CASES Students & Postdocs

We are fortunate to have these talented students working on the CASES Partnership project! Read their bios below.

Picture of Dr. Chad Walker

Dr. Chad Walker PhD CASES Post Doc

Chad Walker (he/him) is an interdisciplinary environmental social scientist with interests around justice, equity, and public support for low-carbon transitions. Recent research includes studying the impact of environmental justice in shaping support for wind energy, critically investigating the meaning of community energy, and using diverse methodologies to better understand reconciliation, autonomy, and pathways for improved health via Indigenous-led renewable energy development (see A SHARED Future). During his time in the United Kingdom, he studied user engagement and public participation through the development of Smart Local Energy Systems (see EnergyREV). Through these projects, he has used a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches, spurring a keen interest in the ways we think about and practice mixed methods. Chad has a PhD from Western University (2017) and worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Queen’s University (2017-2019) and the University of Exeter (2019-2021). In June 2021, Chad joined the University of Saskatchewan as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with the SSHRC-funded Community Appropriate Sustainable Energy Security (CASES) initiative.

Picture of Dr. Vikas Menghwani

Dr. Vikas Menghwani PhD CASES Post Doc

Vikas has a PhD from the Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability at University of British Columbia. He has worked on energy poverty in developing countries. His doctoral work includes addressing challenging energy access problems through modeling based methods, and conceptualizing (energy) justice concerns in the context of (lack of) electricity provision. He completed his Mechanical Engineering (with a Masters degree in Energy Technology) education in 2009 from Indian Institute of Technology Madras. He worked in the area of climate change consulting for 3 years, covering renewable energy and energy efficiency projects across India and South East Asia, followed by 2 years in the area of business research.

Picture of Tim Kalke

Tim Kalke CASES PhD Student (UofS)

Tim is a student in the PhD Environment and Sustainability program at the University of Saskatchewan. Born and raised in Wyoming, U.S.A, Tim received an undergraduate degree in History; Secondary Education at the neighboring University of Northern Colorado and was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army. After military service, he and his wife settled in Galena, Alaska, a remote Native Athabascan village located on the banks of the Yukon River in the interior region of the state. While employed as a public educator at the local Galena high school, Tim obtained a Master of Natural Resources degree with an emphasis in Sustainable Development. He now has transitioned to a career in the sustainable energy field and manages a locally owned non-profit organization, Sustainable Energy for Galena, Alaska (SEGA). Tim’s research interests are in collaborative energy planning and sustainable development with the goal of bringing a wider range of benefits to his community and region.

Picture of  Hakan Armağan

Hakan Armağan BSc, MSc CASES PhD Student (UofS)

Hakan grew up in Turkey where he earned a B.Sc. degree in physics from the University of Ankara. He came to the United States to learn English at University of Tulsa, and get a master’s degree in physics where he did research in nuclear physics as a teaching fellow at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. He also received a master’s degree in science teaching from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. He has been teaching physics at a public secondary school in Omaha, Nebraska since 2004. Hakan’s interest in both the physics and social aspects of energy, environment and sustainability started when he did summer research fellowships at U.S. national and university laboratories. It inspired him to create a course on energy applications and sustainability for his school. His interest also took him to New Zealand as a Fulbright Scholar to learn about energy and environmental sustainability from scientific, cultrual, and policy aspects. His focus for the PhD project is to design an energy model for the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation and Gwich’in Communities.

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Bo Hu MSc CASES PhD Student (UofS)

Bo is currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan. He has a B.Sc. degree in electrical engineering from North China Electric Power University, and an M.Sc. degree also in electrical engineering from University of Saskatchewan. His research areas include smart grid technologies, microgrids, and applications of mathematical optimization and machine learning in power systems. His research for the CASES project is focusing on facilitating the adoption of smart grid technologies in northern communities.

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Arwa Jaradat BSc, MSc CASES PhD Student (UofS)

Arwa finished her B.Sc. in Earth and Environmental Sciences and became a dedicated science teacher. But her dreams did not stop there and she completed a Master’s degree in science education. Despite her love of teaching, she wanted to learn more about environment topics. She wanted to become a researcher in the field of renewable energy, so she continued her education and got a second Master’s degree in Renewable energy. Her Masters research focused on future scenarios of greenhouse gas emissions by changing scenarios of electrical system expansions in Jordan. Her research for the CASES project is focusing on the social dimension of energy security, specifically youth in Indigenous communities. Her background as a teacher and her experience in renewable energy will make a winning combination for her work in CASES.

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Melissa Beatty CASES Student (UofS)

Tansi, my name is Melissa Beatty and I am from the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation (PBCN), Deschambault Lake, which is in northern Saskatchewan. I completed my bachelor’s degree with a major in Indigenous Studies in 2006 from the University of Regina and obtained my Masters in Northern Governance and Development from the University of Saskatchewan in 2013. I have over twenty-one years of professional management experience in working for PBCN and I am currently working as the PBCN Band Manager/Administrator. I take great pride in providing the best service I can for my Nation and as a graduate student with CASES, I trust that my academic and personal goal of working hard for the betterment of PBCN will be fulfilled, tiniki.

Picture of  Andrea Dsouza

Andrea Dsouza BA CASES Student (UofW)

Hello! I am currently a student in the Master’s of Development Practise in Indigenous Community Development program at the University of Winnipeg. I was born and raised in Bangalore, India, and moved to Vancouver to complete an undergraduate degree in First Nations and Indigenous Studies at UBC. My interest in community development stems from the belief that Indigenous communities should play a central role in the decisions that impact their lives. My research interest is in the field of sustainable energy development in rural and northern Indigenous communities. I am also passionate about engaging in reflexive research practices and am constantly unpacking how my positionality as a diasporic woman on Turtle Island, impacts the work I do. My goal is to journey alongside Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities, so that together we can work out our shared responsibility to these lands.

Picture of  Minika  Ekanem

Minika Ekanem MSc CASES Student (UofS)

Minika is a Master's student in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Saskatchewan. With a background in Business Information Technology, she has worked as a Project Manager and Business Developer on various marine/maritime projects and recently on projects related to the Blue Economy in Norway. Her research for the CASES project will focus on decentralized energy systems.

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Brigitte Lim MSc CASES Student (UofS)

Brigitte is currently a Master's in Environment and Sustainability (MES) student at the University of Saskatchewan. Her research will focus on community-based energy systems within Indigenous communities in Saskatchewan, as part of the Energy-Poverty nexus. Brigitte grew up in the Philippines where she experienced working in the renewable energy sector as a Business Development Officer and Capacity Development Associate. She has worked with nonprofits, national and local government agencies, and international development agencies in the Philippines and the USA to promote renewable energy for development. She completed her Professional Science Master's in Solar Energy Engineering and Commercialization from Arizona State University.

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Renata Leonhardt BSc CASES Student (UofS)

Renata is a geologist enthusiastic about the energy sector. During her undergraduate studies, she organized petroleum geology conferences and participated in research projects with leading Brazilian oil companies. Intending to acquire knowledge on the renewable energy industry and better develop her socio-technical curriculum, in 2019, she started her master's degree in the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Saskatchewan. There, she is one of the CASES project students working with policies and regulations to advance Indigenous community energy in Canada.

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Bobbie Balicki BSc CASES Student (UofS)

Bobbie Balicki is an M.Sc. student in the University of Saskatchewan's College of Agriculture & Bioresources (Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics). Bobbie grew up in Prince Albert and has family roots in Northern Saskatchewan.  After completing her degree in Renewable Resource Economics and Policy at the University of Saskatchewan in 2012, she spent over four years in the Indigenous business development sector, working on over 150 business planning projects with Metis entrepreneurs and economic development organizations throughout Saskatchewan. Bobbie has also worked in the electrical utility sector, as an Environmental and Communications Specialist in both the public and private sectors. She brings a wealth of experience  on the social and economic impacts of northern development and how the utility sector can play a critical role in Northern, Indigenous, and Remote communities. Her career passion is in stakeholder engagement and policy and program analysis using benefit-cost analysis (BCA). 

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Rhys McMaster BSc CASES Student (UofS)

I recently finished a B.Sc. Honours in Environmental Earth Science at the University of Saskatchewan on wind energy development guidelines and regulatory processes across the Canadian jurisdictions.  I am looking forward to gaining new knowledge about the renewable energy sector and I am excited to be a part of the CASES project!

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Kate Robb BA CASES Student (UofW)

Kate recently completed a BA in Environmental Studies, and is currently a graduate student in the Masters in Development Practice: Indigenous Development program at The University of Winnipeg, on Treaty 1 Territory. Building on her background in environmental sustainability, Kate is eager explore the role that renewable energy systems can play in enhancing social and economic development, as well as reducing environmental impacts in northern and Indigenous communities. Kate is excited to be a part of the CASES partnership!

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Peter Sigurdson BSc CASES Student (UofS)

Peter is Registered Professional Forester with 25 years' experience working in the forest sector in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.  His current position is with FPInnovations - a private not-for-profit forest sector research and industry support firm - where he manages government / industry relations and project delivery for Manitoba and Saskatchewan as FPInnovations' Provincial Leader for those two provinces.  Peter's focus in the CASES partnership is to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy technologies in northern communities, leading to better economic, environmental, and cultural outcomes for northern residents.

Picture of  Sara Thompson

Sara Thompson BSc CASES Student (UofS)

I am pursuing my Masters in Science through the Geography and Planning department, as a part of the Community Appropriate Sustainable Energy Security (CASES) Partnership. I grew up in Newfoundland and completed my undergraduate studies at Memorial University, focusing on environmental sciences, impacts of climate change, mitigation, and clean technologies. After graduating in 2013, I relocated to Whitehorse, Yukon to work with Yukon College and expand my research experience with industry in the mining and energy sectors to support solutions to northern problems. Working collaboratively with communities and supporting energy security across the territories continues to be a passion of mine. As a member of the Community Appropriate Sustainable Energy Security (CASES) Partnership team, I will work closely with Northerners and First Nation communities to understand and support what energy security means to their communities by co-creating and brokering the knowledge, understanding, and capacity in order for the community to design, implement and manage renewable energy systems.

Picture of  Camila Martins Godinho

Camila Martins Godinho BSc CASES Mitacs Intern (UofS)

Camila is Master’s student in the Geography and Planning department at the University of Saskatchewan. Her project is focused on environmental impact assessment, more specifically on identifying environmental and socio-economic impacts and their mitigation actions from wind energy projects in western Canada. Camila completed her B.Sc. honours in Business and Economics in Brazil. Her focus was on managing impacts from government projects in remote communities in Brazil and Spain. In addition to her thesis project, she also works as a research assistant for Prof. Greg Poelzer studying policies for renewable energy projects in partnership with indigenous communities and energy security.

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Jordan Koe CASES MSEM Student (UofS)

Jordan Koe is a member of the Tetlit Gwich'in First Nation and a graduate of the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta. He is passionate about Harm Reduction, Housing, and First Nation Energy Governance. Currently working as the Housing Manager at Tsawout First Nation in Victoria British Columbia, you can hear Jordan on his radio show Land Back Radio on CFUV 101.9 FM showcasing indigenous punk music from across turtle island.

Picture of  Rosa Brown

Rosa Brown CASES MSEM Student (UofS)

Rosa is a student of the University of Saskatchewan’s Master of Sustainability program, following the Energy Security stream. She completed a Bachelor of Science degree with an Honours Specialization in Wildlife Biology at the University of Guelph and began her career working on wildlife co-management in the Yukon. In her current position as Energy Coordinator with the Vuntut Gwitchin Government, Rosa is part of a team working to develop community-owned, clean energy alternatives to diesel generation for the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation community of Old Crow, Yukon.

Picture of Layane Fernandes de Sousa Moura

Layane Fernandes de Sousa Moura CASES MSEM Student (UofS)

Layane is a Brazilian environmental engineer who is now pursuing a professional master's degree in Environmental and Sustainable Management at the University of Saskatchewan. Layane is currently developing a project for First Nations Power Authority (FNPA) in partnership with CASES where she is creating an education hub on their website, which is highly relevant due to the current COVID19 pandemic. This project aims to develop tools and resources for renewable energy and energy efficiency education with Indigenous communities.

Picture of  Darby Desrosiers

Darby Desrosiers BSc CASES MSEM Student (UofS)

Darby is a Master’s in Sustainable Environmental Management (MSEM) student at the University of Saskatchewan. Darby has a Bachelor of Science in Geology from Mount Royal University in Calgary, AB. She is passionate about natural resources and energy. Currently, she lives in Inuvik, NT, and is working as the Clean Energy Coordinator for the Inuvialuit Regional Corporation. Darby is eager to be an active participant in the development of clean energy solutions in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region.

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Natasha Tinis BSc CASES MSEM Student (UofS)

Natasha is a proud mother of two boys and has spent the last 6 years devoting herself to staying fit, healthy, and happy, while maintaining the livelihood of her family. She graduated from University of Alberta with a bachelor’s in environmental-civil engineering and has 4 years experience working in the geo-environmental consulting industry throughout all areas of Alberta. Her real home is the prairies and forests of Saskatchewan, from which she has Cree and Anishinaabe family all over the province, on reserves and in the cities. She has a deep love for her people and will do anything required to forward the interests of maintaining indigenous identity and lifestyles, beginning with energy security for remote Indigenous communities.

Picture of Ali  Yousry

Ali Yousry BSc CASES MSEM Student (UofS)

Ali has a BSc in Mechanical Engineering and a minor degree in Economics from the American University in Cairo (AUC). He is currently pursuing a professional master’s degree in Environmental and Sustainable Management and is a prospective master’s student of Economics (Fall 2020). He is currently working on a project in partnership with CASES looking at energy security in northern and indigenous communities in Saskatchewan.

Picture of  Michael Kvern

Michael Kvern CASES Student (UofW)

Michael recently graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a B.A. Honours in Geography. He is interested in the nexus between energy, land use, and resilience. His undergraduate thesis developed the foundations of a community energy plan for Churchill, Manitoba by providing energy consumption data and facilitating a vision and priorities to guide future energy planning. It also served to inform a new regional scale definition of energy security. Working with Dr. Patricia Fitzpatrick, Michael has researched small-scale renewable energy in Manitoba and how local agency can lead to a diverse energy system. In the fall, Michael will be starting a master’s in planning at the University of Guelph, where he will focus on how provincial land use policies can contribute to a low carbon energy transition.