Photo: Catherine & Emilie Smith in Rabinal, Guatemala, May 2012 by James Rodriguez of

Catherine Nolin, PhD
Associate Professor & Chair

BA (University of Calgary), MA, PhD (Queen's University at Kingston, 2000)

T: 250-960-5875
O: New Lab 8-148

Twitter: @cnolin and @unbcgeography
Instagram: unbcgeography
Facebook: UNBC-Geography

MAY 2016: Dr. Catherine Nolin and Grahame Russell (Adjunct Professor of Geography and Director of Rights Action) are leading an emergency delegation to Guatemala (May 13-24) to re-examine and update documentation on four major mining struggles throughout the country, all related to Canadian (and partially American) owned mining operations.

Teaching Awards: I have received the following awards: 2013 Award for Teaching Excellence in Geography from the Canadian Association of Geographers (CAG); the 2009 J. Alistair McVey Award for Teaching Excellence from the Western Division of the Canadian Association of Geographers (WDCAG); and the 2007 UNBC Excellence in Teaching Award Recipient.

Graduate Studies: I am a member of the following Graduate Programs: Natural Resources and Environmental Studies (MA NRES - Geography stream & PhD program); Interdisciplinary Studies (MA); and International Studies (MA, International Development stream)

Recent Field Schools: I have organized and facilitated seven Geography Field Schools/Delegations to Guatemala and co-organized one to Peru

2016 Field School to Guatemala with UNBC Geography + Rights Action -- cancelled

June 2012 UNBC + EPAF Field School to Peru

May 2012 UNBC Geography + Rights Action Field School to Guatemala

I am a social geographer with two broad areas of research interest that connect in many ways & often overlap:

Migration/Transnationalism/Refugee Studies
I am interested in exploring the gendered, cultural, and social aspects of population dynamics resulting from immigration and forced migration. I have explored this in the Guatemala-Canada transnational context, in the permanent & temporary migrations in northern BC communities, and most recently with foreign/internet/so-called 'mail-order' brides in northern BC.

My research interests also focus on the social, cultural & legal geographies of Guatemalan political violence with particular emphasis on gendered experiences of state-sponsored & contemporary violence. Additionally, I am interested in transnational migration to Canada from Central America, migrant insecurity at the Guatemala-Mexico border, social justice, indigenous rights, and transnational solidarity.Most recently, I am working with several graduate students on the issues of femicide/feminicide, the violent development of Canadian mining in Central America & critical development studies.

My book, Transnational Ruptures: Gender and Forced Migration (2006), on issues of Guatemalan political violence and forced migration to Canada, was published by Ashgate.  Finally, a former graduate student, Jennifer Reade, and I published a revised version of her MA thesis as: Empowering Women: Community Development in Rural Guatemala.