Students and Student Resources

Current Graduate Students
Past Graduate Students

Undergraduate Students Report Supervision
Current Research Assistants
Past Undergraduate and Graduate Research Assistants
Research Practicum Student Supervision
Student Training Resources
Student Research Support

Current Graduate Students

Masters of Arts Degree - Supervisor
Davi Florêncio de Lima
In progress
Topic: Public policies for an aging population in a small resource-based community
Erin Nevison
In progress
Topic: Policy and the decarbonization of energy in British Columbia
Sheri Sarrami
In progress

Masters of Arts Degree – Member of Supervisory Committee
J. Clarkson
In Progress (University of British Columbia-Okanagan)
Topic: The Yukon and immigration

E. Layton
In Progress
Topic: Stakeholder engagement in BC’s oil and gas sector

C. McHarg
In Progress
Topic: Place-based, outdoors focused, high school pilot program

D. Stokes
In Progress (University of British Columbia)
Topic: Cumulative social impacts

J. Whitehead
In Progress
Topic: Climate adaptation in small towns

Yihang Zhang
In Progress
Topic: Virtual tourism in Tumbler Ridge

PhD Degree – Member of Supervisory Committee
Stephan Nieweler
In Progress (Simon Fraser University)
Topic: Kitimat’s industrial transformation

Past Graduate Students

Masters of Arts Degree - Supervisor

Christine Creyke
Completed 2011 
Topic: Communication and development planning - Mining and First Nations’ communities

Richard Darko
Completed 2022
Topic: Economic restructuring in resource-dependent communities in the aftermath of mill / mine closure: A comparative case study of Valemount and Tumbler Ridge in northern British Columbia

Kelly Giesbrecht   
Completed 2003   
Topic: Public participation in the Bulkley Valley Community Resources Board

Megan Gordon
Completed 2021
Topic: Achieving a just transition for forestry-dependent workers and communities in northern British Columbia

Jen Herkes   
Completed 2009   
Topic: Town planning and community cohesion in Kitimat, BC

Anne Hogan   
Completed 2009   
Topic: Housing and aging issues in Prince George, BC

Eric Kopetski
Completed 2013
Topic: Topic: Bioenergy and community economic development

Kyle Kusch
Completed 2009   
Topic: Historic migration patterns in the Upper Fraser region, BC

Jenny Lo   
Completed 2004   
Topic: Small town social service provision

Som Pun
Completed 2014
Topic: The potential of timber and range policy agreements to assist First Nations with community and economic development

Laura Ryser   
Completed 2002   
Topic: Institutional barriers to climate responsive design in commercial redevelopment in Prince George, BC

Tashi Sherpa
Completed 2019
Topic: The importance of land and water to the culture of the Xeni Gwet'in First Nation: An analysis of statements presented at environmental impact assessment hearings

Brian Stauffer   
Completed 2001   
Topic: Changing historical geography of BC's coastal salmon canning industry

Marc Steynen  
Completed 2010
Topic: The consequences of forestry-dependence for the socioeconomic development of Houston, BC

Lana Sullivan   
Completed 2002   
Topic: Community capacity and economic renewal - The case of Tumbler Ridge, BC.

Chelan Zirul
Completed 2010
Topic: Regional governance in the Cariboo-Chilcotin area

Masters of Business Administration - Supervisor

Patrick Barrette
Completed 2007
Topic: The role of quality of life: economic development and employee recruitment and retention in Prince George, BC

Therese Jean   
Completed 2008   
Topic: Is the provincial fair share funding for the northeast region communities in BC fair or not?

Kwabena Owusu-Nyamekye
Completed in 2007   
Topic: Privatization of Crown Corporations and state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in Canada: Goals and aspirations of government and participating businesses

Masters in Environmental Studies – Co-Supervisor
Elizabeth Andersen
Completed 2015 (York University)

Masters of Business Administration - Supervisory Committee

W. Rogers   
Completed 2010       
Topic: Financing community economic development

C. Sterritt   
Completed 2012       
Topic: Training development for Aboriginal self government

PhD Degree - Supervisor
Richard Darko
In Progress
A. Martin   
Completed 2012 
Topic: The role of companies in northern resource-based towns

Masters of Arts Degree - Supervisory Committee
T. Baerg   
Completed 2016   
Topic: Impacts of ending appurtenancy on northern BC

K. Best
Completed 2016    
Topic: Highway development and nature-based tourism

Jessica Blewett
Completed 2012
Topic: Accessibility and mobility in Prince George

Karla Bloomfield
Completed 2017
Topic: The lived experiences of camp wives in northwestern BC

Cindy Bryant
Completed 2003 (Concordia University)
Topic: Canadian rural in-migration between 1991 and 1996

Rachael Clasby   
Completed 2007   
Topic: Aging-in-place in a remote northern resource town

A. Dunbrack   
Completed 2015
Topic: Recreational access to private forest lands

Brooke Eschuk
Completed 2013
Topic: Social and spatial barriers affecting children’s play

Neil Godbout   
Completed 2004   
Topic: Wooded horse: Information sources for newspaper coverage of the Canada US softwood lumber debate

S. Hartman
Completed 2013
Topic: Tourism development option for the Fraser Lake region of central BC

Y. Kanaoka   
Completed 2001   
Topic: Are protected areas a supporter of cultural survival? Modern protected areas and westernization

Courtney LeBourdais
Completed 2013
Topic: Marriage migration in northern British Columbia: Place and identity among foreign brides

Phil Morris   
Completed 1999   
Topic: Historical geography of First Nations land base

M. Oster   
Completed 1997   
Topic: Community attitudes towards air quality

Erin Palmer   
Completed 2005   
Topic: Exploring options for the use of experiential knowledge in resource and environmental planning and management in north-eastern British Columbia.

S. Rison   
Completed 1997   
Topic: Community control of natural resource industries as a tool for rural community development

T. Ritchie
Completed 2020
Topic: Unfulfilled promise: How and why citizen initiative was created in British Columbia

E. Robinson   
Completed 2007   
Topic: Community partnerships and sustainable resource use: The Xatsu¹ll Likely Community Forest

Bruce Simard   
Completed 2001   
Topic: Barriers to strategic growth management planning in a rural, resource dependent region

I. Tanaka
Completed 2016
Topic: Winter city recreational park use

R. Urquhart
Completed 2009
Topic: Resource community consultation in the Yukon

Laura Way   
Completed 2005   
Topic: Recruitment and retention challenges or a resource-dependent regional centre: The case study of Prince George, BC

H. Whalen    
Completed 2013    
Topic: Women’s experiences at home with long distance labour commuting

M. Worfolk   
Completed 2002   
Topic: Support structures for women in resource-based communities

PhD Degree - Supervisory Committee
S. Appiah Takyi   
Completed 2016   
Topic: The relationship between urbanization and park planning in Vancouver

Titi Kunkel
Completed 2014
Topic: Aboriginal values, sacred landscapes, and resource development in the Cariboo-Chilcotin region

Masters of Arts Degree - External Examiner

L. Dalton
Completed 2006
Topic: The place of women: Exploring the role of place in shaping self-employment as a livelihood strategy for women in the resource dependent community of Gold River, BC
University of Victoria, BC

J. Foster   
Completed 2012   
Topic: Of cycles and disturbances, English
University of Northern British Columbia

C. Greenard-Smith   
Completed 2002   
Topic: Women escaping abuse in northern British Columbia

L. Hawkins   
Completed 1999   
Topic: Two models of public involvement in land use planning

L. MacDonald   
Completed 2010
Topic: The experience of presenteeism: Acute care nurses working in northern health

S. Pcholkina   
Completed 2005   
Topic: Construction and disruption of cottage idylls: Kushog Lake case study
Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario

S. Perry
Completed 2007
Topic: Mental health of children from divided families

C. Rockandel   
Completed 2005   
Topic: The road from resource dependency to community sustainability: The case of Kimberley, BC: 1966-2001
Simon Fraser University

B. Young
Completed 2009
Topic: BC resource communities: Assessing restructuring processes and local responses
Department of Geography, Simon Fraser University

PhD Degree - External Examiner

J. Affolderbach
Completed 2008
Topic: A comparative study of environmental NGOs in BC and New Zealand 
Simon Fraser University

L. DeMiglio   
Completed 2012   
Topic: Sustaining palliative care teams that provide home-based care in a shared care model
McMaster University

R. Koster   
Completed 2004   
Topic: Jumping on the Bandwagon: An examination of mural-based tourism as a strategy for community economic development in rural areas
University of Saskatchewan.

N. Luka   
Completed 2005   
Topic: Placing the ‘natural’ edges of a metropolitan region through multiple residency: Landscape and urban form in Toronto's ‘cottage country’
University of Toronto

Sean Markey   
Completed 2003   
Topic: Facing uncertainty: Building local development institutions in rural British Columbia
Simon Fraser University

Ben L. Moffat   
Completed 2000   
Topic: Traditional places and modernist spaces: Regional geography and northwestern landscapes of power in Canada 1850-1990
University of Saskatchewan

L. Neelin   
Completed 2012 
Topic: The role of particularity in community resilience: The importance of being Shawville
School of Canadian Studies at Carleton University

T. Walters
Completed 2014
Topic: Beach, Bach and beyond: A critical longitudinal study of the luxury in and of second home ownership in New Zealand

Post-Doctoral Supervision

Chris Buse
Topic: Cumulative impacts of resource development

Michael Lait
Topic: Affordable housing in northern British Columbia

Sean Markey   
Topic: Building local development institutions in rural British Columbia

Alex Martin
Topic: Long distance labour commuting in northern British Columbia

Deborah Thien   
Topic: Issues of gender in the new rural economy

Undergraduate Students Report Supervision

Rurik Muenter
Completed 2011
Forestry Program

Peter Kerckhoff
Completed 2007
Forestry Program

Current Research Assistants


Past Undergraduate and Graduate Research Assistants

Tobi Araki
Post-employment placement: RCMP Constable

Daniel Bell
Post-employment placement: Music and Events Promoter, Prince George

Jessica Blewett
Post-employment placement: Strategic HR Advisor, BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development

Marli Bodhi
Post-employment placement: Advisor, First Nations Relations, BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development

Lila Bonnardel
Post-employment placement: Willet Peak Organics

Onkar Buttar
Post-employment placement: Planner, City of Richmond

Kourtney Cook
Post-employment placement: Coordinator, First Nations and Community Relations, Gibraltar Mine, Taseko

Jennifer Crain
Post-employment placement: Research and Data Manager, Injury Epidemiology, Public Health Agency of Canada

Christine Creyke
Post-employment placement: Lands Director, Tahltan Central Government

Mollie Cudmore
Post-employment placement: Behavioral Health Emergency Services Clinician at Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation

Rosalynd Curry
Post-employment placement: Midwife, Mighty Oak Midwifery Care

Maya de Vos
Post-employment placement:  UBC Medical Program

Joanne Doddridge
Post-employment placement: Director of Economic Development and Planning, 100 Mile House

Shiloh Durkee
Post-employment placement: Assistant, Petroglyph Animal Hospital, Nanaimo, BC

Catherine Fraser
Post-employment placement: Chief Development Officer, Healing Hands of Joy

Kelly Geisbrecht
Post-employment placement: Regional Manager, Retention and Recruitment, Medical Affairs at Northern Health

Amy Gondak

Julia Good
Post-employment placement: Research Associate, UNBC’s Community Development Institute

Rebecca Goodenough
Post-employment placement: Municipal Heritage, Government of Alberta

Jennifer Herkes
Post-employment placement: Owner, Two Crow Consulting

Anne Hogan
Post-employment placement: Advisor, Office of the Seniors Advocate BC

Priscilla Johnson
Post-employment placement: BC Northern Real Estate Board

Ashley Kearns
Post-employment placement: Specialist, Financial Solutions, Affordable Housing Investment and Lending – Canada Mortgage Housing Corporation

Nora King
Post-employment placement: Teacher, Reynolds High School, Victoria, BC

Eric Kopetski
Post-employment placement: Wildfire Technician, Cariboo Fire Centre

Kyle Kusch
Post-employment placement: Arrow Lakes Historical Society

Courtney LeBourdais
Post-employment placement: Employer Advisor, Ministry of Jobs, Tourism, and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour

Alishia Lindsey
Post-employment placement: Records Manager, BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations

Jenny Lo
Post-employment placement: Service Canada

Erin MacQuarrie
Post-employment placement: Office Manager, Institute of Biomedical Engineering, University of New Brunswick

Parmeet Mangat
Post-employment placement: Pursuing medical field education at UBC

Alex Martin
Post-employment placement: Manager of Immigration Policy, Labour Force Policy and Strategies, Government of Alberta

Allison Matte
Post-employment placement: Teacher, Prince George Secondary School

Colin McLeod
Post-employment placement: Director-at-Large, Wetzin’kwa Community Forest Corporation

Liz O’Connor

Paul Pan
Post-employment placement: Executive Director, University of Lethbridge International

Danielle Patterson
Post-employment placement: Planning intern, Peace River Regional District

Gerald Pinchbeck
Post-employment placement: Chief Administrative Officer, District of Houston

Virginia Pow
Post-employment placement: Librarian, University of Alberta

Alika Rajput
Post-employment placement: IT Support Specialist, College of New Caledonia, Prince George

Jessica Rayner
Post-employment placement: Manager, Slocan District Chamber of Commerce

Devon Roy
Post-employment placement: Pursuing education degree at UNBC

Carla Seguin
Post-employment placement: Economic Development Officer, Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo

Brian Stauffer

Marc Steynen
Post-employment placement: Manager, Society for Ecosystem Restoration in Northern BC

Pam Tobin
Post-employment placement: Director, First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Strategy Implementation at the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer

Laurel Van de Keere
Post-employment placement: Manager, Strategic Policy Services, Government of Alberta

Krista Voogd Ramsay
Post-employment placement: Former Researcher, Kitsumkalum Band Office (maternity leave)

Rachael Wells
Post-employment placement: Manager, Health Research Institute

Michelle White

Anisa Zehtab-Martin
Post-employment placement: Senior Policy Analyst, Government of Alberta

Chelan Zirul
Post-employment placement: Regional Manager, Health Communities and Schools, Northern Health

Research Practicum Student Supervision

Jorge Kelly, UNBC Social Work Program
Completed 2005

Jack Kinnear, UNBC Social Work Program
Completed 2005

Katherine Field, McMaster University Occupational Therapy Program
Completed 2006

Christie Cooper, UNBC Social Work Program
Completed 2006

Lynne Boutcher, UNBC Social Work Program
Completed 2006

Tammy Percival, UNBC Social Work Program
Completed 2006

Dawn Sather, UNBC Social Work Program
Completed 2007

Sheri-Lynne Bishop, UNBC Social Work Program
Completed 2007

Student Training Resources


Our team routinely supports the research and professional development experiences of students at the graduate and undergraduate level, as well as the development of various community partners.  Whether you are someone who is looking to develop a new career in rural development, or someone who is looking to learn more about successful initiatives that have been used in other communities, our team is always ready to provide advice, to broker relationships, to explore best practices, and to share lessons learned in a variety of policy and community development contexts.

Our research team has provided mentoring supports through international internship programs, conferences, courses, research assistantships, and community-based research projects. 


In addition to mentoring supports, a compilation of resources below can inform students’ decisions as they plan and develop their research and professional careers. 

Doing Community-Based Research: Perspectives from the Field
Greg Halseth, Sean Markey, Laura Ryser, and Don Manson

Doing Community-Based Research

Doing Community-Based Research offers useful insights into the challenges associated with conducting research and ensuring that it generates both excellent scholarship and positive impacts in the communities where the research takes place. This depends on two important variables: the capacity of CBR to generate good information, and the extent to which CBR is understood and constructed as a two-way relationship that includes a set of responsibilities for both researchers and communities.

Offering advice on the crucial relationship between communities and researchers, the authors outline the main stages of the CBR process to guide researchers and practitioners. They discuss the reasons for conducting CBR, provide tips on how to design research, and detail how researchers and communities should get to know one another, as well as how best to work in the field and how to turn fieldwork into research that counts. By focusing on the lessons learned from the use of CBR, the authors make the messages, lessons, and practices applicable to a variety of research settings.

Drawing collectively from decades of community-based research experience and including vignettes from researchers from around the world who share their CBR experiences, this book is essential for scholars, students, and community development practitioners.

For more information, or to order, please visit:

Developing the Next Generation of Community-Based Researchers: A Student Workshop
Laura Ryser, Greg Halseth, and Sean Markey

The quality and effectiveness of student research experiences will have longstanding impacts on their future research careers, as well as repercussions pertaining to the community experience with the research process.  This presentation provides students with information about how to get the most out of their research experience.  Key topics to be addressed include finding community research opportunities, identifying what you should know and what you should ask before engaging with a research team, how to obtain a breadth of research skills and experiences, researcher etiquette and demeanor in the community, budgeting, time management, and developing future research and employment prospects.  Even if you are not planning to have an academic career, this presentation touches upon several key lessons that can help students to be better consumers of research and other information in their professional careers.

More details are available through the following publication:
Ryser, L., Markey, S., and Halseth, G. 2013. Developing the Next Generation of Community-Based Researchers: Tips for Undergraduate Students.  Journal of Geography in Higher Education 37(1): 11-27.

Safety Guide for Conducting Community-Based Research

In 2013, the UNBC Field Safety Committee developed the first draft of the Safety Guide for Conducting Community-Based Research.  This guide contains a compilation of basic safety issues for working alone and for working in communities.  The guide also contains a number of sample checklists for planning, monitoring, and reviewing safe community-based research practices.
To access the guide, please visit:

Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans
Research ethics protocols have been guided since 1998 with the publication of the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (ISRE 2014). Since its original publication, the Tri-Council Policy has been amended and modified as a result of experience, practice, and debate. After an extensive consultation, the Interagency Secretariat on Research Ethics released in 2014 a new edition of the Tri-Council Policy Statement (ISRE 2014). While the core principles of a concern for welfare, justice, and respect for all persons remain, existing provisions for research involving women, vulnerable persons, those who lack the capacity to consent to research participation, Aboriginal peoples, and others have been confirmed, augmented, and expanded.
To access the full document, please visit:

Preparing for the Next Field Season: Methodology Lessons for Engaging in Labour Mobility Research in Mining and Tourism
Laura Ryser, Greg Halseth, Angèle Smith, and Sean Markey
On the Move: Webinar Series
Social, economic, and political restructuring since the early 1980s has transformed the nature of work and community relationships in Canada’s rural landscape. The increasingly mobile nature of the workforce, however, presents challenges to using traditional approaches to engage with research participants in these places.  The purpose of this presentation is to explore the lessons learned from conducting community-based research in mining and tourism communities that have mobile workforces.  After a brief introduction to community-based research, we will describe the fieldwork that was completed by the BC Team.  We then highlight a series of issues, such as training, monitoring fieldwork, safety, recruitment of participants, developing relationships, and additional challenges that can be used to inform future research practices with mobile workforces and strengthen foundations for community-based research with their respective communities and regions.
Preparing for the Next Field Season: Methodology Lessons for Engaging with Mobile Workforces

Constraints and Opportunities to Building the Capacity of Small Places to be Consumers of Research
Laura Ryser and Greg Halseth
Knowledge in Motion Conference, Memorial University in Newfoundland, 2008.
The last decade has witnessed a rise in interest in how to more effectively put research knowledge to use in society. Service learning and ‘the engaged campus’ are now well entrenched in the university and college classroom, and our national funding agencies have made ‘impact’ and ‘connectivity’ key themes in their mandates. But the new movements and attention to knowledge mobilization build upon a much longer engagement between research, knowledge, and their use in affecting social, economic, environmental, and political change.  This presentation explores constraints and opportunities to building the capacity of small places to be consumers of research.
Developing Community Capacity to be Consumers of Research

Strategies and intervening factors influencing student social interaction and experiential learning in an interdisciplinary research team
Laura Ryser, Greg Halseth, and Deborah Thien
Faculty have long incorporated students into interdisciplinary research projects to meet increasingly common demands for collaborative research by federal funding agencies. Despite the critical role of experiential learning in building student research skills and capacity, few have explored social interaction mechanisms used to facilitate student experiential learning in an interdisciplinary research team. Drawing upon the New Rural Economy project as a case study, interviews with students from eight Canadian universities were conducted to explore these social interaction mechanisms. While findings revealed an array of social interaction mechanisms used to develop student learning networks, the quality of these mechanisms were mixed; thereby influencing the utilization of these networks for guidance and feedback. As faculty organize social interaction mechanisms, they should consider factors such as previous experience, student and faculty relationships, finances, language, gender, ethnicity, and other issues, that will have an impact on student engagement with experiential learning.
More details are available through the following publication:
Ryser, L., Halseth, G., & Thien, D. (2009). Strategies and intervening factors influencing student social interaction and experiential learning in an interdisciplinary research team. Research in Higher Education, 50(3), 248-267.

Building Student Research Capacity: Faculty Perceptions about Institutional Barriers in Canadian Universities
As part of a long tradition, university faculty have been incorporating students into their work to meet the increasing demands for collaborative research. However, some educational institutions in Canada lack appropriate policies and infrastructure to support the pedagogical aspects of student research training and development. Drawing upon experiences with the New Rural Economy project, we explore faculty perceptions of institutional barriers to building student research capacity through a Canadian multi-university research project. Findings indicate that pressures associated with tenure and promotion, and the unintended consequences of policies that guide research operations, do not support student research training and development during a student’s period of enrollment or during transition periods between their research degrees. Faculty also perceive limited mechanisms for sharing resources across educational institutions to facilitate student research engagement across multiple universities.
More details are available through the following publication:
Ryser, L. and Halseth, G. 2009. Building student research capacity: Faculty perceptions about institutional barriers in Canada universities.  Research Management Review 17(1): 1-19.

Linking University and Community Capacities in a Transitioning Rural and Small Town Economy
Marc von der Gonna, Laura Ryser, and Greg Halseth
Taking the Next Steps: Sustainability Planning, Policy, and Participation for Rural Canadian Communities, October 21-23, 2010
Pressures limiting community development and community economic development in rural and small town places include challenges around human resources, infrastructure, industrial capacity, policy supports, environmental assets, and others. Addressing these pressures and challenges often means accessing information and research capacity. Building community-university partnerships is one way by which small places can access needed information and research. This presentation examines opportunities for enhancing community-university research partnerships in the context of the McBride Community Forest. After setting a context for contemporary rural and small town places, we examine the fundamentals of developing community-university research partnerships including the key issue of open and willing communication. Following this introduction, the presentation examines a range of specific information and research needs of the McBride Community Forest including that related to forestry, energy, non-timber forest products, marketing, and community development topics.
Linking Community and University Capacities to Support Community Transition

Student Research Support

Intake: Ongoing
Our team is engaged in several research projects at UNBC that are seeking talented students who would like to undertake Masters and Doctoral graduate research. More information about these opportunities can be found by looking at our current research projects.
The Office of Research provides information about several additional internal and external funding sources to support undergraduate and graduate student research experiences.
General Information
At UNBC, graduate degrees for geography students include:

  • MA (Natural Resources and Environmental Studies - Geography),
  • MA Interdisciplinary Studies,
  • MSc (Natural Resources and Environmental Studies- Geography),
  • a project based Masters of Natural Resources and Environmental Studies, and
  • an inter-disciplinary PhD degree.

We have had many students who have used their research experiences as an important foundation to develop their careers.  Former research assistants have obtained internships with the Northern Development Initiative Trust or have obtained employment with industry (i.e. Taseko), Northern Health, and various other provincial government positions.