The Masters in Sustainability Studies program allowed me to bring my passion of sustainable building into my research on social entrepreneurship, where I studied a group of passionate builders pushing for better ways of building to be accepted more widely. As an ethnographic researcher, I worked with this group to build a house using sustainable practices and innovative technologies. After a summer of observing and interviewing these builders, I wrote my Major Research Paper on these builders: “Social Entrepreneurship in the Building Industry.” I kept my hands-on nature while completing an important academic project for the progress of sustainable building through a social science perspective.
The Sustainability Studies program at Trent University was quite an enriching experience. Having colleagues from diverse backgrounds enhanced our reflections and discussions on sustainability related items, permitting us to look at our own research interests from a different perspective. I also had the opportunity to take part in the Indigenous Community at Trent, learning to view sustainability related issued from an Indigenous perspective. This is invaluable to the sustainability discourse today as we strive for a better world for our future generations.
I am currently being trained as an eco-advisor at the University of Quebec in Chicoutimi (UQAC) in a yearlong intensive Eco-advising program. Our formation includes real life projects, such as giving classes to high school students to raise awareness on sustainable development issues and writing articles that are published. We also organized a week long event that included a conference on sustainable building, where we were responsible for gathering the required people and resources for every planned activity.
I will be doing an internship of 600 hours as an eco-advisor for any organization, institution or even government. This will start off my career so that I could make a living while striving to make changes to the way things are done so that sustainability is at the forefront of our actions. I intend to work on sustainable design and construction projects on the side as well as working with the youth towards a more sustainable future. I will be working as a “Storyteller” during the next IMPACT! Youth Sustainability Conference in May 2014. The role of a storyteller will be to capture the essence of this four-day conference in a written and media captured story. Myself, I have taken part in this conference, held by The Cooperators, back in 2011, connecting me to over 160 other students passionate bout sustainability from all across Canada.
Brianna Salmon, 2010
Brianna Salmon is presently the Manager of Transportation and Climate Change at GreenUP, a local environmental nonprofit organization. For the past five years, she has worked in partnership with local government and community agencies to develop policies and programs that support a transition to active and efficient modes of transportation.
Brianna completed her Masters in Sustainability Studies at Trent while continuing her employment with GreenUP, which is located in downtown Peterborough. Her research focus was Transportation Demand Management (TDM) planning, and completing her studies at Trent while maintain her work connections in the community allowed her to translate her research findings into practice immediately.
While at Trent, Brianna was also awarded an NSERC-funded MITACS internship, which she completed with the City of Peterborough. The research completed during this internship sought to better align cycling initiatives and infrastructure being developed at Trent with those being undertaken by the City.
In addition to her work at GreenUP, Brianna is also the Chair of the Peterborough Community Bike Shop Board of Directors, the Vice-Chair and a founding member of the Peterborough Bicycle Advisory Committee, the Chair of the Active and Safe Routes to School Peterborough Partnership, and the Vice-Chair of the Endeavour Centre for Sustainable Building.
Since completing her MA, Brianna has presented her research at a number of national and international transportation conferences. She continues to engage in ongoing research initiatives on behalf GreenUP in projects facilitated by the Trent Center for Community-Based Education.
Janet Knight, 2011
My work is in the area of social and cultural sustainability, particularly in Northern and Indigenous communities. My interest in sustainability developed through personal and professional experience, witnessing the effects of planning without thorough consideration of socio-cultural impacts.
Particularly in Indigenous communities, change manifests in loss of traditional lifestyles, cultural health and social stability and represents an ongoing legacy of communities’ separation from the land in which they are culturally embedded. There must be a thorough understanding of the socio- cultural principles underlying sustainability in the particular context. Evaluating sustainability on economic or environmental terms alone may actually serve to undermine sustainability, as social and cultural factors inform interaction with the natural environment and determine community capacity for adaptation to change.
I completed my Sustainability Studies degree at Trent in 2014. My thesis, “Dimensions of Socio- Cultural Sustainability: Perspectives of Hopedale, Nunatsiavut (Labrador)” was associated with the ‘Valued Places and Spaces’ project, under the Nunatsiavut SakKijânginnatuk Nunalik (Sustainable Communities) Initiative in cooperation with the Nunatsiavut Government and the five Inuit communities of northern Labrador.
Since graduating, I have continued my work as a Research Assistant with the Nasivvik Centre for Inuit Health and Changing Environments, doing fieldwork in Labrador and Nunavut associated with studies around food security and contaminants in wild foods. I’m also part of the Health, Environment and Indigenous Communities Research Group at Trent.
In September 2015 I moved to Vancouver to begin studies in the School of Community and Regional Planning, specializing in Indigenous Communities Planning.
Sara Fralin, 2012
Sara Fralin graduated from Trent University in 2014. Her graduate research investigated urban climate governance in the City of Vancouver. Strategic interviews with senior government officials identified critical success factors that drove the municipal government to develop a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy.
Sara joined Instream Energy Systems Corp in early 2015 as a Government Grant and Marketing Coordinator. Instream is a leading developer of hydrokinetic technologies and a growing renewable energy company. Sara is responsible for identifying all potential funding opportunities in North America, Asia and the European Union and coordinating funding proposals. She also maintains a global opportunity data base and plays a key role in Instream’s communications work around stakeholder relations and website development.
Sara holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and Environment Studies from the University of Victoria. She is a certified yoga instructor who loves the outdoors and spends her time camping and skiing in BC.
Lawrence Keyte, 2012
Lawrence Keyte is a northern alternative energy specialist, interested in understanding Arctic and Indigenous energy issues from the community perspective, and the link between community involvement/ownership and successful sustainable energy projects and policy. He recently completed research contracts with Polar Knowledge Canada and with the Carleton Sustainable Energy Research Centre, where he co-authored a report titled “Report on the State of Alternative Energy in the Arctic”. His M.A. in Sustainability Studies at Tent focused on energy resilience, specifically success factors for northern Indigenous communities moving from fossil fuel dependence into more local, clean and autonomous energy futures. He currently works for the Institute of Science, Society and Policy at the University of Ottawa, where he researches Indigenous engagement in energy planning, provision and development.
Jenn McCallum, 2012
Since graduating from the M.A. Sustainability Studies program, I have been working as the Environmental Technician for the Otonabee Region Conservation Authority. In this role, I take water samples to monitor water quality, and I'm involved in education and outreach with school children and property owners explaining how natural shorelines can benefit water quality. My Master's research explored rural landowners' motivations for restoring wetlands on their property. Creating or restoring wetlands on rural properties is less common than tile draining, the more likely approach to dealing with wet sections of farm fields.
Jessica Correa, 2014
From my early teenage years working at a fast food restaurant, I witnessed first-hand the amount of waste produced by our affluent society. My keen interest in environmental issues matured as the years passed, and I decided to target my passion to promoting individuals to change their behaviour to be a little bit greener. Originally from Oakville, Ontario, I moved to Peterborough to begin my educational journey in Environmental Sciences/Studies at Trent University. I then completed my Master’s Degree in Sustainability Studies from Trent University.
While attending university, I worked for Algonquin Provincial Park, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, and the County of Peterborough Waste Management Department. These summer employment opportunities deepened my understanding of environmental issues and inspired me to search for and develop creative solutions.
I established the online marketing company - Random Acts of Green™. We advertise for our clients to highlight, endorse, and showcase environmental initiatives, using our educational, entertaining, engaging and empowering “Random Acts of Green” brand. We also offer consulting services to help our clients design sustainability strategies and ensure they are recognized for their efforts to green their organizations.
Completed MA Theses
2016 Olujoba Kolawole "Assessment of Corporate Social Responsibility Compliance: A Study of Two Canadian Oil and Gas Corporations" (Supervisor: Dr. Asaf Zohar)
2016 Gordon Halsey "Spirituality, Community and Compassion Matter! Exploring Motivators to Providing Holistic Social and Health Services in Peterborough, Ontario" (Supervisor: Dr. Kathryn Norlock)
2016 Taylor Mackey "An Analysis of Zoning By-Laws and Urban Agriculture in the City of Peterborough, Ontario" (Supervisor: Dr. Tom Whillans)
2016 Tessa Nasca "Active Neighbourhoods Canada: Evaluating approaches to participatory planning for active transportation in Peterborough, Ontario" (Supervisor: Dr. Asaf Zohar)
2016 Elizabeth Teleki "Understanding the Role of Lived Experience in Community Leader's Vision and Governance of Economic Development and Sustainability in Rurally Situated Small Cities: An Exploratory Case Study of Peterborough, Ontario" (Supervisor: Dr. Mark Skinner)
2016 Mohamed Abdel Hady "The Role of Consumption in Canada's Economic Sustainability: A Contribution to the 'Wicked Problem' of Economic, Political, and Environmental Sustainability" (Supervisor: Dr. Byron Lew)
2016 Brook Schryer "LIfe in the Woods: The Motivations of Hunters in Ontario" (Supervisor: Dr. Stephanie Rutherford)
2016 Jessica Correa "University-Aged Millennials' Attitudes and Perceptions Toward Vehicle Ownership and Car-Sharing" (Supervisor: Dr. Stephen Hill)
2016 Emily Willson "Exploring and Evaluating Personal, Cultural and Social Food Needs and the Role of a Community Freezer among Inuit in Hopedale, Nunatsiavut" (Supervisor: Dr. Chris Furgal)
2016 Matthias Purdon "Building wind energy landscapes: exploring the felt experiences of landowners from the cumulative effects of large-scale wind farms in Huron County, Ontario" (Supervisor: Dr. Stephen Hill)
2016 Dennis Badeen "A Test for Pluralism: Coherence, Realism and Relevance" (Supervisor: Dr. Tom Phillips)
2016 Nicole Bilodeau "Identifying Indigenous Determinants of Health: A Mixed- Methods Case Study of Inuit Health in Nunavik" (Supervisor: Dr. Chris Furgal)
2015 Lawrence Keyte “Energy Resiliance in Northern Communities: Critical Success Factors for Sustainable Northern Energy” (Supervisor: Dr. Chris Furgal)
2015 Miriam Mutton “The Art of the Sustainable Street” (Supervisor: Dr. David Holdsworth)
2015 Maureen Elliott “Factors Influencing the Prioritizations of Sites for Conservation on Private Land in Southern Ontario: A Case Study of the Nature Conservancy of Canada” (Supervisor: Dr. Stephen Bocking)
2015 Diana Kouril “Understanding Dimensions of Environmental Sustainability in a Northern Indigenous Context: From Local Values to Strategies” (Supervisor: Dr. Chris Furgal)
2015 Guoyun Xie “Developing a Sustainable Resort: A Case Study of a Family Resort in Central Ontario, Canada” (Supervisor: Dr. Asaf Zohar)
2015 Andreina Pulido “The sustainability of Community-based Water supply Organizations (CWOs): A Case study analysis of rural Columbia” (Supervisor: Dr. Asaf Zohar)
2015 Jennifer McCallum “Why do landowners restore wetlands? A Case Study from East Central Ontario” (Supervisor: Dr. Stephen Bocking)
2015 Sara Fralin “Motivating Policy Responses to Climate Change: A Case Study of the City of Vancouver’s Climate Change Action Strategy” (Supervisor: Dr. Stephen Hill)
2014 Yosra Albakkar “An Integrated Approach to Wastewater Management and Reuse in Jordan: A Case Study of the Jordan Valley” (Supervisor: Dr. Asaf Zohar)
2014 Janet Knight “Dimensions of socio-cultural sustainability: Perspectives of Hopedale, Nunatsiavut (Labrador)” (Supervisor: Dr. Chris Furgal)
2014 Emily Morrison “A Comparative Study Between Canada and Brazil on University Technology Transfer Through Biomaterial Spin-Off Development” (Supervisor: Dr. Suresh Narine & Dr. Asaf Zohar)
2013 Jane Gray “Making More Sustainable Decisions More Often. Sustainability and the perspectives of Policy Practitioners” (Supervisor: Dr. Ray Dart)
2013 Allyson Brown “Evaluating Integrated Environmental Education within an Ontario School Board” (Supervisor: Dr. Paul Elliott)
2012 Emily McCullogh “The Value of Personal Relationships in Relation to the Success of Aid Programs; Experience of Aid Workers in Post-earthquake Haiti” (Supervisor: Dr. Kathryn Norlock)
2012 Brianna Salmon “ Campus Transportation Demand Management Planning: Strategies to Increase the Viability of Utilitarian Cycling at Trent University” (Supervisor: Dr. Stephen Hill)
2012 Geoffrey Eve “Sustainability Reporting in the Oil Sands: A Narrative Analysis of Energy Company Approaches to Sustainable Development” (Supervisor: Dr. John Bishop)
2012 Paul Grieve “Impact of Alternative Agricultural Land-use Systems on Energy and Food Security in Peterborough County” (Supervisor: Dr. Tom Hutchinson)