Author Archives: Research Group Coordinator

Knowledge Mobilization: From Knowledge to Action

January 16th, 2014 | Posted by Research Group Coordinator in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Knowledge Mobilization: From Knowledge to Action)

HEICRG_KnowledgeMobilizationDisplay_Jan2014

 

The Health, Environment, and Indigenous Communities Research Group reaches out to the Trent University community to shed light on how knowledge gained through their research is leading to action.

The display “Knowledge Mobilization: From Knowledge to Action” elaborates on what Knowledge Mobilization is and provides examples from some of the research group members that highlight elements of the Knowledge Mobilization process. Inspiration for this display was the article “The Evolution of a Research Collective” published recently about the research group on the front page of Trent’s Showcase Magazine’s Special Edition on Knowledge Mobilization.

What is Knowledge Mobilization?

Knowledge Mobilization (KM) is the process of moving knowledge generated through research into action of a variety of forms (decisions, programs, policies, etc).

At the heart of KM lies a partnership between the research community and community of knowledge users, working together to co-create knowledge and understanding through systematic inquiry. Such partnership requires collaborative, dynamic, iterative processes to ensure that the focus and conduct of research remains relevant and appropriate for all those involved.

The process of KM includes the communication, uptake, and implementation of research results that ultimately and ideally have positive impact. Implementation and impact are monitored and evaluated to direct adaptation of the future collaborative research efforts.

Knowledge creation within the KM process not only refers to gaining a better understand of an issue, but also about enhancing our understanding of the process through which research is conducted, communicated, disseminated, implemented and evaluated.

Explicit awareness of and attention to the knowledge mobilization process, taking place between communities of researchers and knowledge users, can lead to more effective and positive outcomes for all those involved.

Diagram: Knowledge Mobilization Process (click on image to enlarge)

Article – Research Group featured in Trent News

January 10th, 2014 | Posted by Research Group Coordinator in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Article – Research Group featured in Trent News)

Trent Continues Legacy of Award-Winning Arctic Student Research
Four grad students win awards at Canada’s largest annual Arctic research gathering


Solidifying the University’s’ reputation as a leader in arctic research, four Trent graduate students walked away from Canada’s largest annual arctic research conference with awards in the poster competition.

The students were part of a 20-person delegation of Trent graduate students, researchers and faculty members who attended the ArcticNet Scientific Meeting (ASM) in Halifax in December.

Boasting a consistently strong presence at the ASM each year, Trent University continued its legacy of award-winning graduate student research in 2013. This year, four awards of the ArcticNet ASM graduate student poster award competition went to members of the Health, Environment and Indigenous Communities (HEIC) Research Group directed by Trent professor Dr. Chris Furgal.

Amongst the award-winners was M.A. candidate in Sustainability Studies, Kristeen McTavish, who received the Inuit Partnership of Excellence Award, the most prestigious award to be given to a graduate student at the ASM and presented to the poster that best addresses Inuit priorities, involves Inuit partners and builds capacity.

Speaking of the honour, Ms. McTavish said:  “I feel extremely honoured to have been selected for the Inuit Partnership Award. This work would certainly not be possible without the enthusiasm and drive of all of our community and organizational partners. I hope that this award helps to showcase the importance of engaging in this type of research, which produces relevant, useful, and implementable research results and benefits to communities.”

The poster award competition is held annually at the ASM to acknowledge excellence in research and presentation, encouraging students to continue in their meaningful contributions to research that ensures the stewardship of the changing Canadian Arctic. Additional Trent winners included: Kaitlin Breton-Honeyman, PhD candidate in Environment and Life Sciences, second place in the Marine-Natural Science category; Emily Willson, M.A. candidate in Sustainability Studies, first place in the Social Science and Human Health category; and Nicole Bilodeau, M.A. candidate in Sustainability Studies, third place in the Social Science and Human Health category. To view pictures of the winners, visit http://heicresearch.com/?p=1481

Janet Kivett Knight, a Trent M.A. candidate in Sustainability Studies, found attending the ASM an invaluable experience, and commented on the importance of allowing researchers in all stages of their careers to connect to others in the field while often making linkages across disciplines.

“It’s a unique opportunity to connect around a common focus on Northern issues, but with the involvement of multiple perspectives, which build out a more holistic picture of what is happening in the Arctic,” Ms. Kivett Knight said.

Click here to view article on the Trent News website.

Congratulations – Four research group members receive poster awards in 2013 ArcticNet ASM poster competition

December 30th, 2013 | Posted by Research Group Coordinator in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Congratulations – Four research group members receive poster awards in 2013 ArcticNet ASM poster competition)

Four awards of the 2013 ArcticNet ASM graduate student poster award competition went to members of the Health, Environment and Indigenous Communities research group, therewith continuing the legacy of award-winning graduate student research being conducted under the supervision of Chris Furgal.

The poster award competition is held annually to acknowledge excellence in research and presentation, therewith encouraging students to continue in their meaningful contributions to research that ensures the stewardship of the changing Canadian Arctic.

Poster award winner: Kristeen McTavish, M.A. candidate (middle) – Inuit Partnership of Excellence Award, presented to the poster that best addresses Inuit priorities, involves Inuit partners and builds capacity

Poster award winner: Emily Willson, M.A. candidate (right) – First place in the Social Science and Human Health category

Poster award winner: Kaitlin Breton-Honeyman, PhD candidate (right) – Second place in the Marine-Natural Science category

Poster award winner: Nicole Bilodeau, M.A. candidate (left) – Third place in the Social Science and Human Health category

Official video footage of the ASM can be viewed here.

 

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

December 19th, 2013 | Posted by Research Group Coordinator in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Video – Dr. Chris Furgal talks about the Health, Environment and Indigenous Communities (HEIC) Research Group)

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

Article – Unique Trent Research Group Conducts Knowledge Mobilization in its Truest Form

December 19th, 2013 | Posted by Research Group Coordinator in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Article – Unique Trent Research Group Conducts Knowledge Mobilization in its Truest Form)

The following article was featured as the cover story of the Fall 2013 issue of Showcase: The Knowledge Mobilization Edition. View the complete publication at here.

TrentShowcase_Fall2013_CoverPage

 

Unique Trent Research Group Conducts Knowledge Mobilization in its Truest Form

The Evolution of the Health Environment and Indigenous Communities (HEIC) Research Collective

When Dr. Chris Furgal decided to unite his group of diverse graduate students and research assistants under one umbrella several years ago, he had no idea that the group would evolve into the dynamic formal research collective it has become today.

“These students, like me, are doing research which lies at the intersection of different disciplines and topics, so they don’t easily fit in one discipline,” says Professor Furgal, a professor in Trent’s Indigenous Environmental Studies program, who is cross-appointed between the Environmental Resource Science/Studies and Indigenous Studies Departments. “When I first formed the group, the intention was to provide a common collective and a supportive environment for graduate students and young researchers. It evolved when my students wanted to contribute and take on more, even above and beyond simply sharing their experiences and getting support for their own thesis projects.”

The graduate students, research assistants and postdoctoral fellows who make up the group are all studying or working under the supervision of Prof. Furgal and represent a variety of graduate programs, from the Indigenous Studies Ph.D. and the Environmental & Life Sciences M.Sc. and Ph.D., to the Sustainability Studies M.A. and the Canadian Studies & Indigenous Studies M.A programs. With 24 current members, the recently formalized Health Environment and Indigenous Communities (HEIC) research group is the second largest group of its kind at Trent.

Common Themes Unite Researchers

Inspired by the discovery of (sometimes surprising) commonalities between their research projects, students and researchers in the HEIC group gain motivation from the collective and interactive atmosphere the group provides.

“The group has facilitated and, to a degree, promoted common themes around research that no single student or researcher in the group could have taken on entirely by themselves,” says Prof. Furgal.

This pooling of collective experience, together with facilitating an exchange of communication of what they are learning, means students in the HEIC collective are working together to achieve knowledge mobilization in the truest sense of the word.

Group Interactions Spark Knowledge Mobilization

Prof. Furgal explains that, while some students’ projects directly explore issues of knowledge mobilization (for example, evaluating the communication of territorial health survey results to northern communities), knowledge mobilization is also a direct product of the interactions sparked within the HEIC group itself. A prime example of this is a new collective research paper, authored by members of the HEIC group around the importance of relationship in conducting research with and in Aboriginal communities, and how to communicate about this issue to different audiences and in different forms.

“Our relationships with the communities we work with is something we spend a lot of time discussing and learning about in the group and in our individual projects,” says Prof. Furgal. “It ties in directly with issues of research ethics and social responsibility. Good, ethical, responsible relationships are a goal and hopefully a result in our work with communities; they are not just a means through which we gather our data – and this is something we recognize and respect. We have learned a lot about the importance of relationship in the research we do and the group wanted to explore ways of sharing our collective learning on this topic with a broader audience.”

Taking Research Public

Highlighted in the paper, which has been submitted to the journal The Canadian Geographer for publication, are direct learnings from the research projects and experiences of several HEIC members. These projects include: a study on the ecology of a hunted population of beluga whales in the Arctic using both science and Indigenous Knowledge; an examination of goose ecology in a Northern Ontario First Nation where the management of the species could have potential impacts on the needs of residents who depend on the resource for food and culture; a study about the role of Indigenous Knowledge in developing environmental policy in Northern Labrador; and an examination of the implications of climate change on accidents and injuries while traveling on the sea ice for residents of an Arctic Inuit community.

Speaking of the common issues discussed in the paper, Prof. Furgal says: “It’s not just about the importance of relationship in getting the research done respectfully, but about how to communicate that importance to other researchers. My students recognized this critical element in their work and came together to share their experiences on this topic and learn from one another. This resulted in their creation of a collective research paper on this topic that draws on a diversity of related experiences they have had as young researchers. This opportunity came about as result of being part of this research collective. Together they have reflected on commonalities in their research to identify issues, generate possible solutions, and share their findings.”

Learn more about the HEIC group: www.heicresearch.com
Watch the video at http://goo.gl/pJolOa

2013 ArcticNet Annual Scientific Meeting – PHOTOS

December 11th, 2013 | Posted by Research Group Coordinator in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on 2013 ArcticNet Annual Scientific Meeting – PHOTOS)

Photos of research group members at the 2013 ArcticNet Annual Scientific Meeting, held  in Halifax, NS, from December 9-11. Stay tuned for more photos!

Research group members represented at the 2013 ArcticNet Annual Scientific Meeting

December 11th, 2013 | Posted by Research Group Coordinator in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Research group members represented at the 2013 ArcticNet Annual Scientific Meeting)

2013ASMBanner
Members of the Health, Environment and Indigenous Communities research group are currently participating in the 2013 ArcticNet Annual Scientific Meeting, taking place in Halifax between December 11th and 13th.

Below is a schedule of the group members’ oral presentations and poster presentations. The complete program can be downloaded here.

Presentations at Topical Sessions:

Wednesday, December 11th 2013

11:15am: “Understanding Scientist and Decision Maker Perspectives on the Arctic Science-Policy Landscape” by Chris Furgal (Room 200B)

10:30am: “The Local Knowledge Gap: Knowledge Tracking as a Diagnostic Tool for Evaluating Knowledge Translation from Iqaluit to Ottawa” by Rachel Hirsch (Room 301)

4:15pm: “Social, Cultural, Economic and Ecological Determinants of Food Security in Northern Communities” by Cédric Juillet (Room 304/5)

Thursday, December 12th 2013

11:00am: “Dimensions of Socio-Cultural Sustainability: Hopedale, Nunatsiavut” by Janet Kivett Knight

11:15am: “Understanding Environmental Sustainability in the North: Case Study in Hopedale, Nunatsiavut” by Diana Kouril

3:30pm: “Building Capacity among Youth for the Future of Inuit Health Research” by four Inuit Youth and Kristeen McTavish

Friday, December 13th 2013

11:45am: “The Inuvialuit Settlement Region – Community-Based Monitoring Program (ISR-CBMP)” by Jennie Knopp

Posters (Grand Ballroom 200A):

OBSERVATIONS OF MARINE MAMMALS IN THE COASTAL WATERS OF NUNAVIK (#156)
Breton-Honeyman, Kaitlin (kaitlinbh@gmail.com) C. Furgal, M. Hammill, V. Lesage, W. Doidge and B. Hickie

IDENTIFYING INDIGENOUS DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH: INSIGHTS FROM INUIT AND AN ANALYSIS OF INUIT SELF-RATED HEALTH (#92)
Bilodeau, Nicole (nicolebilodeau@trentu.ca) and C. Furgal

ADDRESSING THE ‘NEED’ FOR SUSTAINABLE FOOD SECURITY INITIATIVES: EVALUATING THE ROLE OF A COMMUNITY FREEZER PROGRAM IN SUPPORTING INUIT FOOD SECURITY (#97)
Willson, Emily (emilywillson@trentu.ca), C. Furgal and T. Sheldon

EFFECT OF INCREASED SOLAR EXPOSURE ON ARCTIC SPECIES’ HEALTH, DRAWING UPON BOTH SCIENTIFIC METHODS AND TRADITIONAL ECOLOGICAL KNOWLEDGE (#161)
Martinez-Levasseur, Laura (lmartin ez@trentu.ca), C. Furgal, M. Simard, B.Doidge, K. Acevedo-Whitehouse, M. Birch- Machin,M. Hammill and G. Burness

EVALUATION OF INUIT COMMUNITY-LED FOOD ASSESSMENTS AND INITIATIVES: ASSESSING EFFORTS TO ADDRESS FOOD INSECURITY IN INUIT COMMUNITIES (#96)
McTavish, Kristeen (kristeenmctav@trentu.ca), C. Furgal and K. Jameson

THE INUVIALUIT SETTLEMENT REGION – COMMUNITY-BASED MONITORING PROGRAM (ISR-CBMP) (#38)
Knopp, Jennie (jennieknopp@yahoo.com), F. Pokiak, V. Gillman, L. Carpenter, L. Staples and N. Snow

ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF SCIENCE ACTIVITIES AND PRODUCTS IN THE CANADIAN ARCTIC (#47)
Furgal, Chris (chrisfurgal@trentu.ca), A. Durkalec, 
L. Braithwaite, D. Hik, S. Meakin, S. Nickels, P. Moss Davies5 and M. Buckham

ARCTICNET’S IRIS PROCESS AS A SCIENCE-POLICY MECHANISM: A CASE STUDY OF IRIS 4 IN NUNAVIK AND NUNATSIAVUT (#46)
Furgal, Chris (chrisfurgal@trentu.ca), D. Hik, S. Nickels, S. Meakin, M. Buckham, K. Kelley, P. Moss-Davies and L. Braithwaite

REPRESENTING INUIT KNOWLEDGE OF LANDS AND RESOURCES IN NUNATSIAVUT USING CONCEPT VISUALIZATION AND WEB MAPPING (#51)
Pulsifer, Peter L. (pulsifer@nsidc.org), C. Furgal, T. Sheldon, J. Wilkes, R. Devillers and S. Nickels

Video – Perspectives from the Land: Climate Change and Country Food Security in Nunavik

November 6th, 2013 | Posted by Research Group Coordinator in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Video – Perspectives from the Land: Climate Change and Country Food Security in Nunavik)

The majority of Inuit adults in the Canadian Arctic annually harvest country food. Country food includes caribou, whales, seals, ducks, arctic char, shellfish and berries among others. In this 12- minute film, the topics of climate change, resource access and country food security in Nunavik (northern Quebec) are looked at by scientists and local Inuit experts. Filmed like a news program, it was produced to disseminate information on climate change and country food security to Nunavik community residents with particular emphasis on reaching students and municipal decision makers.

For more information, click here.

 

Graduate Students’ Photography Inspires Dialogue about Northern Food Systems

May 31st, 2013 | Posted by Research Group Coordinator in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Graduate Students’ Photography Inspires Dialogue about Northern Food Systems)

Graduate Students’ Photography Inspires Dialogue about Northern Food Systems

Trent research group brings Arctic research closer to the greater Peterborough community

The Trent University-based Health, Environment and Indigenous Communities Research Group is showcasing “Food for Thought”, a photography exhibit that tells a story of Inuit relationships to traditional foods that have sustained them for generations. On display in The First Peoples House of Learning at Gzowski College until mid-June, the display is sparking conversations about Northern food systems.

Exhibited photos were taken by research group members – master’s and doctoral students, post-doctoral fellows and research assistants – during their fieldwork across Canada’s North. The exhibit draws attention to the complex food systems that exist in Canada’s North by highlighting the opportunities and challenges faced by northern communities as they work to maintain access to sufficient, nutritious, and culturally meaningful food. These photos demonstrate that hunting seal, whale and caribou, as well as trapping, fishing and gathering berries are not simply means for providing food and for supporting local economies; they are essential elements that form and sustain cultural and social identities of northern communities.

This photo display was an example of how the group is reaching out beyond itself to the broader community. It is an educational outreach initiative that provides a space where the research happening at Trent University more accessible to the greater Peterborough community.

Zankhna Mody, a Trent undergraduate student who came to the opening reception, was fascinated by the photographs and to learn about graduate research conducted at Trent that is oftentimes distant to the undergraduate student population. “As a student I’ve studied food issues from ecological, political and community-based perspectives, but like most Canadians, I have never travelled up to Northern Canada”, Ms. Mody said. To her, the photos showed the diverse nature of Canadian food systems while highlighting the importance of local foods systems for societal, cultural and environmental health.

The photo display was also showcased at Sticking’s Bakery & Bistro in downtown Peterborough throughout the month of April as part of the city wide SPARK Photo Festival, a celebration of photography with exhibitions in more than 40 locations around the city.

For more information about the research group, visit the following site: http://heicresearch.com/

Related News:  “The Best Graduate Course We’ve Never Taken” – Health, Environment, and Indigenous Communities Research Group Enhances Graduate Students Learning Experience

Link to this article: http://www.trentu.ca/newsevents/newsDetail.php?newsID=5024

“The Best Graduate Course We’ve Never Taken”

April 19th, 2013 | Posted by Research Group Coordinator in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on “The Best Graduate Course We’ve Never Taken”)

HEIC RG at Opening Reception

“The Best Graduate Course We’ve Never Taken”

Health, Environment, and Indigenous Communities Research Group Enhances Graduate Students Learning Experience

When Dr. Chris Furgal started bringing his graduate students together to share their research, he had no idea that the collective would take on a life of its own. But the Health, Environment, and Indigenous Communities Research Group exceeded all of his expectations. And the group’s success has drawn interest from other Trent professors who want to replicate the model.

“Graduate school can be a lonely and isolating experience,” explains Dr. Furgal, an associate professor in Trent University’s Indigenous Environmental Studies Program. “I wanted to create a place where the students I supervise could come for support, and interact socially with other young researchers sharing similar experiences. I didn’t expect them to become as involved or to get as excited as they have about the idea.”

The research group, which began informally four years ago, was formalized as the Health, Environment, and Indigenous Communities Research Group in 2012. It is currently comprised of sixteen graduate students, four post-doctoral fellows, and six research assistants. All are supervised by, or working with, Dr. Furgal, and are doing research in Indigenous communities, many in the North. The group is multi-disciplinary, with members cutting across four Trent graduate programs: Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies M.A. programIndigenous Studies Ph.D. programSustainability Studies M.A. program, and Environmental & Life Sciences M.Sc. and Ph.D. programs.

Every two weeks the members come together to provide an update on their research and to identify challenges they face. At each session there is a discussion topic, led by one or more of the students, that is of interest to all members. “As a supervisor, these meetings are an efficient way for me to stay apprised of my students’ progress,” says Dr. Furgal. “But the meetings also provide students with opportunities to receive critical feedback from their peers and learn from one another.”

Kaitlin Breton-Honeyman describes the learning as synergistic, with members constantly encouraging and feeding off each other. Ms. Breton-Honeyman, a Ph.D. candidate in the Environmental & Life Sciences program, has been involved in the group from its earliest stages and seen it evolve to its present state. She describes it as the “best grad course we’ve never taken” because of how it has helped shape her thinking about research, how to make presentations, and how to move forward with future research.

Dr. Furgal notes that the collective has grown beyond its original purpose of sharing research. “The group has become something that complements all of our graduate programs for these students. We have our own server where students can share files, a common lab place, and a web site. And we have common resources, such as literature and data bases, which the students contribute to and can access.”

Collectively, members are engaged in activities which they would not normally do as individual students. Shirin Nuesslein, communications and outreach coordinator for the group, points to a photo exhibition put together by members. “The photo display is an example of how the group is reaching out beyond itself to the broader community,” says Ms. Nuesslein. “It makes the research being conducted and the issues being discussed at Trent University more accessible to the greater Peterborough community.” The photo exhibition, which tells a story of Inuit and their relationship with the environment, was part of the recent SPARK Photo Festival in Peterborough.

Importantly, the group has cultivated social relationships that go beyond the formal group sessions, and which strengthen their overall student experience. Ms. Nuesslein says “Meaningful friendships have been formed and a high level of care and reciprocity exists amongst members. Students are willing to help each other, and the success of one research group member is celebrated as the success of the entire group.”

This willingness to help others is important to new graduate students, says Emily Willson, who is in her first year in the Masters of Arts in Sustainability program. “As a newcomer to Peterborough, I didn’t know anyone, but the group was welcoming and inviting,” says Ms. Willson. “And as a new graduate student, I find the group is helpful as I develop my research proposal. It’s a different way of learning – interacting with people from other disciplines has taught me a whole different way of looking at things.”

As the activities of the group continue to expand, Dr. Furgal says they are at the point where they can put together a discussion paper series on topics related to their research. Ms. Nuesslein adds that a series of video podcasts is also in the works.

Long term, Dr. Furgal would like to expand the group into a research institute at Trent, bringing together researchers from business administration, Indigenous studies, environmental studies and sciences, along with individuals working on health and environment issues in psychology. “Trent has the business component, the environmental sciences component, and the cultural component for working with Indigenous communities effectively and appropriately,” says Dr. Furgal. “I see a great opportunity here at Trent to pull it all together in the formation of a unique research institute, involving other faculty members and other disciplines.”

Posted on Friday, April 19, 2013.

Link: http://www.trentu.ca/newsevents/newsDetail.php?newsID=4905