UFV is excited to welcome Dr. Cindy Jardine as its newest Canada Research Chair. Dr. Jardine's research interests are in the multi-disciplinary area of environmental health risk communication. Specifically, her research looks at means and impediments to promoting better dialogue between stakeholders that will hopefully lead to more informed decisions on risks. This involves looking at the role of risk communication as a part of a comprehensive risk management strategy, including incorporating public perspectives into risk decision making. Knowledge translation and knowledge exchange are key considerations.
Much of Dr. Jardine's work is done as participatory research with Indigenous communities in northern Canada and elsewhere to better understand their risk perspectives and risk communication needs. All of her research is based on the concepts of engaged scholarship, using partnerships with both decision-makers and community members to ensure that all forms of knowledge are known, understood and incorporated into risk decision-making.
As Dr. Jardine explains, "My research program as a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair will focus on health risk communication with vulnerable and/or marginalized communities and populations. This will include an exploration of health concerns and different risk perspectives with communities to identify health risk issues and develop appropriate interventions, and fostering 'participatory risk communication' whereby risk messages and communication processes are developed and conveyed by community members. It will be based on an overarching goal to share knowledge amongst different affected parties (communities, organizations and government) and to empower people to make informed decisions on risks. The research will initially build on my current research program and funding proposals on Indigenous youth as agents of change for community health promotion and risk communication needs of immigrant populations, while seeking to develop new partnerships and relationships with the local Indigenous Sto:lo peoples and the other demographically and culturally diverse populations of the Fraser Valley. The research will embody the fundamental principles of community based participatory research, action research and Indigenous research methodology, using an asset or strength based perspective."
Dr. Jardine's multi-disciplinary education background enhances her ability to research multiple aspects of an issue. Cindy holds a PhD in Medical Sciences (Public Health Sciences) from the University of Alberta, a Masters of Science/Engineering from the University of Alberta, and a Bachelor's of Science, Honours, from the University of Manitoba.