Kent Spiers

Kent SpiersBackground

Kent moved from Ontario to pursue an undergraduate degree in sociology and environmental studies at the University of Alaska, Anchorage (UAA) in 2008. He went for a vacation in Alaska and ended up spending 4 years completing his studies at UAA.  He was actively involved in student activities at UAA where he was president of the International Student Association and a member of the UAA National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI), an internationally recognized non-profit leadership organization that works with other agencies and institutions to build inclusive campuses and communities. Kent was involved with many other activities and projects while at the UAA. You can read more about his many activities while attending UAA in a spring 2011 issue of the Green and Gold News for the UAA. Kent was awarded both the Seawolf Leader award and the Seawolf Community award for his commitment to UAA and was the commencement speaker for his graduating class in 2012.

Kent has continued with his studies and joined the ReSDA research team in 2013.

Education
Masters student at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario.  Kent is in the process of completing his Master’s degree in Sociology at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario. His project measures community wellbeing through a content analysis of wellbeing and interviews with people familiar with these models. The content analysis framework was used to analyze 20 models of community wellbeing, 10 in Alaska and 10 in the Yukon. By conducting a content analysis of models of wellbeing and interviews with people familiar with these models, this project gains a greater understanding of how communities have defined wellbeing and illustrate the differences and similarities across the models.  Furthermore, this project is a starting point for further research on wellbeing in the Arctic. Next, Kent will be pursuing his PhD at the University of Calgary and looking at understanding various arctic community monitoring projects across the circumpolar north.

Kent completed his masters in 2014. Read his thesis here.

ReSDA Research

Kent has been examining models of community well-being for northern communities.  Research suggests that evaluating the well-being of resource dependent communities in the arctic is difficult because there is no agreed upon model of well-being. There are many models used in southern communities, but because of the unique aspects of arctic communities such as, subsistence activities, southern models are unsuitable and problematic in the arctic. His research examines the different models of community well-being in resource dependent communities in Alaska and the Yukon. Past research has only examined models of well-being by using quantitative or qualitative methods; there has not been a mixed method approach to examine multiple models. By using a case study approach and in-depth interviews with experts, this project will highlight similarities and differences across models in Alaska and the Yukon. Furthermore, it will provide a better understanding for a suitable model of well-being in resource dependent communities in the arctic.Kent conducted research on the wellbeing of 20 communities in Alaska and Yukon.

Associated ReSDA Project:

-Lead, Measuring wellbeing to understand resource impacts

Contact Information:
Kent Spiers
Lakehead University
kspiers@lakeheadu.ca