Lakehead University Alumni Magazine

Editor's Message

Frances Harding
Published October 22, 2010


While visiting Vancouver Island this past summer, I had the pleasure of meeting Nathan Bennett, one of Canada's most talented doctoral students in the humanities and social sciences. Nathan is the recipient of a 2010 Trudeau Scholarship, which is helping to support his doctoral research at the University of Victoria on biodiversity and climate change in marine protected areas on the Andaman Coast of Thailand.

Nathan Bennett
Nathan Bennett
Nathan's biography, published on the Trudeau Foundation website, touches on some of the ideas developed in our feature story "A Fine Balance" in this issue: "As society's storytellers, social scientists have a challenging and ever-important role in facilitating the creation of grounded, strategic, and effective solutions that will support both conservation and development outcomes at a local level. The solutions that we embrace in the 21st century will need to be increasingly creative and reflective of the particular social and ecological context within which they operate."

Nathan acknowledges the role Lakehead faculty members played in helping him secure the Trudeau Scholarship, saying, "The thorough and grounded research training combined with the mentorship and support that I received while doing my master's degree in the Master of Environmental Studies in Nature-Based Recreation and Tourism program (through the School of Outdoor Recreation, Parks, and Tourism at Lakehead University) was central to the strength of my application. In particular, I want to recognize the support that I received from my supervisor, Harvey Lemelin, and my committee, Margaret Johnston and Lesley Curthoys."

While doing graduate work with Professor Harvey Lemelin at Lakehead, Nathan worked alongside members of the Lutsel K'e Dene First Nation to study their perspectives on the benefits of conservation and capacity building in the creation of a national park on the East Arm of Great Slave Lake, Northwest Territories. For this work ( Nathan received the 2010 Robin P. Armstrong Memorial Prize for Excellence in Native Studies, awarded to one Canadian graduate student each year by the Canadian Association of Geographers. His doctoral research will examine several questions related to the complex and evolving relationship between coral reef marine protected areas and local livelihoods on the Andaman Coast of Thailand through a solution-oriented lens.

Congratulations Nathan! And congratulations to Professors Rhonda Koster and R. Harvey Lemelin for receiving Lakehead's first Aboriginal Partnership Research Award. The Award is for two research projects being done with Chief Pierre Pelletier and Kristine Metansinine from the Red Rock Indian Band: "Building Capacity in Rural Communities through Appreciative Inquiry," and "Rural Tourism in Resource-based Communities: An Examination of Regional Tourism Networks in Northern Ontario."

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