I received a Liber Ero Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2016.

My project is titled: Conveying caribou: developing effective community-based communication tools to support sustainable caribou stewardship

I will be mentored by the Sahtú Renewable Resources Board (Dr. Deborah Simmons, Michael Neyelle), the University of Manitoba and Parks Canada (Dr. Micheline Manseau), the University of Toronto (Dr. Keren Rice), the American Museum of Natural History (Dr. Chris Filardi), and CBC North (Joanne Stassen).

Project description: Including indigenous people in environmental decision-making is crucial to the implementation of effective conservation actions, but there remains a critical gap in the exchange of information among researchers, managers, policy makers, and indigenous communities. This interface deserves attention because social, cultural, and language barriers are especially pronounced in northern Canada. The lack of effective communication strategies has hindered the success of caribou management plans. In order to find sustainable solutions to the complex management challenges that characterize this culturally and ecologically important species, there is a need to develop a common understanding through transparent and effective communication. My research project will develop, assess, and evaluate innovative cross-cultural methods required to communicate indigenous and scientific knowledge about caribou, among indigenous communities and to other stakeholders, in a clear and compelling manner. By focusing on communication and education, the project will produce a framework for improving public engagement related to ongoing landscape-scale planning processes. The project will innovate adaptive interdisciplinary tools that can be used by researchers and communities to facilitate cooperative long-term problem solving, improve the performance of ongoing research, and raise awareness for management priorities. The project will support real, practical conservation outcomes that reflect diverse ways of knowing and affirm the value of community caribou stewardship.