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Stefania Pizzirani

Stefania Pizzirani, PhD

Associate Director, Food and Agriculture Institute
Assistant Professor

Planning, Geography, and Environmental Studies

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Since 2019, I have been a guest on the ancestral, unceded, lands of the Sto:lo people – the people of the river. I am an environmental researcher, an ally to Indigenous peoples, a teacher, a learner, and a mother. My work – that just so happens to also be my passion – has taken me across the world where I’ve met and worked with different organizations, communities, people, and cultures.

I currently am an Assistant Professor in the School of Land Use and Environmental Change at the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV). Prior to working at UFV, I completed a postdoctoral research fellowship in the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia where I worked with and for the Heiltsuk Nation in Bella Bella, BC. Our collaborative project was entitled, “Developing spatial and participatory resolutions for the Canadian Aboriginal housing crisis”. The context of this project was focused on developing, implementing, and assessing community-led housing solutions to alleviate and meet housing demands.

I completed my PhD in New Zealand in 2016 where my research focused on forestry resource management with key Māori community members. Applying a kaupapa Māori approach (which embraces traditional beliefs, ethics, and ways of being), I worked closely with the participants using a comprehensive life cycle sustainability technique which provided environmental, social, and economic data regarding forestry options. The process provided the participants with a framework to develop a clear pathway to achieving the collective vision of their community.

Furthermore, I have experience working with and within government agencies. For nearly six years I worked at Forest Research, a government agency in Edinburgh, Scotland. My research was applied at regional, national, and international (European Union) levels and involved GIS analysis, project management, data collection and model synthesis, critical analysis, and frequent engagement with stakeholders - from foresters to business leaders to government officials. In addition, for a period of nine months I was seconded to the Scottish Government's Renewable Energy Department as a hydropower policy officer.

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