Trained as both a natural and social scientist, I regularly collaborate with engineers, natural and medical scientists on interdisciplinary analyses of environmental governance and sustainability, focusing on fresh water issues. Working across disciplines is sometimes enlightening, sometimes frustrating, but ultimately well worth it. In fact, I believe it’s essential.
At UBC, I hold a Canada Research Chair, and am also the Director of the Program on Water Governance at UBC’s Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability.
Many of my students have interdisciplinary backgrounds; most do interdisciplinary research. I’ve had the privilege to work with amazing students and staff, some of whom are listed here.
Some of my research takes place in Canada, but I continue to do international fieldwork, as do many of my students. We’ve just finished a major project in Indonesia, and are in the midst of a project on new (post)neoliberal environmental governance in Latin America. My newest project is a seven-year, collaborative grant on Sustainable Water Governance and Indigenous Law.
I’m a passionate believer in academic engagement in public and policy debates. So I regularly advise governments, think tanks, and international organizations. Recent examples include authoring a report on water governance for the OECD’s Territorial Review of water governance in Venice, participation in a United Nations-led Expert Consultation on the human right to water, and advising the Canadian government on delegated (or “shared”) water governance strategies. My writing has also appeared in the New York Times, the Huffington Post, the Guardian, the Globe and Mail and Dissent.
Privileged to live in one of the world’s most beautiful cities, I try to live by the adage that ‘those who have much, should give much’, in both big and little ways. A believer in the power of community activism and the importance of community service, I volunteer with several organizations and am involved in the food politics movement. In my personal life, I’m a gardener, and a year-round cyclist (admittedly easier than in most parts of Canada). Last but not least, I have two beautiful daughters and an inspiring husband who keep me busy (and humble).