The Department of Environment and Geography is a community of scholars specializing in integrated knowledge of the physical, biological and human environment. Our central aim is to provide exceptional opportunities for learning by providing progressive and comprehensive undergraduate and graduate programs; delivering challenging and innovative courses that foster and promote critical thinking; technical expertise and analytical skills; offering practical, experiential, and workplace learning opportunities; promoting environmental awareness and literacy both within and outside the University; building (inter)disciplinary linkages within the University, and with other universities, governmental and non-governmental agencies, and community groups; supporting and stimulating excellence and innovation in teaching; supporting and stimulating commitment to community service and outreach; supporting and stimulating excellence in research and scholarship; and welcoming and celebrating diversity in the Departmental community.
Dr. Masuda is an assistant professor in the University of Manitoba's Department of Environment and Geography. He is also director of the Centre for Environmental Health Equity, the co-founding organizer of the Canadian Network on Environment, Health, and Social Equity and a co-deputy director of the Research Interest Group on Environmental Health Justice in the City.
Masuda's research and teaching are rooted in the fields of human geography and health promotion. The goal of his research is to develop innovative methodologies that incorporate art, technology and dialogue to uncover deeply entrenched inequities within environmental governance structures and to work at individual, community, and policy levels to overcome them. His two primary areas of research include: (1) the mobilization of communities to promote environmental justice in Canadian inner cities (Vancouver, Toronto, Winnipeg); and (2) promoting asthma and allergy resilient rural and Aboriginal communities to overcome geographic and social barriers to health services and supports (Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia). Masuda is interested in building an integrated, transdisciplinary approach to the theorization, empirical analysis and praxis of environmental justice in the Canadian context. Other areas of research interest include the geography of environmental risk and risk communication, environmental health promotion, knowledge translation/mobilization, critical social theory and community-based participatory research.
Along with co-investigator Dr. Sonia Bookman (sociology), Masuda was awarded a Partnership Development Grant in 2012 to explore long-standing human rights issues facing people who live in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. They will partner with community-based arts and cultural organizations to highlight these struggles and triumphs. The neighbourhood has been the setting for human rights violations against a succession of its communities: the Coastal Salish First Nations, Japanese Canadians, the African-Canadian settlement known as Hogan’s Alley, and most recently low-income residents who are trying to exercise their right to stay despite ongoing gentrification. The researchers will use stories of resilience, race, marginalization and displacement as a strategy to disrupt the current development-driven branding of this neighbourhood as “JapanTown.”
Dr. McLachlan is full professor of environmental science at the University of Manitoba. His main academic goal is to do research that not only contributes to academic literature, but also benefits the livelihoods and environments of Aboriginal and rural communities and other stakeholders. He also strives to be an engaging, progressive and responsible teacher. McLachlan's teaching and research areas blend the biological and social sciences.
He and his research group, the Environmental Conservation Lab, are particularly interested in community-centred and action research with farmers, rural communities and First Nations across western North America, Europe and Asia. These researchers use a broad range of research approaches, including seed bank sampling and interviews, to respond to management and conservation-related problems affecting resource-dependent communities around the world.
In 2003, McLachlan created the SSHRC-funded documentary, Seeds of Change: Farmers, Biotechnology, and the New Face of Agriculture, which examined the controversy surrounding genetically modified crops and their impact on agriculture in western Canada.
McLachlan has worked at the U of M since 1999. Before coming here, he completed a PhD at York University and a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Northern British Columbia.
Jill Oakes’s research focuses on food supply to northern communities.
John Sinclair works in communities where indigenous and immigrants live together and dialogues about how to share resources
Shirley Thompson’s interests lie with food and housing, and water security in northern areas.
Many Aboriginal communities lack adequate infrastructure and food production and distribution facilities such as greenhouses, gardens, livestock or hunting arrangements to ensure local food security.
Dr. Thompson's food-related research projects include looking at the social economy of food (farmer's markets, community gardens, community-shared agriculture, etc.) and two students studying country food and food security in Northern Manitoba Aboriginal communities. She also teaches a graduate course that focuses on food security as an ecosystem health and environmental justice issue.
Dr. Thompson recently completed a two-year research project with Environment Canada on finalizing the Canadian loadings methodology to comply with the International Protocol for Climate Change.
She also managed a $48,000 project with the City of Winnipeg and Manitoba Hydro on landfill gas.
Dr. Feiyue Wang is a professor in the department of environment and geography at the University of Manitoba. He is interested in the biogeochemical processes of trace elements across air-ice-water interfaces, water-sediment interfaces, and the water-biota interface. He works at the molecular scale and at regional and global scales to address “real-world” environmental problems.
Dr. Wang is involved in a partnership with Sapotaweyak Cree Nation that involves teaching high school students to test water quality in their community.