School for Resource and Environmental Studies and the College of Sustainability at Dalhousie University are seeking a student to join a transdisciplinary marine research project in Nunatsiavut, Labrador. The student will be supported through a 4-year stipend ($24,000 per year) to conduct their PhD at Dalhousie University in Halifax through the Interdisciplinary PhD Program and will be co-supervised by Drs. Melanie Zurba (School for Resource and Environmental Studies and the College of Sustainability) and Jörn Schmidt (Center for Ocean and Society at Kiel University). The anticipated start date for the PhD is January 2021. The student advisors will also support the PhD student (provide letters, comments on proposals) in leveraging their own additional funding through the Tri-Council Agency and other external funding sources.

The Nunatsiavut Futures research project spans the natural and social sciences under the overarching goal of developing partnerships between academics and Indigenous communities to inform sustainable resource management of coastal systems in Canada’s North. Our project is structured as three research themes which (A) develop empirical understandings of dynamic coastal systems and (B) plan for changes in these dynamics through (C) transdisciplinary research and knowledge co-production with a wide range of partners.

Understanding and predicting change within these locally, regionally and globally significant ecosystems requires the co-development of research objectives and approaches. To accomplish this objective, the overarching project will design and execute field efforts that integrate community-engaged knowledge and monitoring with novel western science and modelling. We will use knowledge from this project to inform and support decision-making on spatial planning and resource management to provide the foundation for long-term monitoring and risk assessments of key species and habitats.

Individuals involved in this research are committed to collaborating with partners across disciplines and in local communities. Project members will centralize knowledge co-production processes to ensure that the research design, methods, and use of results transcend scientific disciplines and diverse cultures. Project members will work closely with Inuit community members and representatives in Nunatsiavut and have an interest in both community and academic engagement.

The incoming student will ideally have a Master’s (or equivalent) in social science focused on learning, environmental governance or management, environmental studies, or similar, and have experience in inter/transdisciplinary work and collaboration. The focus of the PhD research will be learning associated with engaging in transdisciplinary research and knowledge co-production. The study population will be the core project team, which include partners from Labrador Inuit communities, NGOS and government. Relevant theories for the research will include social and transformative learning theories, as well as governance theory (especially branches providing insights about collaboration). It is very likely that the position will include / require travel between Dalhousie University and communities in Nunatsiavut.

Applicants should send a cover letter, CV and short statement (1-2 page) of research interest to Drs. Melanie Zurba and Jörn Schmidt by September 1, 2020. If this deadline or start date is not feasible for you at this current time, please reach out to us to discuss alternatives.