Lab and Community News

The Canadian Mountain Network Provides New Research Opportunities

Courtney Mason’s research programs unite in his new role as academic theme lead, member of the research management committee, and primary investigator of a research project hosted by the Canadian Mountain Network (CMN), which has been awarded $18.3 million over five years (2019-2024) through the Government of Canada’s Networks of Centres of Excellence program.


Ross Presents at a Conference in Spain….

Masters student Paulina Ross attended the 6th International Conference on Food Security and Nutrition in Barcelona, Spain from April 8-10, 2019.  This conference brought together leading researchers from around the world to discuss the multifaceted topic of food security and nutrition.  The conference included some outstanding keynote speakers who provided an array of talks on food security issues.

Paulina was able to discuss her research on food security challenges experienced in the Northwest Territories. The conference was very interesting and helped to provide a global context to Paulina’s master’s research project.


Massey Attends Sustainability Conference in Victoria

Masters student Carmen Massey attended the Impact Sustainability Conference which highlighted issues, addressed challenges head-on, provided examples of solutions, opened dialogue between stakeholders and partners and moved attendees to think of actions they could undertake to move the tourism industry toward sustainability.
The conference provided a blend of keynote speakers, ranging from Bob McDonald (CBC’s Quirks and Quarks), who highlighted the preciousness of the earth, and that “we only have one of them”, using a beach ball and cup of water to enthusiastically demonstrate his points.  The British Columbia Minister of Tourism, Honourable Lisa Beare, addressed the importance of tourism to the British Columbia economy, but cautioned that we have to consider the impacts the industry is creating.  A thought-provoking keynote presentation and panel discussion led by Robert Sandford of the United Nations University, summarized the state of the planet and what is at stake if we don’t figure out how to address the significant environmental impact of our current economy, with a focus on the travel and tourism industry.  There was a strong Indigenous component throughout the Sustainability conference, with several Indigenous panelists and presenters providing perspectives of impact on their communities and economies, both positive and negative, by the tourism industry.  The conference wrapped up on Day 3 with a panel discussion of the impact of tourism in parks and protected areas, with a focus on national parks.
Impact Sustainability Conference wrapped up by asking attendees what they could do in their own role to support sustainability.  Next year’s Impact conference topics will arise out of this year’s discussions and will evolve from the issues and priorities identified in 2019.  A proceedings document will be provided to attendees and several action items were noted to be moved forward on a provincial and federal level during the coming year.

South African Tourism Conference a Success…

Pictured above: Carmen Massey (Centre) Fauve Garson-Stewart (right) and Colleen Black (left) students at TRU at the ICNT conference in South Africa.

Thompson Rivers University was well represented at the recent International Competence Network of Tourism Research (ICNT) conference at Northwest University in Potchefstroom, South Africa.  Carmen Massey, TRU Masters of Science Environmental Science candidate working in the Rural Livelihoods and Sustainable Communities lab, presented her research on the role of relationships in sustainability at the Adams River salmon run.  TRU tourism undergraduate students Fauve Garson-Stewart and Colleen Black presented their UREAP research projects related to responsible tourism.

The ICNT network is an international group of tourism researchers who gather once per year to share recent work on tourism research.  Nine countries were represented at this year’s conference in South Africa.  “The ICNT conference was an excellent opportunity to present my work in front of an international group of tourism researchers, and to have them give me feedback on my research.  I especially benefited from listening to each of their projects and discovered the richness and diversity of tourism research being conducted.  I appreciate that TRU supported me in this experience,” says Carmen about her conference experience.



Carmem Massey,  Exploring the Network of Relationships at the Adams River Salmon Run, British Columbia, Canada.

The Lab Celebrates its First Graduates

Pictured above from left: Kelsey Boule, Dr. Courtney Mason and Dominique Hazel.

At TRU’s October graduation ceremony, the Rural Livelihoods and Sustainable Communities Laboratory celebrated its first two graduates. Dominique Hazel and Kelsey Boule both successfully defended their masters’ theses this past summer.

Kelsey relocated to the lower mainland and is now working for Simon Fraser University. Dominique has joined the team at TRU’s Research Office.

Congratulations to both of them for all of their hard work and mentorship!