Author Archives: Research Group Coordinator

Food Security at Trent University

April 5th, 2018 | Posted by Research Group Coordinator in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Food Security at Trent University)

Food security is an important issue in the developing world and is recognized as a growing problem in developed countries especially as it affects nutrition among vulnerable population groups such as post-secondary students. Research has shown that it is critical to have proper nutrition to support student learning and academic performance and success. At Trent University, what is the prevalence of food (in)security?

Our research project examined the factors affecting food security and its implications for student health and academic performance among full-time first-year university students living away from home. An online survey was developed and distributed using selected questions from the 18-item Household Food Security Survey Module (HFSSM) from Statistics Canada’s annual Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS). Participants answered questions about their experiences and challenges in accessing food during the first academic semester (Fall) in 2016.

Our study identified that food insecurity is an issue for nearly half of the full-time first-year students at Trent University living independently away from home. An alarming 48.0% of the student respondents surveyed experienced some degree of food insecurity during their first semester. Approximately one-third or 32.3% were Moderately Food Insecure, meaning they had compromised quality and/or quantity of food they ate due to lack of money; and 15.7% experienced Severe Food Insecurity meaning they were skipping meals or full days without food because of their lack of ability to get enough to eat during the term.

Our analysis showed significant associations between food security status and students’ living accommodation, as well as meal plan participation. While a large proportion of students living on campus was categorized as Food Secure, those living off campus were more likely to be found Food Insecure.

Student respondents’ self-reported mental health (anxiety, depression), ability to keep up with schoolwork and academic performance were all found to be associated with their food security status. Within these self-reported categories, students categorized as Food Secure were more likely to report a more positive mental health status, ability to keep up with schoolwork and overall academic performance than students categorized as being Food Insecure. Although no significant association was noted between food security status and student respondents’ sources of financial support, we observed within our findings that a greater proportion of students who relied on their family for financial support were Food Secure than those who relied on other sources of income.

This study suggests that a significant portion of the population of full-time first-year Trent University students living away from home are Food Insecure. Further, this is related to their living and funding situations and that their food security status may be affecting their academic performance and aspects of their health. By effectively addressing food issue at Trent, we may better facilitate student retention, enhance academic achievement and contribute to short and long term social, physical and mental health among these individuals.

For more information regarding the research please see the factsheet or contact Anne-Sylvie Dasné at annesylviedasne@trentu.ca or Dr. Chris Furgal at chrisfurgal@trentu.ca.

You can download the factsheet here

TFAS_FactSheet_2016-2017_sd - FRONT TFAS_FactSheet_2016-2017_sd - BACK

 

 

 

Arctic Change 2017

December 22nd, 2017 | Posted by Research Group Coordinator in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Arctic Change 2017)

Members of the Health, Environment and Indigenous Communities Research Group participated in the 2017 Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM), Arctic Change, in Québec City, Québec, Canada, between December 11th – 15th. It was a great opportunity to share, learn and engage with the wider Arctic research community! Our group members collectively participated in the Elevator Pitch Competition, Poster Contest, and presented in a number of topical sessions throughout the week.

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Left to right top row Kristeen McTavish, Paul McCarney, Chris Furgal,
Brittany Curry-Sharples, Katie Rosa, Alyssa Sgro, Eric Lede, Shirin Nuesslein
Bottom row: Agata Durkalec, Mark Basterfield, Anne-Sylvie Dasné

 


Student Day Highlights

Panel Session I: Conservations from the couch I – The role of non-government organizations in Arctic research
Research Group Member Panelist: Kristeen McTavish
Panelists: Dr. Stephen Petersen (Assiniboine Park Zoo), Kristin Westdal (Oceans North), Adriana Kusugak (Ilitaqsiniq – Nunavut Literacy Council), Cayla Chenier (Ilitaqsiniq – Nunavut Literacy Council), Kristeen McTavish (Food Security Coordinator for Nunatsiavut). Facilitator: Cassandra Debets (PhD Student, University of Manitoba).

Panel Session II: Conservations from the couch II – Community based research in the Arctic
Research Group Member Panelist: Kristeen McTavish

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Left to right: Shannon O’Hara (Inuit Research Advisor for Inuvialuit), Kristeen McTavish (Food Security Coordinator for Nunatsiavut), Carla Pamak (Inuit Research Advisor for Nunatsiavut), Jody Illasiak (Paulatuk Hunters and Trappers Committee) and Dr. Tristan Pearce (Senior Research Fellow at the University of the Sunshine Coast).

Elevator Pitch Competition

 

 

 

Eric Lede, Shirin Nuesslein, and Katie Rosa’s elevator pitches were all highlighted in the student day highlights video (0:33-0:45).


Presentations in Topical Sessions

Topical Session: Food Security in the Arctic – From Understanding to Action

IMG_9966Chris Furgal:  The importance of scale in understanding and addressing Arctic food security

IMG_9967 Kristeen McTavish: Moving from results to action on food security in Nunatasiavut

2017-12-14 16.07.07
Lindsay Thackeray: The Role of Policy in Arctic Food (In)security: An Exploratory Case Study in one Inuit region of the Canadian Arctic

Topical Session: Education, Outreach, and Communication: How Can We Make Northern Research and its Outcomes More Relevant to the People Who Live There?
IMG_9973    IMG_9971 (1)
Shirin Nuesslein & Catriona Popoff: Evaluating contaminants learning: The Experience of the Nunavut Arctic College Environmental Technology Program’s wildlife, contaminants and health workshop

Topical Session: Co-Producing Knowledge of Wildlife Important for Subsistence in a Changing Climate
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Paul McCarney:
Exploring the potential for knowledge co-production in the Arctic: Lessons from three case studies in Nunavut, Canada

Topical Session: Vulnerability, Adaptation and Resilience to Climate Change in the Arctic
Eric Lede:  We don’t adapt in a vacuum: the role of multiple stressors in adaptation to climate change in Paulatuk, NT


Research Group Members’ Posters in the Health & Social Science Category 

20171214_210505 2 Banquet Dinner Poster Competition Awards
We are proud to announce that research group member Kristeen McTavish received the 2nd place prize for the Poster Competition Health & Social Science category!

 

IMG_9943Chris Furgal: A systematic review of food insecurity measurements among Indigenous populations in Northern Canada

 

IMG_9961Shirin Nuesslein: Key factors influencing food security status of vulnerable groups in Inuit communities: A case study of Elders in Nunatsiavut.

Katie_IMG_9941Katie Rosa: Changing ecosystems, wildlife management, and Indigenous knowledge and values: The case of tuktuvak (moose) and Inuit knowledge in Nunatsiavut.  
Kristeen McTavish:
Inuit Food Security in Nunatsiavut: The community-specific nature of a widespread public health issue.

Eric Lede: We don’t adapt in a vacuum: the role of multiple stressors in adaptation to climate change in Paulatuk, NT

Lindsay Thackery: The Role of Policy in Arctic Food: A case study of Nunavik

IK ADAPT Students and Young Researchers Network: Collaboration in Action: Lessons learned from working as a network of students and young researchers.

2016 Annual ArcticNet Scientific Meeting – PHOTOS

December 14th, 2016 | Posted by Research Group Coordinator in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on 2016 Annual ArcticNet Scientific Meeting – PHOTOS)

Members of the Health, Environment and Indigenous Communities Research Group participated in the 2016 Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, between December 5th – 9th. It was a great opportunity to share, learn and engage with the wider Arctic research community!

dsc_1336-1Current and former HEIC research group members and project collaborators

Back (left to right): Megan Dicker, Kristeen McTavish, Mark Basterfield, Shirin Nuesslein,
Kaitlin Breton-Honeyman, Jennie Knopp, Prof. Chris Furgal, Vinay Rajdev, Katie Rosa, Eric Lede
Front (left to right): Kayla Bruce, Cecile Lyall, Agata Durkalec, Coral Voss, Lindsay Thackeray


PHOTOS OF PRESENTATIONS

Panel Discussion - ‘Vision for Sustainable Arctic Communities’  Chair: Chris Furgal; Panellists (left to right): Sherilee Harper, Megan Dicker, Jamie Snook, Shelly Elverum

Panel Discussion – ‘Vision for Sustainable Arctic Communities’
Panellists (left to right: Sherilee Harper, Megan Dicker, Jamie Snook, Shelly Elverum); Chair: Chris Furgal

EVALUATING CONTAMINANTS LEARNING: THE EXPERIENCE OF THE NUNAVUT ARCTIC COLLEGE ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM’S WILDLIFE, CONTAMINANTS AND HEALTH WORKSHOP Nuesslein, Shirin, C. Furgal, M. Gamberg, J. Shirley, J. Carpenter and J. F. Provencher

Shirin Nuesslein

EVALUATING CONTAMINANTS LEARNING: THE EXPERIENCE OF THE NUNAVUT ARCTIC COLLEGE ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM’S WILDLIFE, CONTAMINANTS AND HEALTH WORKSHOP
Nuesslein, Shirin, C. Furgal, M. Gamberg, J. Shirley, J. Carpenter and J. F. Provencher

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN COMMUNITY PLANNING AND DECISION-MAKING AROUND PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUES: CASE STUDY OF THE COMMUNITY-LED FOOD ASSESSMENT PROCESS IN NUNATSIAVUT AND NUNAVUT McTavish, Kristeen, C. Furgal, S. Hill and NiKigijavut Nunatsiavutinni Project Team

Kristeen McTavish

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN COMMUNITY PLANNING AND DECISION-MAKING AROUND PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUES: CASE STUDY OF THE COMMUNITY-LED FOOD ASSESSMENT PROCESS IN NUNATSIAVUT AND NUNAVUT
McTavish, Kristeen, C. Furgal, S. Hill and NiKigijavut Nunatsiavutinni Project Team

EVALUATING CONTAMINANTS LEARNING: THE EXPERIENCE OF THE NUNAVUT ARCTIC COLLEGE ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM’S WILDLIFE, CONTAMINANTS AND HEALTH WORKSHOP Nuesslein, Shirin, C. Furgal, M. Gamberg, J. Shirley, J. Carpenter and J. F. Provencher

Shirin Nuesslein

EVALUATING CONTAMINANTS LEARNING: THE EXPERIENCE OF THE NUNAVUT ARCTIC COLLEGE ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM’S WILDLIFE, CONTAMINANTS AND HEALTH WORKSHOP
Nuesslein, Shirin, C. Furgal, M. Gamberg, J. Shirley, J. Carpenter and J. F. Provencher

THE ROLE OF POLICY IN ARCTIC FOOD (IN) SECURITY: AN EXPLORATORY CASE STUDY OF NUNAVIK Thackeray, Lindsay and C. Furgal

Lindsay Thackeray

THE ROLE OF POLICY IN ARCTIC FOOD (IN) SECURITY: AN EXPLORATORY CASE STUDY OF NUNAVIK
Thackeray, Lindsay and C. Furgal

 

LIST OF PRESENTATIONS

FOOD SECURITY EXPERIENCES IN NUNAVIK: TOWARDS A MULTIVARIATE UNDERSTANDING OF A GENDER-BASED APPROACH TO DEVELOP INTERVENTIONS AND PROMOTE FOOD SECURITY
Fillion, Myriam, M Lucas, E A. Laouan Sidi and C. Furgal

WHAT WE DON’T UNDERSTAND ABOUT FOOD SECURITY IN THE ARCTIC: INSIGHTS AND FUTURE DIRECTIONS
Furgal, Chris, C. Pirkle, L. Teh, G. Muckle and M. Lucas

PUBLIC PARTICIPATION IN COMMUNITY PLANNING AND DECISION-MAKING AROUND PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUES: CASE STUDY OF THE COMMUNITY-LED FOOD ASSESSMENT PROCESS IN NUNATSIAVUT AND NUNAVUT
McTavish, Kristeen, C. Furgal, S. Hill and NiKigijavut Nunatsiavutinni Project Team

EVALUATING CONTAMINANTS LEARNING: THE EXPERIENCE OF THE NUNAVUT ARCTIC COLLEGE ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNOLOGY PROGRAM’S WILDLIFE, CONTAMINANTS AND HEALTH WORKSHOP
Nuesslein, Shirin, C. Furgal, M. Gamberg, J. Shirley, J. Carpenter and J. F. Provencher

RINGED SEAL FEEDING ECOLOGY DETERMINED THROUGH LOCAL ECOLOGICAL KNOWLEDGE AND STOMACH CONTENT ANALYSIS
Ghazal, Maha, C. Furgal and S. Ferguson

GOING OFF, GROWING STRONG: RESULTS FROM A MIXED-METHODS PROGRAM EVALUATION TARGETING AT-RISK INUIT YOUTH
Hackett, Christina, E. Obed, D. Angnatok, C. Pamak, D. Baikie, R. Dicker, L. Angnatok, R. Laing, T. Sheldon and C. Furgal

STRESSORS OR STRESSES? ADDRESSING THE NUANCES OF MULTIPLE STRESSORS IN HUMAN DIMENSIONS OF CLIMATE CHANGE SCHOLARSHIP IN THE ARCTIC
Lede, Eric, T. Pearce and C. Furgal

THE ENUK PROGRAM: PARTICIPATORY, COMMUNITY-LED ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH SURVEILLANCE WITH INUIT IN RIGOLET, NUNATSIAVUT, CANADA
Sawatzky, Alexandra, A. Cunsolo, D. Gillis, A. Bunce, O. Cook, I. Shiwak, C. Flowers, J. Shiwak, J. Ford, C. Furgal, V. Edge, The Rigolet Inuit Community Government RICG and S. Harper

THE ROLE OF POLICY IN ARCTIC FOOD (IN) SECURITY: AN EXPLORATORY CASE STUDY OF NUNAVIK
Thackeray, Lindsay and C. Furgal

 

ARTICLE – Story of Fat Documentary Highlights Changes in Arctic Environment

August 30th, 2016 | Posted by Research Group Coordinator in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on ARTICLE – Story of Fat Documentary Highlights Changes in Arctic Environment)

Story of Fat Documentary Highlights Changes in Arctic Environment:

Dr. Chris Furgal makes use of video’s enduring impact as a means of sharing findings with a broader audience

Trent University News article to be viewed here

When communicating advances in research and study to a mass audience, taking your audience to places they have never been has always proven most effective.

When Dr. Chris Furgal, an associate professor with Trent University’s Indigenous Environmental Studies program, and his colleagues, decided to share the findings of their extensive research on the relationships between environmental change, marine fats and Inuit health, they decided on the production of a documentary. The result was Utsuk: A Story of Fat, a documentary that outlines key aspects of the team’s research while exploring the value of the relationship that exists for Inuit, and other Indigenous peoples, between their health and that of their environment through their connection with foods harvested from both land and sea.

“In our early discussions about the research program and its various components, we identified the desire to do something more than only publish journal articles for the academic community,” explains Professor Furgal, who is also the co-founder/director of the Nasivvik Centre for Inuit Health and Changing Environments.

“My sense is that storytelling of any form can do a great service to communicating the relevance of, and learning from, our research to a broader audience. Particularly for topics or regions which few have the chance to access, experience or see for themselves, video can be a powerful tool. Hopefully, the communication of this issue in the form of a video, highlighting the importance of Indigenous perspectives and knowledge, will help this information reach a larger number of people than were it to be solely communicated through traditional academic pathways.”

As one of three producers of UTSUK: A Story of Fat, Prof. Furgal came away from the experience with “a much greater appreciation” for those who are able to summarize complex research and related issues for a mass media audience. “There is far more involved in it than I ever thought,” he says.

» Learn more, and watch the full documentary

Posted on Tuesday, August 30, 2016.

 

DOCUMENTARY – UTSUK: A Story of Fat (full-length)

August 23rd, 2016 | Posted by Research Group Coordinator in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on DOCUMENTARY – UTSUK: A Story of Fat (full-length))

The UTSUK program was a research initiative funded through the International Polar Year, ArcticNet and Northern Contaminants research programs in Canada to look at the relationships between environmental change, marine fats and Inuit health and wellbeing in the Arctic. The project involved researchers in the environmental, health and social sciences working in collaboration with Inuit organizations, knowledge holders, hunters, Elders and communities.

The changes taking place and interactions between aspects of the Arctic environment and Inuit health and society were the impetus for the development of research aimed at understanding the nature, role and importance of marine fats in Inuit diet, and ultimately Inuit health, and how that may be changing in relation to a variety of different forces.

This video documentary introduces aspects of the research project and explores the larger topic of environmental, social and cultural change and health transition among Inuit and other Indigenous Peoples. It emphasizes the value of the relationship that exists for Inuit, and other Indigenous Peoples, between their health and that of their environment through their connection with country foods harvested from the land and sea. Further, it discusses the challenges to and importance of maintaining aspects of a healthy diet in the context of a changing world.

Official release of UTSUK documentary film – August 9, 2016

August 8th, 2016 | Posted by Research Group Coordinator in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Official release of UTSUK documentary film – August 9, 2016)

DOCUMENTARY – UTSUK: A Story of Fat (trailer)

June 17th, 2016 | Posted by Research Group Coordinator in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on DOCUMENTARY – UTSUK: A Story of Fat (trailer))

The UTSUK program was a research initiative funded through the International Polar Year, ArcticNet and Northern Contaminants research programs in Canada to look at the relationships between environmental change, marine fats and Inuit health and wellbeing in the Arctic. The project involved researchers in the environmental, health and social sciences working in collaboration with Inuit organizations, knowledge holders, hunters, Elders and communities.

The changes taking place and interactions between aspects of the Arctic environment and Inuit health and society were the impetus for the development of research aimed at understanding the nature, role and importance of marine fats in Inuit diet, and ultimately Inuit health, and how that may be changing in relation to a variety of different forces.

This video documentary introduces aspects of the research project and explores the larger topic of environmental, social and cultural change and health transition among Inuit and other Indigenous Peoples. It emphasizes the value of the relationship that exists for Inuit, and other Indigenous Peoples, between their health and that of their environment through their connection with country foods harvested from the land and sea. Further, it discusses the challenges to and importance of maintaining aspects of a healthy diet in the context of a changing world.

The 35 minute long video documentary can be viewed as part of the Culture Unplugged Online Film Festival until 8pm EDT on Friday, June 17th 2016, and will be available soon on our website: www.utsukfilm.ca

VIDEO – What is HEIC? 

February 25th, 2016 | Posted by Research Group Coordinator in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on VIDEO – What is HEIC? )

Dr. Chris Furgal talks about his Health, Environment and Indigenous Communities (HEIC) Research Group.

 

 

PUBLICATION – Trends and key elements in community-based monitoring: a systematic review of the literature with an emphasis on Arctic and Subarctic regions

February 9th, 2016 | Posted by Research Group Coordinator in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on PUBLICATION – Trends and key elements in community-based monitoring: a systematic review of the literature with an emphasis on Arctic and Subarctic regions)

Diana Kouril,ab Chris Furgal,bc Tom Whillansd

aSustainability Studies Graduate Program, Trent University, 1600 West Bank Drive, Peterborough, ON K9J 7B8, Canada.
bHealth, Environment and Indigenous Communities Research Group, Trent University, 1600 West Bank Drive, Peterborough, ON K9J 7B8, Canada.
cIndigenous Environmental Studies Program, Trent University, 1600 West Bank Drive, Peterborough, ON K9J 7B8, Canada.
dEnvironmental and Resource Studies Program, Trent University, 1600 West Bank Drive, Peterborough, ON K9J 7B8, Canada.

Corresponding author: Diana Kouril (email: dianakouril [at] trentu.ca)

Full text here

Abstract: Community-based monitoring (CBM) is receiving much attention from the research community, particularly in Arctic and Subarctic regions of Canada and other circumpolar regions. Currently, there is a lack of understanding of the trends and patterns in its use within the literature and a documented need to improve environmental CBM efforts in the Arctic and Subarctic regions. A systematic literature review was conducted of CBM publications in peer-reviewed and grey literature to provide a synthesis of trends on the topic and to clarify key elements that are needed to operate an environmental CBM program in Arctic and Subarctic regions. Both sets of literature show a significant growth in the publication of CBM studies over time, with a high proportion of research taking place in North America and in the field of environmental sciences. More CBM studies are reported in connection to First Nations and Inuit groups, as compared to other Indigenous groups. Thirteen key elements of environmental CBM programs, commonly reported in the literature focused on Arctic and Subarctic regions, were identified in the analysis. Specifically, traditional and local ecological knowledge (TLEK) was a unique component highlighted in Arctic and Subarctic sources and a specific feature observed in studies focusing on Indigenous groups. The identification of such key CBM elements serves as a resource to guide current and future environmental CBM initiatives in northern regions and elsewhere. Future research on this topic should contrast and compare literature findings with existing environmental CBM programs and provide more case studies to show the process and utility of environmental CBM initiatives in the Arctic and Subarctic, particularly with use of TLEK and the ways to facilitate it within a CBM program.

Key words: community-based monitoring, Arctic, Subarctic, systematic literature review, Indigenous peoples.

ARTICLE – Trent Prof Receives 2015 Mentor Award from APECS and ArcticNet Students Association: Dr. Chris Furgal recognized for work with early career researchers

January 5th, 2016 | Posted by Research Group Coordinator in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on ARTICLE – Trent Prof Receives 2015 Mentor Award from APECS and ArcticNet Students Association: Dr. Chris Furgal recognized for work with early career researchers)

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Dr. Chris Furgal, an associate professor of Indigenous Studies and Environmental Studies at Trent University, has received the 2015 Mentor Award from the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS) and ArcticNet Students Association.

“It was a huge honour to receive the award and be recognized for an aspect of my work in the North that I truly love – working with and learning with and from my students and other young researchers,” said Professor Furgal. “I have been very privileged to have some great mentors during my undergraduate and graduate degrees and early stages of my career both at the University and in the Inuit communities and regions in the North with whom I work. I really just try to emulate the great example they have set for me in providing support, encouragement, guidance and access to opportunities to students and other young researchers so that they may create their own success.”

The award recognizes the time and energy that mentors dedicate to early career researchers working in the North, as well as their efforts in building a supportive community. Prof. Furgal, who is also the director of the Health, Environment and Indigenous Communities Research Group (HEIC) at Trent, accepted the award at the ArcticNet Annual Scientific Meeting in Vancouver.

Prof. Furgal was one of six nominees for the award. He was nominated by members of Trent’s HEIC research group, with letters of support provided by colleagues and community leaders across Canada. The mentor award review committee noted that Prof. Furgal’s nomination stood out among the six submissions, which were all of excellent quality.

Shirin Nuesslein, a research assistant and administrative coordinator of the HEIC group who helped spearhead the nomination said, “What makes Chris an incredible mentor to me is that he approaches everything he does through the lens of capacity building. He has a special perception for seeing the potential in individuals and the ability to gently guide us towards it with trust and encouragement and at a pace commensurate to our capacity.”

“Our professors get a lot of professional recognition for their research and academic work, but often the work they do behind the scenes goes unnoticed,” added Kristeen McTavish, a graduate student in the Sustainability Studies program and member of the HEIC group. “Chris works tirelessly as a mentor for all of his students and his colleagues and it was important for us to have that officially recognized.”

Dr. Furgal’s gift was a book, presented by the HEIC group, filled with photos and personal messages from more than 50 people across Canada who supported his nomination. “It’s up to the nominators to choose a gift and we thought such a book would be the most meaningful to give to him,” Ms. Nuesslein explained.  “It’s a very unique collection of memos and photos from a wide range of people including both mentees and mentors of Prof. Furgal.

Posted on Monday, December 21, 2015. Click here to view original article in Trent News.