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Protected Areas

Investigating co-management of protected areas, and perspectives for strengthened Indigenous participation

in governance. 

In Canada

I conducted one of the very first independent comparative studies on co-management of national parks and national park reserves in Canada. Through in-depth, semi-structured interviews with members of four co-management boards, I analyzed diverse perspectives on the challenges and opportunities of collaborative management as it was being implemented in practice. I distilled lessons learned, but also, criteria for ‘success’ as conceived by the board members and in evolving co-management theory. This research resulted in a co-authored paper, and presentations at the George Wright Society in the US, as well as at a Parks Canada conference on co-management held in Kluane National Park, Yukon. Undertaken now some 20 years ago, this research is considered one of the ‘baseline’ studies on co-management of national parks and park reserves in Canada.   


Conducted with the Natural Resources Institute, University of Manitoba.

Funded by a SSHRC grant awarded to Dr. Fikret Berkes.

In Costa Rica

Together with a co-researcher from the University of Costa Rica, I documented and analyzed the conflict between the Afro-Caribbean community of Cahuita and the state in the management of Cahuita National Park, a marine-terrestrial park on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. The 6.5-month fieldwork and analysis focused on the negotiation tactics used and the collaborative management institution that emerged. We also engaged in participatory analysis and strategic planning with the co-management mechanism. Outcomes included papers given at the International Association for the Study of Common Property conferences, a book chapter, and the manuscript of my Master’s in Natural Resources Management, entitled From Conflict to Collaboration: The case of Cahuita National Park, Costa Rica, U. Manitoba.


Conducted with the Natural Resources Institute,University of Manitoba.

Funded by the International Development Research Centre of Canada.

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