is social policy development from Institute of Social Studies at Erasmus University in the Netherlands and an MA in geography from Memorial University of Newfoundland focused on small island policy supports. Most of the time, he’d rather be out making photographs or experimenting in his darkroom. 

Ryan Gibson
Assistant Professor, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Saint Mary’s University

Originally from rural Manitoba, Ryan has a deep intrigue and respect for rural communities, rural people, and the events that shape their futures. Over the past ten years, Ryan has been engaged in research projects and community development processes focused on new forms of governance, regional collaboration, cooperatives, rural philanthropy, rural revitalization, and immigration and migration.

Ryan is an assistant professor in the Department of Geography at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Ryan also serve as a board member with the Canadian Community Economic Development Network and the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation. I hold appointments with the International Centre for Northern Governance and Development at the University of Saskatchewan, the Rural Development Institute at Brandon University, and Assiniboine Community College.

Heather Hall
Postdoctoral Fellow, International Centre for Northern Governance and Development, University of Saskatchewan

Heather Hall, PhD. is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the International Centre for Northern Governance and Development at the University of Saskatchewan (Saskatoon). She holds a PhD. in Geography from Queen’s University (Kingston), an M.A. in Planning from the University of Waterloo, and a B.A. in Geography from Laurentian University (Sudbury).  Her research focuses on the empowerment of northern regions in the 21st Century resource economy. More specifically, her research interests include: regional development policy, planning and practice in the provincial North; innovation in rural and remote regions; labour mobility and the impacts of megaprojects; and inclusive resource development. 

Gwen Healy
Executive and Scientific Director, Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre

Gwen Healey was born and raised in Nunavut and is an epidemiologist and public health researcher. Gwen’s doctoral work focuses on collecting youth and parent perspectives on sexual health and relationships in Nunavut. Gwen is the lead researcher for Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre based in Iqaluit, Nunavut. Further information about the Qaujigiartiit Health Research Centre can be found at http://www.qhrc.ca.

Al Lauzon
Professor, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, University of Guelph

Al Lauzon is currently a professor in the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development. Al has degrees in psychology, extension education, and adult education and community development. He teaches in the Capacity Development and Extension MSc program and also teaches in and is the Coordinator of the Capacity Development and Extension master’s program and the Rural Studies PhD program. Al’s primary research interest is focused on rural change and development, adult education and community development, and the foundations of capacity development and extension. He is also interested in foundational issues related to epistemology, including the intersection and interactions between differing knowledge systems. 

Terri MacDonald
BC Regional Innovation Chair in Rural Economic Development and Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute, Selkirk College

Terri MacDonald is the BC Regional Innovation Chair in Rural Economic Development and also leads the Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute at Selkirk College. Terri holds a Ph.D. in Educational Studies from the University of British Columbia, and M.A. in Policy and Administration from the University of Calgary, and a B.Sc. and B.Ed. from Lakehead University. Dr. MacDonald taught high school science in Ontario and British Columbia. More recently, her experience has been in the field of economic development with nearly 15 years of experience working with communities across British Columbia, primarily in the Kootenay region. Terri’s research interests include workforce development, business retention and expansion, regional socio-economic development and evidence-based decision-making, and applied research at community colleges. Her commitment to rural revitalization and strategic decision-making as a fundamental ingredient to planning for positive change is evidenced by an impressive track record of rural research and dissemination.

Sean Markey
Associate Professor, School of Resource and Environmental Management, Simon Fraser University

Dr. Sean Markey is an Associate Professor with the School of Resource and Environmental Management and an Associate with the Centre for Sustainable Community Development and Department of Geography. His research concerns issues of local and regional economic development, rural and small-town development, community sustainability, and sustainable infrastructure. Sean continues to work with municipalities, non-profit organizations, Aboriginal communities and the business community to promote and develop sustainable forms of community economic development. He serves on the Board of Directors with the Vancity Community Foundation, and the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation. 

Ruth Mealy
Business Development Specialist, Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Government of Manitoba

Ruth Mealy is a Business Development Specialist with Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development in Brandon. In this role, she manages programs and develops community economic development resources for rural communities. Ruth has worked for the department for 10 years and prior to this was a teacher, an entrepreneur and local Economic Development Officer.

As part of MAFRDs CED team, Ruth has developed a variety of resources including the CED Pathfinder, the First Impressions Community Exchange program guides for Manitoba, Photovoice guide for Manitoba and Expanding Housing Options in your Community guide for rural communities to address housing issues within their communities. Ruth has presented these resources and made presentations pertaining to rural economic development at a variety of conferences including the Canadian Rural Revitalization’s “On the Bright Side” Conference (2010), several Association of Manitoba Municipalities annual conferences and three presentations at the Manitoba Planners Conferences.  

Kathleen Parewick
Community Collaboration and Development Coordinator, Municipalities of Newfoundland and Labrador

Craig Pollett
Chief Executive Officer, Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador

Since 2001, Craig has been the CEO of Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador (MNL).  Craig plays a leadership role in lobbying and advocacy; membership development and services; as well as policy research and development. Prior to his work with MNL, Craig spent more than 10 years working in economic development and policy analysis; first with the Atlantic Entrepreneurial Institute at Memorial University and then moving to the Provincial Government as a Senior Policy Analyst.

He received his Bachelor of Commerce from Memorial University in 1991 and went on to complete his Masters in Development Economics at Dalhousie University in 1996.  It was at Dalhousie that he developed a strong interest in local government.  His Masters Thesis research focussed on the potential for greater involvement by local government in economic development in Newfoundland and Labrador.  This research took him to all areas of the province and he gained a deep appreciation for the dedication and hard work of mayors, councillors and municipal staff.  

Wendy Keats
Executive Director, Co-operative Enterprise Council of New Brunswick

Wendy has been involved co-op and community economic development nearly 35 years (although she swears she was only 4 years old when she started).  She was a member of the original Steering Committee for the Council in 2007 and was so excited by the possibilities for revitalizing the co-op sector in NB that she gave up her private consulting practice of 18 years to become CECNB’s first Executive Director.  Over the years, Wendy has worked with nearly 200 community groups in organizational development, strategic planning, governance, training, project management, evaluation, and a wide range of other development areas. She is a certified mediator and served as a senior faculty member of UPEI’s Centre for Conflict Studies for more than a decade. Wendy sits on numerous boards and committees related to co-op and community development and has a special passion for youth engagement and renewable energy.  She lives completely off-the-grid in the deep woods of Salisbury, tending her gardens and relaxing on the river with her best buddy Ebony (the smartest black lab in NB) whenever the hectic world of co-op development allows it. Wendy loves to have visitors to her home who are interested in pursuing an off-grid lifestyle almost as much as she loves to meet the folks involved with co-ops across Canada and the world!  She invites you all to give her a call at 227-9607 or write her at wendy.keats@cecnb.ca if there’s anything she can do to help you build or strengthen your co-op! 

Jim Randal
Institute of Island Studies, University of Prince Edward Island

Jim is a Professor of Island Studies at the University of Prince Edward Island, Canada. His background training is as an economic and social geographer. Since 2012, he has served as Coordinator of the MA Island Studies program and the undergraduate Island Studies minor at UPEI.

Dr. Randall has written extensively in the area of quality-of-life indicators, economic and urban geography, and community-university research collaboration. Since joining the Island Studies program at UPEI, he has written on quality-of-life issues in small island jurisdictions and biotechnology-based entrepreneurship on Prince Edward Island. He is currently writing an introductory undergraduate Island Studies e-textbook to accompany an online version of the 2nd year Introduction to Island Studies course at UPEI. Prior to teaching in Island Studies, I taught in Departments of Geography, Planning, and International Studies.

Bill Reimer
Professor Emeritus, Department of Sociology, Concordia University and Project Director, Rural Policy Learning Commons

For over 30 years, Dr. Reimer has conducted research on issues relating to rural Canada, with particular focus on social inclusion and exclusion. His publications deal with the impact of technology on rural communities, women’s farm and household labour, the economy and the household, Aboriginal communities, the informal economy, social support networks, social capital, social cohesion, and community capacity-building. He is currently the Director of the Rural Policy Learning Commons: a 7-year international project supported by SSHRC. From 1997 to 2008 he was the Director of the NRE Project – a national multi-disciplinary research project involving 11 universities, 13 collaborators, rural 32 rural communities. He currently conducts research on transition in rural Canada, impacts of wildfires, and comparative rural policy. He is frequently invited to speak to researchers, policy-makers, and rural people.

Kelly Vodden
Associate Professor (Research), Environmental Policy Institute, Grenfell Campus, Memorial University

Dr. Vodden is an Associate Professor (Research) with the Environmental Policy Institute and Division of Social Sciences at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University. She also serves as a Research Associate and advisor to Municipalities of Newfoundland and Labrador, a board member with Indian Bay Ecosystem Corporation, and a former board member with the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation. Kelly’s research and publications relate to sustainable community and regional development, with a focus on rural, coastal, often natural resource-dependent communities. 

Daniel Walters
Associate Professor, Department of Geography, Nipissing University

Dr. Dan Walters is an assistant professor in the Department of Geography at Nipissing University. His teaching and research interests focus on water governance and physical hydrology. Dr. Walters’ program of research examines the capacity of First Nations to implement multi-barrier protection of drinking water systems, and the underlying determinants of safe water and well-being. This research is funded through a strategic grant from the Social Science and Humanities Research Council. Dr. Walters is also a member of technical advisory committee for the North Bay-Mattawa Source Water Protection Region Water Budget and Water Quality Stress Assessment. 

Rob Greenwood
Executive Director of the Office of Engagement at Memorial University and of The Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development

Rob Greenwood is the Executive Director of the Office of Engagement at Memorial University and of The Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development. He’s leading the development of an Engagement Framework for Memorial University which will coordinate and support the university’s collaboration with partners and stakeholders. At the Harris Centre, Rob works to coordinate and facilitate Memorial University’s educational, research and outreach activities in the areas of regional policy and development.