Robus, Jennifer

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Name: Jennifer Robus
Research Project: 
Linking two ways of knowing to understand climate change impacts on geese and First Nations in the Hudson Bay Lowland, Ontario
Thesis Supervisor: Ken Abraham, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
**Committee: Chris Furgal and Eric Sager
Educational level: MSc in the Environment and Life Sciences program- January 2012
University: Trent University
Academic background: BA in Environmental Studies and Geography, emphasis in Environmental Policy and Law (Trent University)
Contact information: jennifer.robus@ontario.ca

About the researcher: 

I began my MSc with a background in biology, geography and environmental law, and a desire to challenge myself both personally and academically as I explored a new level of research. I was intrigued by the idea of linking multiple knowledge systems to better understand ecological change, and of working in a remote area of the province with First Nations who rely so heavily on the land. Formally, I was studying the impact of a changing climate on geese and their relationship to the coastal communities of the Hudson Bay Lowland, using a mixed method which linked technical ways of knowing with local observations. In practice, I was learning about different worldviews, and experiencing a form of research which I found fascinating. I also developed a keen interest in broader issues faced by communities in the Far North of Ontario, as well as in the Arctic.

I am very grateful to have had this opportunity, as well as to have been welcomed into the communities of the Moose Cree and Weenusk First Nations. I learned many valuable lessons in my time on these remote reserves. I also came to appreciate the thoroughness and value of linking different ways of knowing, coming together to tell a more complete story. Putting the theory into practice was challenging, but also very rewarding, and I think necessary for the success of the project. These challenges also fuelled my interest in research design, human-ecological relationships, as well as a desire to continue working with Indigenous communities on environmental issues.