Dr. Josh MacFadyen

For more information see his Island Scholar profile page

Josh is Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Geospatial Humanities at the University of Prince Edward Island in Canada. His research focuses on energy transitions and traditional energy carriers in Canada, and he teaches Digital Humanities in the Applied Communication, Leadership, and Culture (ACLC) program in UPEI’s Faculty of Arts. His most recent monograph is titled Flax Americana: A History of the Fibre and Oil that Covered a Continent. He also published an edited collection in the same series titled Time and a Place: An Environmental History of Prince Edward Island (McGill-Queens and Island Studies Press, 2016). Josh is the founding director of the GeoREACH Lab, and he has held postdoctoral positions at the Historical GIS Lab at the University of Saskatchewan and at NiCHE: Network in Canadian History & Environment at the University of Western Ontario. Most recently he was also an Assistant Professor and remains a Sustainability Scholar at Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability.

Dr. Margot Maddison-MacFadyen

Margot joined the GeoREACH team as a postdoctoral fellow in May 2021. She graduated in 2017 from the Memorial University of Newfoundland with a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies, and the following year she was awarded a Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Council of Canada (SSHRC). Margot’s work in the GeoREACH Lab is mostly centered on the SSHRC-funded project, “Animals and the Circular Economy,” for which she is currently engaged in researching and writing many of the lab’s Farm Energy Profiles. She also has a working paper, “Oxen Power: Traction before the Horse in Atlantic Canada,” for yet another SSHRC-funded project, “Ecologies, Knowledge, and Power in the Gulf of St. Lawrence Region, c.1500-present.” Additionally, Margot and her colleague Bermudian historian Dr. Clarence Maxwell (Millersville University) are nearing the completion of writing a biography about Bermudian Hero Mary Prince. Their book is provisionally titled, The Last Years of Mary Prince and the End of Enslavement, 1828-34. Because Margot has an interest in historical timber and the stories it tells, three of her co-authored articles are either focussed on historical timber or include the subject. These are (The Historical Geographer, 2023); (Geoforum, 2019); and (Historical Geography, 2018)

Postgraduate Students

D. Bailey Clark is from Kensington, Prince Edward Island, and completed a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in History at UPEI in 2022. His Honours research examined the history of road paving on the Island in the 1950s and 1960s. He is currently enrolled in UPEI’s Master of Arts, Island Studies programme and continues to research transportation history on the Island. Bailey has worked at the GeoREACH Lab since October 2019, where he has learned new and meaningful ways of exploring the history of Atlantic Canada.

Barbara Rousseau joined the GeoREACH Lab in June 2021, contributing to the Charlottetown Transportation Story Map and Farm Energy Profiles. She graduated with a Bachelor of Integrated Studies (concentration in Environmental Studies) in May 2022, and is now pursuing a Master of Arts in Island Studies with a focus on the environmental history and resilience of PEI’s north shore sand dune ecosystems.

Donna Miller-Ayton is pursuing a Master’s in Island Studies at the University of Prince Edward Island, specializing in International Relations and Public Policy. Donna is pursuing graduate research to augment the Offshore Groundwater Resources in a Changing Marine Environment: Continental Shelf Surrounding PEI (SOURCE)project. Specifically, her research paper will examine the linkage between climate change and the impacts on PEI’s water resources.

Research Assistants

 Nolan Kressin is a student in the Applied Climate Change and Adaptation program at UPEI. He has been working in the GeoREACH Lab since February 2019. His research interests currently include sustainable development, computer science, and the application of geographic information systems. Nolan has contributed to the technical side of many GeoREACH lab projects, including the creation of a data entry tool in Google Sheets and map mosaicking in ArcGIS Pro. Nolan also loves to cook in his free time.

Prabhatha Meduri is a 4th-year Psychology student working as a research assistant at the GeoREACH lab. She has been working for a year on several projects such as the 1871 Animals and circular economy project, Beaulieu’s PEI map digitization, and Saunder’s letters project. She holds a Computer Science and Engineering degree from India which is adding to her efficiency in the lab. She is a nature lover.

Mallory Travis is a research assistant at the GeoREACH lab who compiles agricultural data from censuses based on the East Coast in 1871. Mallory is currently in her second year of Anthropology and Sociology at UPEI and hopes to go into law.

GeoREACH Alumni

Reisha Vos recently graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in ACLC with a minor in French and now pursuing a Bachelor of Education degree in hopes of becoming an elementary teacher. She is continuing her work as Dr. MacFadyen’s editorial assistant for Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History.

Joe Kani is a History and ACLC major. He particularly likes research and archives. He loves history, especially Canadian history and music. Joe has been with the GeoReach Lab involved in various projects since January 2020.

Amirah Oyesegun is a Foods and Nutrition major at UPEI. She has a specific interest in the role dietitians play in sustainable food systems. She has been working with the GeoREACH Lab since July 2019.

Rowen Gallant is a fourth-year history student at UPEI. His research interests include post-colonial and labour history, and taken by a fascination with oral history and cultural studies born out of his lifelong passion for folklore and folk-music. He has assisted in GeoLab projects since January of 2021, concentrating on historical and archival research and writing. His work has predominantly involved analyzing farm journals from the late nineteenth-century in order to investigate the internal workings of small contemporary farm economies and communities.

Abigail (Abby) Craswell is a Psychology and Anthropology student at UPEI. She has a personal interest in agricultural history due to her family’s farming roots on Prince Edward Island. She has been a research assistant in the GeoREACH Lab since October 2018, working on the Average Beasts project, the Back 50 project, and the lab social media.

Choyce Chappell is a recent UPEI graduate with a degree in Environmental Studies, a minor in Computer science, and a minor in Diversity and Social Justice Studies. She first began volunteering with the lab when doing a directed studies with Dr. MacFadyen in January 2019. She is hoping to go to NSCC for an advanced diploma in GIS.

Alexandra Neumann

Alexandra worked in the GeoREACH Lab during the Fall 2019 semester as a visiting exchange student from Arizona State University. She is currently studying Sustainability and Conservation Biology. Her interest in agricultural history began with her research with Dr. MacFadyen on the energy history of PEI’s agriculture, and she continued this research while studying at UPEI. In the future, she would like to work in consulting and education for ecologically sustainable agriculture.

Nick Scott worked as a student research assistant at the GeoREACH Lab from October 2018 to August 2019 and subsequently worked on a contract with the lab in Winter 2020. A history graduate from UPEI, Nick’s work in the lab involved archival research, literature review, and writing. Most of his work focused on the Comprehensive Development Plan, and on the history of regional and rural development on PEI during the twentieth century. He is particularly interested in the role of expertise and technocracy in public administration and public policy.

Evan Lane is a third-year student in the ACLC program with a minor focusing on International Studies. He joined the GeoREACH Lab during the Summer of 2020 to work on the Geospatial Humanities e-Textbook.

Heather Spetifore is a 3rd year Psychology student at UPEI, heading into her Bachelor of Social Work at the University of Calgary. Heather joined the lab in June 2020 and is interested in how we interact with the land we occupy and how both our livelihoods and the land itself have transformed over time.

Trista Liang, an Applied Communication, Leadership, and Culture major and History minor at UPEI joined the GeoREACH Lab in June 2021. She is interested in history and geography and is looking forward to learning more about PEI and Canada through the projects in the lab.

Juliana Granzoti is a recent graduate of UPEI’s Environmental Studies program, and worked in the GeoREACH lab during the Spring 2019 semester. She worked on aerial photo analysis with the Time Flies project.

Catherine Kennedy worked in the GeoREACH Lab in the Spring 2019 semester on aerial photo analysis for the Time Flies project.

Miyah Mistal worked in the GeoREACH Lab during the 2018-2019 academic year. She worked on Heritage Farms research and the Average Beasts and where to Find Them project. She is a Sociology major.