Staff

John Belec

My fascination with urban geography, I now realize, began as a child. Endless hours were spent constructing, and de-constructing, urban landscapes in the basement of my parents’ suburban home in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

My interest in urban studies followed me through adulthood, and I completed degrees in urban geography at Brock University (BA, Hons, 1978) and Queen’s University (MA, 1980; PhD, 1988). My university teaching career began in 1984 at Nippissing University. I moved to UFV in 1992.

Cherie Enns

Cherie Enns is a registered urban planner and experienced educator with extensive experience engaging internationally. She has initiated and led international projects related to child rights, food systems, sustainable development goals(SDGs), urban planning policy, and youth engagement.  She has experience managing programs, mobilizing resources, and working on projects in several countries including Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, Somalia, and India. She has more recently led several humanitarian projects within the Eastern Africa Community.  She holds an MA in Community and Regional Planning and is currently completing a Ph.D. in International Policy and Program Management at Ardhi Regional University in Tanzania.

Claire Hay

Growing up in the west of Scotland, I completed my BSc (honours) in Geography from University of St Andrews. During my undergraduate studies, I spent a year studying at the University of Western Ontario, London, ON where I decided that Canada was a great place to live (and have since become a Canadian citizen!).

I moved to Edmonton in 1996 and completed an MSc in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences under the supervision of Dr. John Shaw. My thesis investigated the origin of glacial landforms in SE Alberta. After a short return to Scotland, I moved to the Lower Mainland and started a PhD at Simon Fraser University in glacial geomorphology. I joined UFV in 2002 as a Geography Instructor.

Jonathan Hughes

My training in natural sciences began with undergraduate work at the University of the South (Sewanee, Tennessee; BS, 1989) in Forestry and Geology. I continued with research and teaching in Botany at the University of Wyoming (MS 1995), where I investigated a natural hybrid zone using field mapping, morphology, and genetics.

For my PhD in Biological Sciences at Simon Fraser University (2002), I used vascular plant ecology and pollen of tidal-marsh sediments to quantify relative sea-level change from the 1700 Cascadia earthquake.

Following my PhD I joined the US Geological Survey at the University of Washington as a Mendenhall Postdoctoral Fellow. During my tenure there I used peat and lake-sediment stratigraphy, plant fossils, and tree-ring measures to document earth-quake-induced hydroseral succession in earthquake-formed lakes and wetlands.

Olav Lian

I was born in Vancouver and grew up on the North Shore, at the fringe of the Coast Mountains. I earned my BSc in Physics from Simon Fraser University in the late 1980s. This was followed by a Research Assistant position in the SFU Physics Department. In 1989, I joined the graduate program in SFU’s Geography Department, and completed my MSc degree (physical geography) in 1991. I was then employed as a sessional instructor in the same department.

In September 1993, I joined the Geology Department (later, the Department of Earth Sciences) at the University of Western Ontario where I completed my PhD (Geology) in 1997. I was then hired by the School of Earth Science at Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand) as a Research Fellow in Geology (1997-1999).

In the spring of 1999, I resigned from that position and returned to SFU and worked as a Research Associate in the Physics Department until 2002. This was followed by a permanent faculty position in the Geography Department, Centre for Quaternary Research, at Royal Holloway, University of London.

In early 2005, I escaped the high cost of living in southern England and returned to Canada to take up a post as a faculty member in the Geography Department at UFV. I currently hold adjunct professorships in the departments of Geography and Earth Sciences at SFU, and in the Department of Geography at the University of Victoria.

Steven Marsh

I was born and raised in London, Ontario. During this time, homes owned by my parents were struck by lightning 12 times, hence my interest in climatology and natural hazards! I completed a BA (Honours) in the Geography Department at the University of Western Ontario. I investigated the urban snow hazard under the supervision of Prof. Robert Packer for my Honours Thesis. I then initiated my westward migration, first stopping in Regina.

I completed my MSc under the supervision of Dr. Alec Paul in the Geography Department at the University of Regina. My thesis investigated evidence for climatic change in southern Saskatchewan. I continued my westward migration in 1991 by moving my family to the west coast. I joined the Geography Department at then UCFV in 1992.

Lenore Newman

Lenore Newman holds a Canada Research Chair in Food Security and Environment at the University of the Fraser Valley, where she is currently an Associate Professor of Geography and the Environment. She also serves as Director of the UFV Centre for Food and Farmland Innovation. Lenore’s academic career as a culinary geographer has included fieldwork around the globe in the study of public markets, regional cuisines, farmland preservation, global food security, and the ecology of the world’s food system.

Lenore’s first book, Speaking in Cod Tongues: A Canadian Culinary Journey, was published by University of Regina Press in 2017. It has been reviewed in the National Post, the Toronto Star, and The Globe and Mail, and led to fifty print, radio, and television interviews, including on The CurrentNorth by Northwest, CKNW, and Unreserved.

Lenore has also authored over forty academic papers and reports in her areas of research. She is particularly proud of her work on foraged foods and on the impact of climate change on cuisine.

Lenore’s work has received widespread attention, and in 2014 she was inducted into the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. She has published op-eds in Georgia Straight, the Vancouver SunThe Globe and MailAlternatives Magazine, and Modern Agriculture Magazine, and she has been interviewed for a diverse and growing range of media outlets on topics such as farmland protection, Canadian cuisine, and the future of food. Lenore is currently researching the role of immigration in shaping Canada’s agricultural sector.

Stefania Pizzirani

Since 2019, I have been a guest on the ancestral, unceded, lands of the Sto:lo people – the people of the river. I am an environmental researcher, an ally to Indigenous peoples, a teacher, a learner, and a mother. My work – that just so happens to also be my passion – has taken me across the world where I’ve met and worked with different organizations, communities, people, and cultures.

Prior to working at UFV, I completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia where I worked with and for the Heiltsuk Nation in Bella Bella, BC.  Our collaborative project was entitled, “Developing spatial and participatory resolutions for the Canadian Aboriginal housing crisis”.  The context of this project was focused on developing, implementing, and assessing community-led housing solutions to alleviate and meet housing demands.

I completed my PhD in New Zealand in 2016 where my research focused on forestry resource management with key Māori community members. Applying a kaupapa Māori approach (which embraces traditional beliefs, ethics, and ways of being), I worked closely with the participants using a comprehensive life cycle sustainability technique which provided environmental, social, and economic data regarding forestry options.  The process provided the participants with a framework to develop a clear pathway to achieving the collective vision of their community.

Afia Raja

Dr. Raja has joined ufv from 1st of August 2019. She was formerly serving the Department of Geography & Sustainability at the Western Oregon University, USA as Assistant Professor of Sustainability. She graduated from Texas A & M University (TX, USA) on the 14th of December 2012 earning her doctoral degree in Urban and Regional Science after successfully passing the doctoral defense on the 28th of September 2012 with distinction. Being a Fulbright PhD scholar, she had to leave the US immediately after the completion of her doctorate, to serve Pakistan as of J-1 exchange visitor home-residency conditions (Which are now over and fulfilled already). She worked in Pakistan as Assistant Professor (Tenure track), at a leading Engineering University (UET)Pakistan, where she taught different Urban Planning, Geography, GIS and Sustainability courses for fourteen years at undergraduate and graduate level at various departments of the University. However, the core responsibility was to teach various subjects towards the fulfilment of Bachelors & Master’s degree in City & Regional Planning and Master’s degree in Community Development and Environmental Management. Additionally, she has also supervised many research projects/dissertations at the same institute. Dr. Raja also works as adjunct faculty for Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops-BC-Canada.

Michelle Rhodes

My professional and personal geographies are inextricably intertwined. My personal maps evolve, expand, and inform what I research and teach. I have spent half my life in BC, the other half in Illinois, Montana, Oregon. My research has been situated in these locales. My students know more about the Midwest than they ever thought they would need to.

My biography is simply that of studying place and situating myself within it. Every day, I cross one of the world’s most sublime rivers at least twice. Most times, I’m looking east. “Whole symphonies live between here and a distant whatever-we-look-at.” —Richard Hugo (1923-1982)

Since 2004, I have lived in Sto:lo traditional territory, and have been a faculty member in Geography at UFV. In that time, students have encountered me in one or more of nearly two dozen courses. Administrators have encountered me in one or more of nearly two dozen committees.

I also chair the General Studies program. As the first in my immediate family to go to university, I see access to higher education as a matter of social justice.

Previously, I served as assistant professor of Political Science and Geography at the University of Montana-Western. I actually love Winnipeg and Edmonton winters. Cubs, not White Sox. I will watch any hockey game so long as Chicago or Minnesota are playing.

Scott Shupe

My education includes a BSc in Geology (Dalhousie), a Diploma in Remote Sensing (College of Geographic Sciences), a MEng in Surveying Engineering (University of New Brunswick) and a PhD in Renewable Natural Resource Studies (University of Arizona).

I have also worked or done research in the GIS/remote sensing industry in Arizona, California, Colorado, Switzerland, and British Columbia. I also spent a year and a half in rural Japan.

Lionel Pandolfo

Students – Are you interested in conducting research on climate variability or climate change (e.g. for an Honours degree)? For the mathematically or physically inclined student, research projects on global, regional or local scale phenomena are available. On the human side of climate change, students can start projects on issues relevant to the regional or local communities. Click here for further details.