H. Carolyn Peach Brown

BSc, MSc, PhD
Director, Environmental Studies; Associate Professor
Phone: 
(902) 620-5066
Department: 
Environmental Studies
Biology
Office: 
Duffy Science Centre, 426
Education: 
B.Sc. (Honours) Biology, Acadia University; M.Sc. Zoology, University of Guelph; PhD Natural Resource Policy and Management, Cornell University

Dr. Peach Brown is an Associate Professor and UPEI’s Director of Environmental Studies, a multidisciplinary liberal arts and science program.

Winner 2014-15 Hessian Annual Award for Excellence in Teaching, UPEI.

Her research focuses on environmental governance for management of commons resources, and how such strategies can contribute to the goals of sustainable resource management and improved livelihoods. In particular, she explores the role played by communities and civil society groups in multi-level governance, in the context of changing policy and a changing climate.  Dr. Peach Brown’s research is guided and informed by her interdisciplinary background in both the natural and social sciences.

Having worked for over 10 years in international development in Central Africa she continues to maintain an active focus in that region. She is also conducting research on community adaptation to climate change in Atlantic Canada.

Courses:

  • ENV 101 Introduction to Environmental Studies
  • ENV 224 Field Course in Ecological Forestry
  • ENV 301 Student Environmental Internship
  • ENV 342 Environment and Development
  • ENV 411/IST 619 Environmental Governance
  • ENV 409 Sp Tp Student Environmental Symposium

I am in my seventh year at UPEI; however, I have been teaching and doing research in various ways for over 25 years. A proud native of Cape Breton Island, I obtained a Bachelor of Science (Honours) from Acadia University where I studied shorebirds in the Bay of Fundy for my Honours thesis. I then went on to the University of Guelph where I did a Master of Science in Zoology. After spending a few years working as a Biologist with Environment Canada and the University of Guelph, I fulfilled my dream of going to Africa. I lived with my family for 10 years in a small village in the middle of the Congo Basin rainforest in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where we initiated a village sustainable development program in partnership with the local Congolese church. Unfortunately a civil war ended our time in DRC and we returned to Canada in 1999.

Once our children were all in school, I began a PhD in 2001 at Cornell University with a concentration in the social sciences as I felt that many of our issues in living sustainably with the natural world required skills and approaches that are informed by different disciplines. At Cornell, I had the privilege of studying in the interdisciplinary Department of Natural Resources as part of the diverse and always stimulating 'Lassoie group'. At Cornell, I began my research collaboration with the Center for International Forestry Research in Cameroon where I conducted my dissertation research on the governance of non-wood forest products and community forests. I completed my PhD in Natural Resource Policy and Management in 2005 with minors in Conservation and Sustainable Development and Adult Education.

Following my doctorate I was a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Postdoctoral Fellow in the Global Environmental Change group, under the mentorship of Dr. Barry Smit, at the University of Guelph. I also lectured at the University of Toronto and at the University of Guelph. I have worked as a consultant for World Vision Canada and The World Bank. In the course of my travels I have learned to speak French and Lingala.

My research focuses on environmental governance and issues of sustainable management of natural resources that balance social, ecological and economic interests. In particular, I explore the roles played by local institutions, communities and civil society groups in management of commons resources, and how these interface with other actors in multi-level governance systems, in the context of changing policy and a changing climate. I draw on concepts and insights from interdisciplinary bodies of scholarship including commons theory, resilience thinking, the natural sciences, development practice, and the policy and public administration literature.

Current Research Projects

Voluntary Stewardship and the Canadian Species at Risk Act: Exploring rural landowners' willingness to protect Species at Risk on PEI

  • The focus of this project is to understand the level of awareness of species at risk among landowners and their willingness to participate in voluntary stewardship to protect species at risk on their land. This will provide important information to guide the development of policy and educational programs about species at risk on PEI.
  • Funder: PEI Wildlife Conservation Fund

Graduate and Honours Students

Completed:

  • Catherine MacNeil (MSc Environmental Sciences) Youth livelihood strategies and environmental decision-making in Cameroon. – Graduated May 2015
  • Tanya Chung Tiam Fook, PhD (Postdoctoral Fellow) A spatial approach to assessment of socio-economic impacts of climate change on coastal communities in Prince Edward Island. – Completed November 2014
  • Connor Leggott (Honours Sociology/Anthropology) Investigating the Use of Social Networks in Fostering Resilience in Island Watersheds: A Case Study of PEI's Stratford Area Watershed Improvement Group (Co-supervised with Dr. Charles Adeyanju, Sociology/Anthropology) - Graduated 2013

In Progress:

  • Jackie Bougeois, MA (Island Studies), Watershed management and rural communities in Prince Edward Island.
  • Jocelyn Plourde, MA (Island Studies), Learning from Samsø: Renewable energy on small islands.
  • Megan MacDonald, MA (Island Studies), Vulnerability and adaptation to climate change in the tourism and fisheries sector in Prince Edward Island.

Completed Research Projects

Partnership for Canada-Caribbean Community Climate Change Adaptation (ParCA)

  • The focus of this project is on the integration of scientific and local knowledge in understanding the multi-scale socioeconomic, governance and environmental conditions that shape vulnerability and capacity to adapt to climate change in communities in the Caribbean and Atlantic Canada.
  • Funder: International Research Initiative on Adaptation to Climate Change (IRIACC) of the International Development Research Centre of Canada and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)
  • Collaborators: The University of Waterloo and the CARIBSAVE Partnership.
  • Link http://parca.uwaterloo.ca/

The role of local institutions in climate change mitigation and adaptation in the Congo Basin forest of Cameroon

  • This research focuses on institutional factors affecting the vulnerability and adaptation of forest-dependent communities to climate change and related international mitigation policies. The aim of the research is to enhance our understanding of the role of local institutions (civil, public, and private) in fostering resilience in forest-dependent communities in Cameroon, in the context of the risks and opportunities introduced by climate change, and new international policies on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+).
  • Funder: Insight Development Grant, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)
  • Collaborator: Center for International Forestry Research

Journal Articles

Book Chapters

  • Brown, H.C. Peach, M. Ibrahim and N. Ward. 2015. "Building resilience and adaptive capacity through Farmer-Managed Natural Regeneration in Africa." pp. 24-37. In S. Thompson et al. (Editors) Sustainability Soup: Community Development and Planning for Sustainability and Well-being. Waterloo, ON, Environmental Studies Association of Canada Press (ESAC Press).
  • Brown, H.C. Peach, Brown, D.R. and C. Shore. 2013. "An investigation of climate change risk, environmental values and development programming in a faith-based international development organization." pp. 261-277. In R. Haluza-DeLay et al. (editors) How the World's Religions are Responding to Climate Change: Social Scientific Investigations. Routledge, Abingdon.
  • Brown, H.C. Peach and V.G. Thomas. 1990. "Ecological considerations for the future of food security in Africa." pp. 353-377. In C.A. Edwards et al (Editors) Sustainable Agricultural Systems. Soil and Water Conservation Society, Ankeny, Iowa.

Policy Papers

  • Sonwa, D.J., Scholte, P., Pokam, W., Schauerte, P., Tsalefac, M., Bouka Biona, C., Brown, C. Peach, Haensler, A., Ludwig, F. Mkankam, F.K., Mosnier, A., Moufouma-Okia, W., Ngana, F., and A.M. Tiani. 2014. "Climate change and adaptation in Central Africa: Past, scenarios and options for the future." pp. 99-119. In C. de Wasseige et al. (Editors) The Forests of the Congo Basin – State of the Forest 2013. Weyrich, Belgium.
  • Sonwa, D.J., Scholte, P., Pokam, W., Schauerte, P., Tsalefac, M., Bouka Biona, C., Brown, C. Peach, Haensler, A., Ludwig, F. Mkankam, F.K., Mosnier, A., Moufouma-Okia, W., Ngana, F., and A.M. Tiani. 2014. "Changement climatique et adaptation en Afrique Centrale: Passé, scenarios et options pour le futur." pp. 99 – 119. In C. de Wasseige et al. (Editors) Les forêts du bassin du Congo – État des Forêts 2013. Weyrich, Belgium. (translation of 2014 report chapter)
  • Djoudi, H., Brockhaus, M., Brown, H.C. Peach and S. Bandiaky-Badji. 2012. "Forests: Gender, climate change and women's representation". CIFOR Info Brief 48: 1-6. Center for International Forestry Research: Bogor, Indonesia.
  • The World Bank. 2008. Forests Sourcebook: Practical Guidance for Sustaining Forests in Development Cooperation. The World Bank: Washington, DC. (Contributing Author).
  • The Program on Forests (PROFOR) at The World Bank. 2007. Poverty and Forests Linkages: A Synthesis of Six Case Studies. PROFOR at The World Bank: Washington, DC. (Contributing Author and Case Study Editor).

Blog Postings

  • Forests Blog. 2015. "Social networking for climate change adaptation in Cameroon (and it's not Twitter)". Center for International Forestry Research: Bogor, Indonesia. First author of paper on which blog post is based.
  • Forests Blog. 2013. "Tackling climate change may lessen Central African Republic conflict risks – scientists". Center for International Forestry Research: Bogor, Indonesia. First author of paper on which blog post is based.
  • Forests Blog. 2011. "REDD+ challenges as enormous as its opportunities in the Congo Basin". Center for International Forestry Research: Bogor, Indonesia. First author of paper on which blog post is based.
  • Forests Blog. 2011. "Adding 'gender' not always a recipe for REDD+ success". Center for International Forestry Research: Bogor, Indonesia. Author of paper on which blog post is based.
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