Two Trent University Professors Awarded Grants from Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC)


Drs. Stephen Bocking and Stephen Hill of Environmental and Resource Studies Program Awarded Research Grants Totalling Nearly $200,000

Thursday, July 16, 2009, Peterborough

Two Trent University Environmental and Resource Studies professors, Drs. Stephen Bocking and Stephen Hill, have each been awarded a Canadian Environmental Issues research grant by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) as part of a $57 million, multiyear investment by the Government of Canada for new funding suites focusing on priorities for Canadians, including the social and economic prosperity of communities in the North and Canadian environmental issues.

The projects led by Professors Hill and Bocking are among 53 to have received funding from the SSHRC Canadian Environmental Issues grants. Trent is one of only a handful of universities in Canada to receive more than one grant.

Prof. Bocking’s research project, entitled “Biodiversity science and conservation in southern Ontario: historical, contemporary, and spatial dimensions,” will examine the relationship between science and environmental protection through a focus on the historic and current status of biodiversity and conservation in southern Ontario. The $173,000 SSHRC grant will provide funding for field and archival research, GIS development and related hardware and software acquisition, and support for students and other researchers involved in this project.

“This grant will provide several benefits to Trent,” said Prof. Bocking. “It will contribute to the development of Trent as a centre for research on the environment of southern Ontario.” Dr. Hill’s $26,588 research project entitled “Understanding and managing controversy in renewable energy development” examines the controversies that can arise during the development of renewable energy projects such as small hydropower facilities and solar farms. With his collaborator, Dr. Asaf Zohar of Trent’s Business Administration program, Prof. Hill will be examining a number of case studies to better understand the origins of these controversies and to make recommendations for improving the process.

According to Prof. Hill, the project’s relevance “has grown since I wrote this proposal with the recent arrival of the Green Energy Act in Ontario and the emphasis being placed on renewable energy development in the province This grant will not only help me better understand the policy issues surrounding renewable energy, it will also benefit Trent students through paid research assistance and experience.”

The research grants and fellowship programs that are funded by the SSHRC allow researchers to explore, invent and develop knowledge across a wide variety of topics, including the social and economic prosperity of communities in the North and Canadian environmental issues. The programs provide support for research training and research communication activities as well as allowing experts to target research on specific social needs.

SSHRC is a federal agency that promotes and supports university-based research and training in the humanities and social sciences. The council enables some of the highest levels of research excellence in Canada and facilitates collaboration and knowledge sharing across all sectors of Canadian society.


For more information, please contact:
Dr. Stephen Bocking, Professor and Chair, Environmental and Resource Studies, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x7883
Dr. Stephen Hill, Assistant Professor, Environmental and Resource Studies, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x 7368