Student Research Opportunities

Student Research Opportunities 2017-04-26T19:23:59+00:00


Trades and efficiency (anytime start).  The potentially funded research requires an analysis of existing data on ‘blue builders’ and ‘green plumbers’ — residential builders and plumbers who subscribe to water efficiency practices — using Terror Management Theory as an analytical framework. If you are interested in pursuing this research as part of a graduate degree, either our MES or MRP program options, please contact me directly at

Water EfficiencyEfficiency

1. Mortality reminders and water efficiency compliance (September 2017 or 2018 starts). Student must be familiar with water efficiency literature and willing/able to conduct door-to-door interviews using two or more comparative communities located at variable distances to urban cemeteries.

2. Space, place and imagery in water decisions (September 2018 start for doctoral student). Combining environmental psychology with Terror Management Theory and urban water management issues. The kind of dissertation I would do, if I had the chance to do it all again. Contact me for details.

Emotion ResearchEmotion

1. Communities and activism (September 2017 start). The “geography of fear” using case studies from Ontario communities that have organized against extraction of local aquifers by bottled water companies. The mixed data sources include media coverage, OpEds, letters-to-the-editor, campaign materials and social media.

2. Language and floods (September 2018 start). Investigate the “geography of fear” using expert and stakeholders’ language associated with Canadian flood events using mixed media sources in addition to more traditional scholarly publications and conference presentation sources.

3. Israel-Canada comparative (September 2018 start). Study of media messaging about drought and mortality threats. Students do not need to speak Hebrew or Arabic but must be willing to do fieldwork in Israel/Palestine as conditions permit.

4. Awe Emotions (September 2018 or 2019 start). Awe of the natural environment and our place in the world/universe as a mortality defense that influences how we make water decisions.

5. Ritual and spiritual practice (September 2018 or 2019 start for a doctoral student). Exploring if and how stories, rituals and artifacts influence our individual and societal abilities to adapt to changing water conditions and extreme events.


1. Gender and mentorship (anytime start). The potentially funded research is a comparative analysis of female water professionals (CND) who indicate that mentorship and/or sponsorship have played a role in their career progression or trajectory.

Previous graduate students and research assistants have gone on to do great things at the University of Toronto Law School, Johns Hopkins University, Dalhousie University, the World Wildlife Fund and Waterlution, the City of Guelph and Region of Waterloo.