CASES Students & Postdocs (Current)

We are fortunate to have these talented Post Docs and 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.

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Daniel Yupanqui MSc CASES PhD Student (UofS)

Daniel is currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. He has a master’s degree in Agricultural and Environmental Economics at the Catholic University of Chile. His doctoral work is focusing on renewable energy development and energy security in rural and remote communities. He worked for seven years in the Ministry of Social Development of Chile, where he was involved in socioeconomic data analyses related to income, poverty, migration, rurality, and the impact on households of natural disasters. Among his research interests is understand the cost and benefits of the different types of renewable energy and their dependency on geography, and the consequences of the energy’s policies on rural development.

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  Bo Hu

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.

Picture of  Arwa Jaradat

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.

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 his Masters is to design an energy model for the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation and Gwich’in Communities.

Picture of  Josie  Ward

Josie Ward MSc CASES Student (UofS)

Josie is a graduate student in the School of Environment and Sustainability . She holds a Master of West Nordic Studies, Governance and Sustainable Management from the University of the Faroe Islands, awarded in 2020. Her undergraduate studies were completed at the University of Missouri, from which she was awarded a Bachelor of Economics in 2018. While studying in the Faroe Islands, Josie developed an interest in Arctic studies and sustainable development of the Arctic region. This interest inspired her to complete a semester-long exchange at the University of Greenland and an internship at the UArctic Thematic Networks and Research Liaison office at the University of Oulu in Finland. Josie is excited to bring her backgrounds in Arctic policy and economics together and is eager to explore these topics further as part of the CASES project.

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Dakota Norris CASES Student (UofS)

Originally from Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Dakota is a member of the Gwich’in First Nation and recent graduate of the Edwards School of Business. Dakota has been working in management and research focused on Indigenous peoples and climate action for several years including with the U of S, Asia Pacific Foundation, Youth Climate Lab, and volunteer roles. Research topics and management projects have included economic development, sustainable development, youth engagement, global strategy, climate policy, and technology policy. Dakota is an incoming Masters of Environment and Sustainability student, and the new Coordinator, Northern and Indigenous Sustainable Energy Initiatives with SENS.

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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.

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Sage Broomfield BSc CASES Student (UofW)

Tansi, my name is Sage Broomfield I am a non-status nehiyaw iskwew and current masters of Indigenous Development student at the University of Winnipeg. My familial and cultural ties are to the sweetgrass fields of Treaty 8 and 6 territories with my father, my late Kohkum, and much of my paternal family being registered to the Sawridge Cree First Nation. I grew up between my ancestral lands and as a guest on unceded Coast Salish territory on Vancouver Island, with my English Irish Mother. In May of 2020, I completed a Bachelor of International Relations at the University of British Columbia where I took a keen interest in alternative energy sources. I am particularly interested in energy sovereignty and the social and political empowerment that can come through the reclamation of energy in Indigenous communities.

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 PSM 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.

Picture of  Daniela  Álava

Daniela Álava MSc CASES Student (UofS)

Daniela comes from Ecuador and is a Master's in Environment and Sustainability (MES) student at the University of Saskatchewan. Her former studies include an Environmental Management Engineering degree, an International Business Engineering degree and a Trilingual A.A.S. in Business Administration and Economics. As a professional, she has worked in various German multinational companies, specializing in Supply Chain Management and Project Management. Her engagement towards the development of her region has led her to visit and actively participate in several social projects aimed to help the isolated communities and the rural indigenous populations in the Andean region and the Amazon rainforest of both Ecuador and Bolivia. Daniela’s research interests include the non-market valuation methods that might be used to assign an accurate monetary value to the environmental and social benefits of community-based renewable energy systems.

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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!

Picture of  Peter Sigurdson

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.

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Stephanie Lukowski CASES Undergraduate Student (UofS)

Stephanie attends the University of Saskatchewan and is in her final year of her Bachelor of Arts and Science (Honours) in Environment and Society. In the second year of her degree, she had the opportunity to live and volunteer in rural Dominican Republic. The farming cooperative where she spent much of her time volunteering aimed to improve the quality of life of rural communities. One of the ways that they did this was through improving energy security. Stephanie was able to see first-hand the impacts that these initiatives had, leading to her keen interest in this topic. She had the opportunity to be part of the CASES team while doing her Honours project on community energy; an opportunity for which she is extremely grateful. She is looking forward to contributing to an area which she is enthusiastic about and is excited about all the knowledge and experiences she will gain in doing so.

Picture of  Jordan Koe

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  Femi Abraham

Femi Abraham CASES Student (UofS)

Abraham has 5 years’ experience managing development programmes across 4 African countries. He has previously managed economic development programmes for the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and projects sponsored by the Citi Foundation, Ford Foundation & Chinese Embassy. He has contributed technically to rural electrification projects in Nigeria, working with the Nigerian Power Transmission Agency. Abraham graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from Nigeria, where he finished top of his class & faculty and was a beneficiary of the MTN Foundation Science & Technology scholarship throughout his undergraduate years. He has professional certifications in Impact Evaluation, Energy Economics, and Local Economic Development, from the Erasmus University Rotterdam, Georgetown University and Sciences Po. Abraham is a TEDx speaker and serves as a guest facilitator at the Lagos Business School, Nigerian Economic Summit Group, LEAP Africa Social Innovators Programme. He is particularly interested in working with multidisciplinary research teams focusing on community energy planning and social mobility dimensions of energy transitions.

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  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.