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Student Profile: Cameron Gunton
School of Resource and Environmental Management doctoral student in the Faculty of Environment
I am a PhD candidate in the School of Resource and Environmental Management, working with Dr. Sean Markey. I have spent the majority of my life in British Columbia, growing up in Victoria on the traditional territory of the Lkwungen (Lekwungen) peoples (including the Songhees, Esquimalt, and WSÁNEĆ peoples). My research interests include natural resource economic policies, impact assessment, rural development, and community benefit agreements.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?
SFU’s School of Resource and Environmental Management has an exceptional reputation for conducting world-class research and producing highly capable graduates at the forefront of tackling environmental issues. The thought of getting to be a part of that made my decision to attend REM an easy one.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RESEARCH OR YOUR PROGRAM TO A FAMILY MEMBER?
My PhD research focuses on community benefit agreements which are often negotiated between impacted communities and resource project developers. These agreements have emerged as a prominent tool for managing resource development to mitigate adverse effects and generate benefits for impacted communities and Indigenous populations. The objectives of my research are to advance our understanding of the role of community benefit agreements in sustainable natural resource development, develop a new community-focused evaluation tool to help improve community benefit agreement outcomes, and develop a comprehensive and transparent evaluation framework for informing the public interest determination as part of the impact assessment process.
WHAT ARE YOU PARTICULARLY ENJOYING ABOUT YOUR STUDIES/RESEARCH AT SFU?
I really enjoy having the time and freedom to pursue complex topics in natural resource management and develop my analytical and professional skills. Also, I have had the opportunity to work with some fantastic people at SFU and I feel like I have made some lifelong connections.
HAVE YOU BEEN THE RECIPIENT OF ANY MAJOR OR DONOR-FUNDED AWARDS? IF SO, PLEASE TELL US WHICH ONES AND A LITTLE ABOUT HOW THE AWARDS HAVE IMPACTED YOUR STUDIES AND/OR RESEARCH.
I am very fortunate to have been the recipient of the SSHRC Doctoral Scholarship (CGS-D), the Simons Foundation Graduate Award, and the Chad Day Graduate Fellowship. These awards have had a tremendously positive impact on my studies as they have allowed me to focus all of my attention on my PhD research. I feel it is unlikely that I would be able to pursue a PhD without the financial support provided by these awards.
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