External research funding for FES projects since 2000 has reached more than 10 million. This tells us what we already know: that research is at the heart of FES. The time and effort faculty members devote to securing research funding helps faculty and students engage in the innovative research that defines the Faculty, and the diversity and scope of the successful projects – and of the granting institutions – showcases the interdisciplinarity and the broad relevance of our work.
Funds raised though major grants, while designated for particular projects, benefit the entire Faculty. They help put FES in the spotlight by highlighting the work we do. They also help foster the general research culture in the Faculty. Research culture goes far beyond the amount of money raised from external sources, and it is clear from the wide array of seminar series, conferences and publications that emerge from the Faculty that FES has one of the most diverse and active research cultures at York. By showcasing the success of these major grant holders we celebrate the continuing development of that research culture and the many innovative and exciting activities it supports and inspires.
The Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network (CAAN) holds Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week each year from December 1st-5th. This convergence of cultural, social, health and political events during Aboriginal AIDS Awareness Week is a demonstration of the importance of dedicated attention to the Aboriginal HIV/AIDS agenda (CAAN photo).
Steven Ferguson, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
The goal of the study is to investigate the health and ecology of seal populations in the Gulf of Boothia and to collect information on seals that will allow monitoring of the foraging habits of polar bears, which rely on seals as prey. A collaborative partnership with the community of Kugaaruk will be done to carry out a community‐based monitoring program to collect biological information and samples from seals harvested in the Gulf of Boothia (Polar Bears International Photo).
Anders Sandberg, Stephen Bocking and Stephen Hill (Trent University)
The project examines the complex environmental, political, social and economic relations concerning controversies that implicate rural and urban regions and communities. It focuses on two dimensions of complexity: (1) evolving rural-urban relations through conflicts over land use and/or local development initiatives; and (2) role played by knowledge-based authority in these conflicts whether constructed on the basis of scientific expertise or attachment to place.
M.K. Anderson, Erin Konsmo, Jennifer Rankin
This initiative will explore how Métis women and youth understandings of 'place' (as a social determinant of health) impacts on their ability to exercise sexual and reproductive health rights that create conditions of vulnerability to HIV (Taking Action 4 Youth photo).
Peter Victor and Eric Miller
Tim Jackson (University of Surrey, UK)
The project aims to analyse the possibility of achieving economic and financial stability, high employment and good social outcomes, in the presence of clearly defined resource and environmental limits, even if these mean some limits to economic growth. GEMMA will allow policymakers, scholars, and the engaged public to explore these scenarios.
The research aims to critically investigate the role of investor rights provisions in trade and investment agreements in the ability and/or willingness of Canadian law makers to enact tough environmental laws. The research will focus on trade and investment regimes and how they may affect regulatory decision-making with respect to the environment, primarily in cases of resource extraction (A. Smith photo).
IRENA is an intergovernmental organization that aims to promote widespread adoption and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy. The project will support the establishment of a renewable energy learning portal towards the creation of a global network of students interested in further education and training on sustainable energy (IRENA photo).
Laura Taylor and Emily Stewart
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) and Deloitte Consulting
The overall goal of the proposed research is to evaluate the SNAP program. The intent is to learn from the three pilot SNAPs that are currently underway, and similar initiatives around the world, to improve the design and delivery of the program in the future, and its transferability to other neighbourhoods within and beyond the Greater Toronto Area. (TRCA Photo)
This Café Scientifique project aims to engage, inform and provoke dialogue about the importance of storytelling in HIV prevention, treatment, support and care. Drawing from a variety of community-based research projects and creative works, community members and researchers are invited into a dialogue about storytelling's role in transforming people’s health and environment. (CIHR Café Scientifique event photo on arts-based health research in Ottawa in 2011).
Sue Watson (Environment Canada’s National Water Research Institute )and Todd Howell (Ontario Ministry of the Environment’s Environmental Monitoring and Reporting Branch)
The project aims to provide Georgian Bay Forever and government agencies with a sounder scientific understanding of risk factors of cyanobacteria blooms in the embayments of Eastern Giorgian Bay, especially those factors which influence oxygen depletion of surface sediments, a key risk factor (Wikimedia Commons photo).
The research aims to quantify internal loading rates of iron and phosphorus by measuring iron and phosphorus release from sediment cores collected at several stations throughout the study sites. The project will provide insights on the conditions that directly lead to bloom formation and will enhance research and monitoring capacity to assist in policy decision making at local and provincial levels (Wikimedia Commons file photo).
Anna Zalik and Ike Okonta
New Centre for Social Research and Social Action Integrated Development Centre, Nigeria
The central goal of the research is to examine the implications of initiatives seeking substantive transparency for democratic leadership shared prosperity and energy security in Nigeria and globally. Grounded in the literature and conceptual approaches to the political economy of oil, and democratization and development, the research will identify prospects for innovative synergies between these different transparency initiatives to promote a more coherent regulatory framework and increased public access to information (Wikimedia Commons photo file).
The CRC aims to develop an interdisciplinary approach to sustainability and culture – investigating relations between environmental literature and environmental politics. The research emphasizes writing as an analytical realm and research tool to explore environmental cultures and conflicts – probing humanities’ contribution to sustainability and role of literary activity in promoting and extending the environmental public sphere.
The project will monitor trends in the nutritional condition of polar bears in the Canadian Arctic and will examine the relationships between body condition and ongoing environmental change.
Doorsteps Neighbourhood Services
The project will employ a participatory methodology focusing on urban watershed issues and challenges as identified by community members. The methods and materials developed in community-run workshops, and environmental and civic engagement initiatives with adults and seniors in neighborhoods near York will be disseminated nationally and internationally via community organizations’ websites as well as academic and professional publications.
The research aims to assess the effect of sulphate levels on several impacts associated with excessive fertilization of lakes. The study is conducted in a remote, fishless lake in northwestern Ontario’s Experimental Lakes Area. Sulphate is believed to play a key role in regulating various microbial processes in North American lakes and differences in sulphate concentrations may explain variance among individual lakes.
The project aims to create a pan-Canadian network for communities to share information and experiences about oil and gas developments and to provide analysis to inform environmental policy at the provincial and federal levels. The mentoring of graduate students involved in the project will serve to train the next generation of critical Canadian oil scholars.
This project is a co-application with NSAC for AAFC’s Organic Science Cluster research program. Rod and Martin are collaborating on a project on environmental stewardship and product branding to model global warming potential reductions associated with watershed transition to organic farming.
The study explores the impact of exurbia within the Lake Simcoe watershed. It takes a comprehensive look at the process of exurbanization and its impact on environment and politics in the area. Drawing on traditions from urban and regional planning, cultural geography, landscape ecology and political ecology, it considers the governance and land use planning context, landscape analysis including ecology, and analysis of residents’ attitudes towards local nature and the global environment.
The research aims to advance knowledge and understanding of the relationship between urban industrialization and environment naturalization in the GTA. It uses the aggregate product cycle as a case study to explore the reconstitution of the urban landscape and the ways aesthetic conceptualizations of urban space affect conversion of industrial sites into ecological habitats.
Roger Keil (York), Ute Lehrer (York), Lisa Drummond (York), Shubhra Gururani (York), Douglas Young (York), Fulong Wu (Cardiff), Jill Grant (Dalhousie), Richard Harris, (McMaster), Zhigang Li (Sun Yat-sen University), Jochen Monstadt (Technische Universitat Darmstadt), Jamie Peck (UBC), Elvin Wyly (UBC), Pierre Hamel (University of Montreal), Nick Phelps (University College London), Rob Shields (University of Alberta), Jan Nijman (University of Miami), Solomon Benjamin (National Institute of Advanced Studies), Pierre Filion (University of Waterloo), Alan Mabin (University of Witwatersrand), Robin Bloch (University of Wolverhampton), Sonia Hirt (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University), and Paul Knox (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University)
Liette Gilbert (York), Stefan Kipfer (York), Laam Hae (York), Karl Schmid (York), Julie-Anne Boudreau, (Institut national de la recherche scientifique - INRS), Anne Rademacher (New York University), Christian Schmid (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich), Ludger Basten (Technische Universitat Dortmund), Matthias Bernt (Universitat Leipzig), Dirk Heinrichs (Universitat Leipzig), Byron Miller (UCalgary), George Owusu (University of Ghana), David Wilson (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Richard Milgrom (University of Manitoba), Per Gunnar Roe (University of Oslo), Caroline Andrew (UOttawa), Deborah Cowen (UofT), Phuc To (UofT), Alan Walks (UofT), Emmanuel Brunet-Jailly (University of Victoria), Mark Whitehead (University of Wales, Aberystwyth), and Alison Todes (University of Witwatersrand).
Based on the experience of Canadian suburbanization, but ranging from North America’s wealthy gated communities to Europe’s high-rise-dominated suburbs, the exploding outskirts of Indian and Chinese cities to the slums and squatter settlements of Africa and Latin America, this project is the first to systematically take stock of worldwide suburban developments while analyzing their governance models, land use, infrastructure and suburban everyday life.
Ella Soper-Jones and Joshua Russell
This is a public forum, conference, and workshop sponsored by the Sustainable Writing Laboratory (SWL) to be held on October 21-23, 2011 at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto. The conference-workshop aims to consider what politicizing the environmental aesthetic might mean in the context of public culture, politics, and the environmental imagination by Canadian writers and scholars on the subject of Canadian literatures.
Sarah Flicker, Robb Travers (Laurier), Stephanie Ann Nixon (UofT), Jacqueline Gahagan (Dalhousie), Catherine Anne Worthington (UCalgary), Louise Binder (CTAC), Adrian Guta, UofT, and Mike Wilson (OHTN)
Sarah Flicker, Robb Travers (Laurier), Stephanie Ann Nixon (UofT), Jacqueline Gahagan (Dalhousie), Catherine Anne Worthington (UCalgary), Louise Binder (CTAC), Adrian Guta, UofT, and Mike Wilson (OHTN)
The research aims to provide a platform that advocates for a dual focus on community and individual rights in community-based research (CBR) that respects multiple ethical norms and traditions. Reviews of current Research Ethics Board (REB) practices are conducted in Canada to explore common HIV/AIDS related CBR ethical dilemmas and to develop and pilot test an assessment tool for CBR ethics review.
Farid Bensebaa, Tyler Hamilton, and Peter Love
The project aims to support the application of sustainable energy policies and technologies in the development of the renewable energy market in Ontario. The activity is also aimed at expanding public knowledge about existing renewable energy programs and training graduate students on knowledge mobilization techniques focused on sustainable energy issues.
The research aims to document ways in which communities perform their responses to violence in practices of remembering and forgetting. It will also review these performances against official responses to national inquiries and media reports, as well as analyze the relationship between performed practices of remembering and forgetting in the reproduction of urban violence
The research aims to provide an improved understanding of fire activity under climate change and fire suspension as well as to contribute to a more informed decision making-processes for sustainable development in forest management.
The research examines the relationship between complexity and ethics within the general framework of the moral foundations of ecological economics. The project will update and extend the macroeconomic model LowGrow, including re-specification and/or re-estimation of equations with a capacity to represent Canada’s ‘fair’ share of planetary boundaries, disaggregation of investment, and explicit representation of the financial sector.
Ontario District School Boards
As part of the government’s strategic commitment to environmental education, the funding will be used to build capacity for environmental education and action in Ontario schools such as curriculum development, certification programs, upgrading French language resources, web development and outreach activities across the province.
This is an extended research project on particulate organic carbon formation and production of labile iron in boreal streams to a broader range of lake and stream types along trophic and pH gradients. The project is intended to provide critical biogeochemical information that is directly relevant to climate change scientists, freshwater ecologists and environmental managers (Wikimedia Commons file photo).
The research aims to identify the natural and anthropogenic factors that influence predator foraging over multiple temporal and spatial scales. It will produce improved and innovative methods for studying the foraging habits of free-ranging predators (i.e., polar bears, wolves and wolverines).
The project applies lessons learned in developing the Estuary and Lake Computer Model (ELCOM) hydrodynamic 3D model and Computational Aquatic Ecosystem Dynamics (CAEDYM) biological/biogeochemical models for Lakes Erie and Ontario to Lake Simcoe. It examines the effects of climate change, biological community structure and phosphorus concentrations on oxygen depletion offshore and macrophyte growth and fish habitat inshore.
The project assembles historical data, including oxygen and temperature profiles, External phosphorus and water loads, to calculate, compare and determine contribution to water total phosphorus concentration (Wikimedia Commons file photo)
Tom Clark, University of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
The research explores non-Aboriginal attitudes towards Canadian reconciliation agenda in an international-comparative perspective. It argues that reconciliation as both public policy and social goal is highly dependent on a much greater consciousness of the ideological processes of non-Aboriginal communities in Canada. Moreover, a key to understanding reconciliation as both public policy and social goal is to explore public discourse within a moment of concern or obligation (Wikimedia Commons file photo).
Rachel Hirsch and Martin Bunch
The research explores how integration of various types of knowledge – indigenous, local, government, scientific – facilitates or constrains communications about food insecurity decision making. The project will help link completed research, policies currently in place and being developed, and actual practices of communities all aimed at promoting ecological and human well-being in the face of changing environment.
The project uses participatory research to examine how well urban public spaces are actually meeting the needs of diverse communities in Canada, and how planning for social sustainability and diversity might better address the needs of a diverse urban populace. The project involves diverse low-income communities in Montreal, Toronto, and Calgary in exploring their experiences and perceptions of public space, mapping the opportunities and barriers they encounter within the city, and articulating what needs to change to promote a more equitable and sustainable urban future.
University of Kwazulu-Natal, University of Nairobi, Eduardo Mondlane University, Community Development Foundation, IUCN Mozambique, Jubilee South Africa.
This CCAA research and capacity development program links civil society organizations, universities, local governments, students, and low-income community groups in the search for governance structures that enable civil society groups to play an active part in urban water governance and urban water policy making. The project will open up opportunity for learning and capacity building of civil society organizations in the three cities to address climate change vulnerabilities in urban Africa.
This research project brings together academics from York University in Toronto and from Goethe University in Frankfurt to examine how supportive policy environments in commercial and residential land development, security and transportation infrastructure are created in decentralized mid-size suburban municipalities in the Frankfurt and Toronto regions. The research will study how these municipalities react to the challenges of belonging geographically and functionally to a global city region (Wikimedia Commons file photo).
June Larkin & Jean Paul Restoule (UofT), Claudia Mitchell (McGill), Randy Jackson (Canadian Aboriginal Aids Network), and Tracey Prentice (UofOttawa)
Taking Action II is a national project that aims to explore how Aboriginal youth are becoming HIV leaders in their communities and to understand HIV in the context of communities, culture and colonization. The initial research aimed to build aboriginal youth capacity in the areas of HIV prevention knowledge and resource development to address HIV issues in their local communities. It also examined the efficacy of engaging aboriginal youth in HIV prevention leadership using arts-based approaches).
The project will monitor trends in foraging as well as nutritional conditions of polar bears in the Canadian Arctic. (Wikimedia Commons file photo).
The project aims to develop and enhance understanding of the ecological issues pertaining to Lake Simcoe to protect, improve or restore the elements that contribute to the ecological health of its watershed, including water quality, hydrology, heritage, and hydrologic features and functions. (Wikimedia Commons file photo)
The January 2008 workshop examined the conceptual basis, methodology, data requirements and availability for estimating Canada’s ecological footprint. It aimed to critically review the conceptual foundation, assumption and methodology of Canadian ecological footprint.
Sarah Flicker, Mira Mehes (MES), Eric Mykhalovskiy (York), Tricia Smith, Cortleigh Teolis and Darien Taylor (CATIE)
Bodymapping combines a process of storytelling, drawing and group discussion led by a trained facilitator through which participants develop an understanding of themselves, their bodies and their social environment. The study explored how connections between different ways of knowing were negotiated through body mapping processes. The project website is accessible at: http://bodymapinfo.com/.
Gene Desfor (Principal Investigator), Tenley Conway (Co-applicant), W. Scott Prudham (Co-applicant), Gail Fraser (Collaborator), Adrian Ivakhiv (Collaborator), John Jorgensen (Collaborator), Michael Moir (Collaborator)
The overarching question the research addressed was: How have various discourses and practices combined to produce and regulate Toronto's waterfront as a socio-economic and ecological space? Two books have been released as a result of the study: Transforming Urban Waterfronts: Fixity and Flow edited by Gene Desfor, Jennefer Laidley, Quentin Stevens and Dirk Schubert published by Routledge in 2010; and Reshaping Toronto’s Waterfront edited by Gene Desfor and Jennefer Laidley published by University of Toronto Press in 2011.
Kaz Higuchi, Jim Maclellan and Neil Comer
The project aimed at identifying and assessing various methodological approaches for analyzing and encouraging the development of a reflexive institutional approach for supporting climate change research, ecojustice, and sustainability initiatives at York.
The project aimed to develop an international research network on equitable participatory watershed management, including English and Portuguese-speaking African, Brazilian and Canadian academics as well as NGOs working in the field.
A comparative investigation of the globally-induced transformation of metropolitan governance systems in Toronto, Montreal, Paris and Frankfurt. The project focused on the urban region with its growing web of metropolitan governance. The emergence of collective action at the metropolitan level in Canada and Europe were examined through infrastructure, public health, green space, and human security.
This transnational research project involved collaborators in Toronto, Los Angeles as well as Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama in an examination of the intersection between popular education and community arts practice among pluriethnic and diasporic populations in northern and southern contexts. It provided information on the work of popular educators, community artists, organizers and cultural studies theorists as they addressed social, political and economic interests across an increasingly integrated hemisphere, with increasingly globalized social movements. A book titled ¡VIVA! Community Arts and Popular Education in the Americas will be published by SUNY Press in October 2011.
The research aimed to evaluate effective methods of stimulating and supporting ethical policy-relevant community-based research in Canada as well as to develop innovative models of HIV prevention and support programs for youth at the local and global levels.
Roger Keil, Engin Isin, Patricia Wood, Douglas Young, John Saunders
With city planning focused primarily on the downtown and suburban regions, what lies "in between" has yet to be explored. Using the region surrounding York University, this research project investigated the relationships between investments in highways, airports, institutions and industrial structures, and the frequently under-serviced residential and natural areas that lie among them. A book has been edited and published as a result of the project and can be accessed at: http://www.praxis-epress.org/availablebooks/inbetween.html
Jose Etcheverry, Lynda O’Malley and Jenifer Taylor (MES students)
The project identified effective approaches and strategies to increase renewable energy implementation rates through research and consultation with international/national industry experts, government regulators, NGOs, academics and community experts. It aimed at expanding the market for related technologies in Ontario particularly within the Greater Golden Horseshoe region. The report is available online and can be accessed at: http://fes.yorku.ca/files/docs/research/ontarios-road-map-prosperity.pdf
The research explored the direct connection between global city formation and the way in which SARS affected the city of Toronto. Issues arising in this inquiry included how the global city network facilitated worldwide microbial traffic, and the implications for institutional governance and regulation concerning urban vulnerability and public health security. A book on Networked Disease Emerging Infections in the Global City was published in 2010.
The research developed and tested a narrative methodology for exploring human knowledge making about animal consciousness, and considered the implications for re-situating animals in environmental ethics, conservation and education. In particular, this involved an examination of Western ideas about human-animal relationships, gathering anecdotal knowledge about consciousness in whales and bats and exploring the ethical and political implications of this knowledge (Wikimedia Commons file photo).
Mark Winfield and Tatiana Koveshnikova
The project systematically examined the impact of the TRC on the ability of Local Electricity Distribution Companies (LDCs) to deliver Conservation and Demand Management (CDM) programming. It aimed to provide a systemic and objective assessment of the impact of the test of LDC on the ability of LDCs to act as CDM program innovators and delivery agents. The report is available online and can be accessed at: here.
This action-based research project focused on Dufferin County, part of the Headwaters Country region north of Toronto, in which FES is part of a network of partners (Sustainability Dufferin Society) engaged in a range of sustainability initiatives (Headwaters Communities in Action file photo).
The project aimed to train the Toronto Teen Survey (TTS) project’s Youth Advisory Committee in focus group facilitation and support them in conducting follow-up discussions on adolescent sexually transmitted diseases and their access to reproductive health services. Community-specific qualitative data were gathered to allow more in-depth understanding of the issues and trends and to provide youth with an opportunity to make key program and policy recommendations.
The research examined the dynamics of citizen planning through an in-depth study and comparison of two communities – Richmond Hill and Caledon – that are immediately adjacent to the Oak Ridges Moraine. The study documented the issues, the roles of key actors, the strategic outcomes, and the local historical circumstances and political regimes under which citizen activism takes different forms. A book is forthcoming in 2011/2012.
This research project addressed the importance of image production for Toronto, Canada’s largest metropolitan area and the country’s primary ‘global city’. Image production in this study referred to images produced in cities and by cities as a competitive strategy to attract and retain local and global capital. In contrast to most of the literature, which is mainly concerned with the outcome of city-building processes, focus of the study was on the building process. While construction sites have always maintained a certain fascination within the imagination of the spectator, the building process had changed under the impact of globalization
Martin Bunch, David Morley and Beth Franklin
The project adapted an outcome mapping approach to evaluate achievements and consolidate learning from integrated environment and health research in an urban slum community. It implemented the outcome mapping evaluation approach in the inner city slum of Anju Kudasai of Chennai, India, and disseminated lessons and findings from the evaluation study to institutional governmental and non-governmental actors of Chennai and the international scientific community.
The project provided a collaborative mechanism among researchers at York University, the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) and the civil society organization Citizens’ Environment Watch to monitor environmental conditions of local watersheds – a program that directly supports the Greater Toronto Remedial Action Plan. It aimed to facilitate adoption of the Juturna web-based community monitoring system by organizations having different spatial areas of interest. A follow-up project will commence in 2011.
The project built on existing university-community partnerships to develop, improve and disseminate arts and science-based methods and materials for increasing environmental and watershed awareness and activism among youth in marginalized urban communities in Canada.
Sarah Flicker, Marcia Rioux, Denise Nepveux, Robb Travers (Laurier), June Larkin (UofT) Stephanie Nixon (UofT), Trevor Hart (Ryerson)
The project was conceived given the lack of research on the HIV prevention needs of this vulnerable group despite confluence of risk factors and the existence of approximately 300,000 Canadian youth between the ages of 15 and 24 living with disabilities. The proposed study aims to address this gap in research by working with youth with disabilities to examine vulnerabilities to HIV and to identify methods for effectively delivering HIV prevention strategies to this population.