Students: Water Cohort

Cohort 1 was accepted in Fall 2014

Kesha Fevrier (York)
Kesha Fevrier

Kesha is a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University. She has a Master’s Degree in Environmental Studies, a BA in Geography and a Diploma in Project Management. She has a worked in both the public and private sector in the areas of education (teaching), low income housing development, community development, public consultation, health research and environmental management and planning. While her professional experiences may seem non-linear, her greatest desire is to combine her knowledge and experience in these areas, to deliver initiatives that seek to improve the lives – environmentally, economically, socially and culturally – of the poor and marginalized in the global south.
Keywords: Race, Waste, Value determination, Informal Livelihoods, Resilience
Contact: kmfevrier@gmail.com

Jennifer Gobby (McGill)
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Jen’s main scholarly interest is how research can help support social transformation in response to the many converging crises we face, from climate change to social inequality. Jen completed a BA in Environment (minor Anthropology) from McGill University in 2014 and is now a climate justice activist and researcher working in solidarity with Indigenous and other communities impacted by climate change and extractive industry. She has completed her PhD in Renewable Resources through the Department of Natural Resource Sciences at McGill. Her work focuses on collaborative theorizing, reflection, and strategizing with activists and land defenders across Canada. These collaborations seek to identify and mobilize strategies and theories that can help strengthen efforts to transform our systems into ones that are ecologically sane and socially just, with a firm commitment to both decarbonizing and decolonizing Canada.  Jen is currently a post-doctorate fellow at Concordia University.
Keywords: social-ecological systems transformation, theories of change, climate justice, social movement theory, indigenous rights and resistance and anti-pipeline movements in Canada, decolonizing and decarbonizing
Twitter: @jengobby1
Contact: jennifer.gobby@mail.mcgill.ca

Christopher Orr (McGill)
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Christopher Orr is a PhD candidate in the Economics for the Anthropocene (E4A) project at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. His doctoral research focuses on understanding deep transformations in society-nature relationships and explores their dynamics in the context of Canadian climate change politics. He holds a B.Sc. in Physics and Environmental Science from the University of Toronto and an M.S. from McGill University. His Master’s research focused on the legitimacy of collaborative watershed governance in Quebec. He has experience developing and facilitating collaborative projects. He developed renewable energy projects in Nicaragua, and travelled to India on behalf of a research team at the University of California, Berkeley to design and build a prototype to remove arsenic from groundwater. He also took part in the Great Lakes Futures Initiative.
Keywords: climate change, coevolution, critical realism, deep transformation, environmental sociology, uneconomic growth
Contact: christopher.orr@mail.mcgill.ca

Alvaro Palazuelos (York)

alvaroAlvaro is pursuing a PhD in Environmental Studies at York University. His research is focused on system dynamics modeling approaches to better inform wildlife management issues in Ontario. After a successful internship with the Ministry of Natural Resources of Ontario, Alvaro transitioned to the role of Senior Economist within that ministry. In this role, he utilized his newfound knowledge and expertise gained as a PhD student at York University and as a scholar in the E4A research initiative to evaluate and inform policy development in issues such as climate change and wildlife management. He now transitioned to the role of Senior Economist with the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines, working mostly on resource revenue sharing of mining tax and royalties with First Nations. He has a Master’s Degree in Environmental Studies from University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC), and a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Universidad de San Andres (Buenos Aires, Argentina). In the past he worked as Sustainability Manager for UNBC and as project manager for different non-profit organizations working with underprivileged people in Buenos Aires, his home city. Alvaro’s ultimate goal is to become a bridge between academic ecological                                                              economics theory and real world practice.

Keywords: systems dynamics modeling, socio-economic-ecological modeling, input-output analysis and enviromental extensions, indigenous economics, natural resources economics.

Contact: palazuelos.alv@gmail.com

James Arruda (York) 
jarruda James has an undergraduate degree in economics from Concordia University, Montreal and has graduated with a Masters in Environmental Studies (MES) at York University. His interest lies in Ecological Economics and Indigenous knowledge. As a scholar in the E4A program, he wishes to push the barriers of Ecological Economics as a dynamic, inclusive and interdisciplinary field of study  economics
Contact: jamesmarruda@gmail.co
Matthew Burke (McGill) – Graduated

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Matthew Burke is a Postdoctoral Associate at the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources and Gund Institute for Environment at the University of Vermont, in collaboration with the Leadership for the Ecozoic project. Matthew’s current research aims to examine and support successful integration of renewable energy development and protection and preservation of ecological and agricultural functions of working landscapes across multiple scales.Matthew completed a Ph.D. in Renewable Resources — Environment (May 2019) at McGill University under the supervision of Professors Peter G. Brown (McGill University) and Jennie C. Stephens (Northeastern University). Matthew’s doctoral research focused on sociopolitical and ecological dimensions of the renewable energy transition by examining energy democracy in theory and practice, emphasizing groups active in northeastern North America.

Keywords: energy democracy, renewable energy transition social   movements, energy-ecosystem nexus, energy ethics

           Contact: Matthew.Burke@uvm.edu

Courtney Hammond Wagner (UVM) – Graduated

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Courtney is graduated at the Rubenstein School and a fellow in the Gund Institute’s Economics for the Anthropocene program. Her interests lie in complex Social-Ecological systems and in water systems in particular. Courtney’s research focuses on the interaction between ecosystem resilience and the institutional arrangements and policy governing water allocation. Courtney grew up in the Pacific Northwest and received her bachelor’s in Psychology from Dartmouth College. Following graduation, Courtney worked as a research associate in at ecology lab at Dartmouth, spent two summer field seasons in Greenland investigating Arctic soil carbon storage, and worked as a community outreach coordinator for a science consortium in Barrow, AK. Prior to starting her doctoral studies at UVM, Courtney was an Energy Efficiency Consultant with Navigant Consulting, where she researched and evaluated energy efficiency programs.

Contact: courtney.hammond@uvm.edu

Anna Kusmer (McGill) – Graduated

annaAnna is a freelance writer and a radio reporter for WGBH and Environment producer at PRI’s The World (WGBH). She is based in Boston with a specialty in the environment, science and health. She is interested in environmental justice and how landscapes interact with issues of identity and equity. Anna is also interested in how culture shapes narratives about who and what landscapes and health systems are for. She has also worked as a radio reporter in KQED in San Francisco. She was a 2017 AAAS Mass Media Fellow at KQED Science. Anna has a Master of Science degree from McGill University in Montreal, Canada where she studied ecology and sustainability. She believes stories can change the world.

Twitter: @ASKusmer

Contact: anna.kusmer@mail.mcgill.ca

Phoebe Spencer (UVM) – Graduated

phoebePhoebe Spencer completed her Ph.D. at UVM. Her studies focussed on issues of gender equity in economic systems, including the disconnect between the neoclassical economic paradigm and justice. In the fall of 2014, Phoebe completed an internship with the United Nations Statistics Division working on the World’s Women 2015 report. At UVM, Phoebe completed a Graduate Certificate in Ecological Economics in 2015, her MS in Community Development and Applied Economics in 2013, and a Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Transportation Systems and Mobility in 2012. She completed her BA (Joint Honours) at McGill University in 2011 in Anthropology and Geography with a minor in Hispanic Languages. Phoebe is currently working as a Spatial Econometrician at World Bank Group in Washington, DC.

Twitter: @phoobsey

Contact: pspencer@uvm.edu

Michael Wironen (UVM)

wironenMichael Wironen is currently a Senior Scientist for Agriculture & Food Systems at The Nature Conservancy. Michael completed his PhD in Natural Resources at the Gund Institute at UVM as part of the E4A program. He also received a Graduate Certificate in Ecological Economics. Michael’s research explores decision-making in the management of water resources, environmental flows, and food systems at different scales. Prior to joining UVM, Michael worked as a senior sustainability specialist at an international environmental consulting firm. He helped private and public sector clients integrate sustainability best practices into development projects and large-scale master planning and regional planning initiativesIn addition to his PhD from UVM, he holds a Masters in Sustainability Science from Lund University in Lund, Sweden and a Bachelor’s in Physical Geography from McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

Keywords: phosphorus, food systems, deliberative democracy, environmental change, governance and policy.

Contact: mwironen@uvm.edu