Congratulations to the 2017/18 Les Lavkulich Award Winners

Congratulations to the 2017/2018 recipients of the Les Lavkulich Graduate Student Fellowship and the Les Lavkulich Outstanding Leadership and Service award:


Les Lavkulich Graduate Student Fellowship

Megan Callahan, RES PhD Candidate


Les Lavkulich Outstanding Leadership and Service

Ludy Rodina, RES PhD Candidate


The Les Lavkulich Scholarships for Resource and Environment has been endowed by colleagues, friends and UBC alumni in honor of Professor Les Lavkulich, who created the RES program in 1979, the first truly interdisciplinary graduate program at UBC. As the program’s inspirational leader between 1979 and 2004, he was able, with his unrelenting effort and visionary thinking, to build it into an internationally renowned program. The two awards are given every year.


Lucy Rodina is a PhD Candidate at IRES. In her doctoral work, Lucy Rodina address the gap in empirical and theoretical understanding of how resilience thinking is applied in the context of water governance, broadly defined. More specifically, she studies the intersection of water governance, resilience and environmental justice in urban contexts. Lucy studies the nascent challenges to urban water governance in the face of global environmental change and their implications for transformation in the urban water sector. She engages critically with resilience, evaluating the various ways in which resilience thinking and planning agendas are (re)shaping urban water governance across different scales. With a specific focus on a case study from South Africa, she theorizes and develops a situated understanding of water resilience – attentive to specific biophysical environments, lived experiences, socio-political and governance contexts, power and marginalization – for water experts and decision-makers on one hand, and residents of impoverished, peri-uban and informal settlements on the other. Her work further informs the possibilities for addressing equity and social justice concerns within a resilience framework, by investigating the discursive and practical manifestations of questions of poverty, inequality and differentiated water-related vulnerabilities in water governance. Ultimately, this project aims to engage with resilience thinking critically by investigating the different dimensions in which resilience can be evaluated.


Megan (Meggie) is a PhD Candidate at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability under the supervision of Dr. Terre Satterfield. Her Master’s work was completed at UBC and explored the human-animal interface found within zoos. It sought to explore the effectiveness of zoo-based conservation efforts through a species-based evaluation as well as identifying successes and challenges that zoological institutions faced individually and as a whole.  Her current research expands upon her Master’s work and seeks a holistic investigation of different relationships between humans and wildlife. Her work will focus on three main aspects of the relationships: differentiation, benefits, and agency. This approach combines elements of anthropological inquiry, psychology-based perception work, and tenets of animal behavior and welfare in order to help characterize different aspects of the complex human-animal relationship. Meggie’s special affinity for wildlife began early in childhood, as she shared her home with a constant succession of furry, feathered, or finned friends. Her time spent working at a wildlife rehabilitation center combined with her collegiate studies at Pomona College solidified her interest in animal-human interactions. She is also a TerreWEB scholar.