Faculty and Staff

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Dr. Jim Clifford Faculty

Jim Clifford is an environmental and digital historian of nineteenth century London and the British World. He uses text-mining and HGIS to explore the connections between rapid industrialization and urbanization in London and environmental transformations in other parts of the world. Alongside this research, he also is a co-editor of ActiveHistory.ca and a part of the Network in Canadian History & Environment website team. He is an associate professor in the Department of History here at the University of Saskatchewan and the author of West Ham and the River Lea A Social and Environmental History of London’s Industrialized Marshland, 1839–1914.

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Dr. Geoff Cunfer FACULTY

Geoff Cunfer is an environmental historian of agriculture on the North American Great Plains and currently serves as Department Head of History at the University of Saskatchewan. He founded the Historical GIS Laboratory, where he researches agricultural land use, dust storms and wind erosion, material and energy flows in agricultural landscapes, and historical geography. He holds a Ph.D. in American History from the University of Texas and is the author of On the Great Plains: Agriculture and Environment (2005) and As a Farm Woman Thinks: Life and Land on the Texas High Plains, 1890-1960 (2010).

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Dr. Benjamin Hoy Director, Faculty

Benjamin Hoy is a transnational historian whose work focuses on the Canada-U.S. border and Aboriginal mobility during the nineteenth and early twentieth century. He uses demographic records, federal reports, playlists, and personal correspondence to understand how power is exercised over time and space and how key events and racial perceptions shaped federal action and policy. He is an assistant professor in the Department of History.

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Sauvelm McClean GIS Specialist

Sauvelm McClean has a B.Sc in Geography from Queen’s University and specialized in GIS during his undergrad. He has spent the last 10+ years focused on GIS in both the public sector (Ministries of Transport & Environment) and private sectors (consulting), growing both practical and theoretical knowledge of GIS in a range of disciplines and applications.

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Dr. Cheryl Troupe Faculty

Cheryl Troupe’s work examines Métis land use and occupancy of the Qu’Appelle Valley from 1850 to the mid-twentieth century. It looks at change and continuity in food harvesting practices, land tenure, spatial organization and family, kinship, and gender roles. Utilizing a methodology called “deep mapping” to merge qualitative approaches with digital technologies, it combines Indigenous community-based and oral history research methods, genealogical reconstruction, and Historical Geographic Information Systems (HGIS).

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Dr. Andrew Watson Faculty

Andrew Watson is a Canadian Environmental Historian and member of the Sustainable Farm Systems Project. His work with the Great Plains team uses socio-ecological metabolism methods to trace the changing energy flows of agriculture in Kansas during the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. By reconstructing these flows at the county, township, and farm level, Andrew’s work will offer an comparative analysis at various scales over time. Andrew is also a collaborator with Jim Clifford on London’s Ghost Acres Project, which uses digital methods, such as text-mining and HGIS, to trace global commodity flows during the nineteenth century. His own current research examines the economic and environmental history of coal production and consumption in Canada during the first half of the twentieth century.

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Jane Westhouse Staff

Jane Westhouse is the HGIS lab’s Research Administrative Assistant.