Josh MacFadyen has been appointed as the new Canada’s research chair at UPEI.
MacFadyen becomes the Canada research chair in geospatial humanities in UPEI’s faculty of arts.
Over the five years of the appointment, MacFadyen will use new techniques and multidisciplinary approaches to examine historical transitions of food and energy in Canada as well as their impacts.
MacFadyen said P.E.I. has become a nexus for people interested in how food systems becomes more – or less – resilient in the face of threats like climate change.
“P.E.I. has been mapped more than most jurisdictions,’’ MacFadyen said. “During the 1960s it became a focal point for federal projects like the Canada Land Inventory and the world’s first Geographic Information System (GIS). As such, P.E.I. is an ideal place for historians to develop new geospatial research and the CRC allows us to examine bigger questions such as how policy impacts land use and livelihoods in modern societies.’’
Within the faculty of arts, the Canada research chair in geospatial humanities will reside in the applied communication, leadership and culture program (ACLC).
Lisa Chilton, director of the ACLC program, said students who work with MacFadyen gain inspiration to explore new ways of using computers to understand and convey information.
Students working under the chair will study the environmental history and historical geography of Atlantic Canada. Much of their work will focus on the history of food and agriculture in Canada, including ways the modern food system has shaped relationships with animals and the land.