Brock launches new research unit for environmental sustainability

Richard Mitchell, Tim Heinmiller, Brad May, Diane Dupont, Steven Renzetti, Tony Ward, Ryan Plummer

From left: Richard Mitchell, Tim Heinmiller, Brad May, Diane Dupont, Steven Renzetti, Tony Ward, Ryan Plummer

A group of Social Sciences faculty members at Brock have launched a new research unit with a focus on environmental and sustainability issues.

The Brock Environmental Sustainability Research Unit (BESRU), which launched last month, is housed within the Department of Tourism and Environment.

“Over the last year, we have been working together, getting to know each other and increasingly recognizing where our interests were coalescing,” said Ryan Plummer, professor of Tourism and Environment and a founding member of BESRU.

The group’s primary areas of research include water resources and resilience, environmental governance, climate change and adaptation, and First-Nations social justice and equity.

“These are really the three big areas, the three initial themes that sparked our collective interest,” Plummer said. “Formally establishing the research unit was a way for us to now start doing some really interesting collaborative and world-class international research around some of these areas in which we have strength.”

BESRU’s founding membership includes:

“Brock is located wholly within a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve,” Mitchell said. “With this designation comes the invitation to engage in exactly these kinds of integrative, cross-faculty and transdisciplinary research endeavors.”

As the group continues to develop its research agenda, new faculty and students from across the University will join the fold.

“In the social sciences, we think about environment in a fairly broad sense and not only in terms of the ‘natural’ environment,” said Thomas Dunk, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences. “And there’s a lot of expertise in the Faculty of Social Sciences at Brock in these diverse areas.

“The linkages between what happens to the natural environment and the way that society is organized and the way people behave — all of these things are all wrapped up together. So it is only fitting that a cross-cutting group of members from our Faculty have teamed up to closely examine issues related to the environment and sustainability.”

Posted on March 1, 2011

2 Comments

  1. Azzam (Sam) Mahboob says:

    This collaborative interdisciplinary research unit is a great idea. I am interested to share my research interests with any member who is interested in the same area. My broad interest is in the Land Resource in Canada’s North. With the rising interest of the nations sharing the north pole, Canada needs to find ways of securing its sovereignty over its parts of the polar zone, now becoming a typical commons arena. International relations, sustainability theory, resilience theory, systems thinking, cultural studies, environmental studies, and institutional resistance to change, are among the various fields involved. This can be presented as a typical area of collaborative research. May I respectfully suggest this as a possible area of collaborative research?
    Azzam (Sam) Mahboob (Brock U. graduate)

  2. Richard C. Mitchell says:

    Thank you for your post - please visit ESRC website and if interested further submit your CV and become one of our Affiliates.

    R.C. Mitchell
    ESRC Communications Director

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