Jen Gobby is a transdisciplinary environmental social scientist with specialization in climate action and climate policy in Canada, environmental and social justice, Indigenous rights, social movements, transformation, and participatory action research methods.
2021 – Present Affiliate Assistant Professor, Dept of Geography, Planning and Environment, Concordia University (Montreal, QC).
2019-2021 SSHRC-funded Postdoctoral Researcher, Dept of Geography, Planning and Environment, Concordia University (Montreal, QC).
2014-2019 Doctor of Philosophy, Renewable Resources, Department of Natural Resource Sciences, McGill University, research themes: theories of social transformation, climate action, social movements, participatory action research methods.
2011-2014 Bachelor of Arts, Environment (Honours), minor Anthropology, McGill School of Environment, McGill University, specialization: the human dimensions of climate change.
2021-Present Research Director, Research for the Front Lines (Montreal, QC).
June-Aug 2021 Research Consultant, led a research team to conduct a extensive literature review on Gender and Climate Change for the Le Conseil des Montréalaises (Montreal, QC).
2019 Researcher, ACKnowl-EJ International Research Project (Barcelona, Spain). Conducted research on environmental conflicts in Canada, contributing to the Canada map on the Global Atlas of Environmental Justice (EJAtlas).
2016 Research Intern, United Nations Harmony with Nature Initiative (New York, NY). Conducted research about social marketing and story-based strategy as tools for social transformation, to help promote an Earth-based worldview and to promote the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
2015-2016 Research Collaborator, The Leap (Toronto, ON). Assisted The Leap team in consulting with the 230 groups and organizations across Canada that signed on to the Leap Manifesto to work towards a Justice-Based Energy Transition. This project included conducting over one hundred interviews, qualitative and quantitative analysis of data and the completion of a summary report.
2015 Research Intern, David Suzuki Foundation (Vancouver, BC). Processing and analysis of qualitative data gathered on the DSF Coastal Connections Listening Tour of British Columbia coastal communities. This analysis contributed to a major report to the governments of Canada and to the United Nations advocating for the needs and rights of the residents of coastal BC.
2011-2014 Undergraduate research. I completed the following original research projects during my undergraduate degree:
- An anthropological study of climate change perceptions and attitudes on Lasqueti Island, BC. This research involved conducting 38 in depth interviews with and 78 completed surveys by residents on this off-the-grid island.
- A quantitative assessment of Lasqueti Island community’s per capita carbon emissions and level of subjective well-being.
- Honours project – The development of a Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Plan with residents of Lasqueti Island, BC. This project employed participatory action research methodology.
Teaching, Curriculum Design, and Student Supervision
Winter 2022 Course Lecturer, Environment & Geography Department, Bishop’s University (Lennoxville, QC). ESG 270 – Social Movements for Climate Action
Winter 2022 Course Lecturer, Environment & Geography Department, Bishop’s University (Lennoxville, QC). ESG 570 – Global Climate Justice
Fall 2021 Course Lecturer, Bieler School of Environment, McGill University (Montreal, QC). ENVR 203 – Knowledge, Ethics, and Environment
Fall 2021 Course Lecturer, Environment & Geography Department, Bishop’s University (Lennoxville, QC). ESG 100 – Introduction to Environmental Studies
Winter 2021 Course Lecturer, Bieler School of Environment, McGill University (Montreal, QC). ENVR 400 – Environmental Thought
Winter 2021 Course Lecturer, Bieler School of Environment, McGill University (Montreal, QC).ENVR 301 – Environmental Research Design
Winter 2020 Course Lecturer, Bieler School of Environment, McGill University (Montreal, QC). ENVR 301 – Environmental Research Design
2020-Present Honour Research Supervisor, Bieler School of Environment, McGill University (Montreal, QC). Co-supervising 2 student honours research projects, providing guidance around participatory action research methods, Indigenous-settler relations, and climate action in Canada.
2019 Curriculum and Pedagogy Design Consultant for International Summer School in Social Transformation (Montreal, QC). Collaborating with CIRODD, MIS, and Concordia’s SHIFT Centre for Social Transformation to design a 7-day intensive course with a focus on fostering collective intelligence and team-design to address complex social and environmental challenges in the Montreal urban context.
2014-2018 Teaching Assistant, McGill School of Environment, McGill University (Montreal, QC). Worked as teaching assistant for 13 undergraduate courses, in collaboration with many different teaching teams. These courses include ENVR 203 – Knowledge, Ethics and Environment, ENVR 400 – Environmental Thought, ENVR 201 – Society, Environment and Sustainability). This work involved grading, assisting in assignment development, and delivering guest lectures on various topics. I also helped design curriculum and pedagogy to incorporate theories of social transformation into ENVR 400.
2011-2017 Guest Lecturer and Curriculum Consultant, Vanier College (Montreal, QC). Designed and delivered various guest lectures in Humanities, Environmental Ethics, and Critical Thinking courses at Vanier College. Lecture topics included Climate Governance, the Human Dimensions of Climate Change, How Social Change Happens, and the Environmental and Climate Movements in Canada. I was also brought in to help design course content for an Environmental Ethics course about the “good news about climate change” overviewing inspiring climate initiatives across Canada.
2016 Graduate Course Instructor, Natural Resource Science Department, McGill University (Montreal, QC). Designed and co-led a graduate seminar called ‘Ethics for the Anthropocene’, about environmental ethics and climate justice.
2004-2011 Workshop Designer and Facilitator, MudGirls Natural Building Collective (British Columbia). I co-organized, designed and co-taught over 30 hands-on intensive, land-based workshops on the topics of natural building, alternative energy, composting, permaculture, alternative food, water, and waste systems.
Guest Lectures in University Courses
Jan, 2021 Guest Lecture about Transformative Climate Policy in Canada in HENV 680: ‘Advanced Seminar in Environmental Science’, Concordia University.
Nov, 2020 Guest Lecture about transformative community-led responses to Covid-19 in Montreal in MANA 669: ‘Sustainable Business Strategies’, John Molson School of Business, Concordia University.
Feb, 2020 Guest Lecture about Participatory Action Research methods in the graduate course EDD 6005: ‘Knowledge Mobilization in Environment and Sustainable Development’ at Université de Montréal.
Jan, 2020 Guest Lecture about collective, and transformative approaches to addressing climate change at pedagogical day for faculty, staff and administration at John Abbott College.
Nov, 2019 Guest Lecture about the climate action in Canada and about climate social science in GÉO3152: ‘Changements Climatiques’ at Université de Montréal.
April 2019 Guest Lecture about theories of transformation and environmental justice in GEOG 355: ‘Resource Analysis and Management Resource’ at Concordia University.
Books and Monographs
Gobby, J. (2020). More Powerful Together: Conversations with Climate Activists and Indigenous Land Defenders. Halifax: Fernwood Press. (peer reviewed book)
Chapters in Books
Forthcoming. Gobby, J. & Temper, L. (2021). Transformative strategies developed by environmental justice and Indigenous land defense movements in Canada. In Rodriguez, I., (Ed). Just transformations to sustainability from the ground-up: movements, resistances and alternatives. London: Pluto Press.
Gobby, J. (2021). Policing Indigenous land defense: learnings from the frontlines of pipeline resistance in Canada. In Dunlap A. & Brock, A. (Eds) Enforcing Ecological Catastrophe: The Police and Military as drivers of Climate Change and Ecocide.
Gobby J., & Mailhot S. (2021). Are there biophysical limits to reducing inequality between humans? In Kish, K., (Ed.) Ecological Limits to the Sustainable Development Goals: New targets for improved well-being. London, UK: Routledge.
Gobby, J. (2019). Climate Justice Montreal, In Perkins, P. E., (Ed). Local Activism for Global Climate Justice: The Great Lakes Watershed. London, UK: Routledge.
Gobby, J., & Gareau, K. (2018). Understanding the crises, uncovering root causes, and envisioning the world(s) we want: Conversations with the anti-pipeline movements in Canada. In Jafry. T., (Ed.), Routledge Handbook on Climate Justice (pp. 449-464). London, UK: Routledge.
Articles in Refereed Journals
Deranger, E. T., Sinclair, R., Gray, B., McGregor, D., & Gobby, J. (2022). Decolonizing Climate Research and Policy: making space to tell our own stories, in our own ways. Community Development Journal.
Gobby, J., Reed, G., Sinclair, R., Ivey, R., Matthews, D.H. (2021). Indigenizing climate policy in Canada. In special issue Energy Justice in the Era of Green Transitions, Frontiers in Sustainable Cities.
Gobby, J., Temper, L., Burke, M., von Ellenrieder, N. (2021). Resistance as Governance: Transformative Strategies forged on the Frontlines of Extractivism in Canada. The Extractive Industries and Society.
Temper, L., Avila, S., Del Bene, D., Gobby, J., Kosoy, N., Lebillion, P., Martinez-Alier, J., Perkins, P., Roy, B., Scheidel, A., Walter, M., (2020) Movement demands for a transition to just carbon futures: A meta-analysis. Environmental Research Letters. 15(12), 123004
Fazey, I., Schäpke, N., Caniglia, G., Hodgson, A., Kendrick, I., Lyon, C., Page, G., Patterson, J., Riedy, C., Strasser, T. and Verveen, S., … Gobby, J. …. (2020). Transforming knowledge systems for life on Earth: Visions of future systems and how to get there. Energy Research & Social Science, 70, p.101724.
Murphy, M., Gobby, J. (2021). Real climate action means defunding the police. Briarpatch.
Reed G. & Gobby, J. (2021). Land Back and Climate Action. Indigenous Law Association at McGill.
Gobby, J. (2020). More Powerful Together – Alternatives as Resistance: Part 2. Radical Ecological Democracy. (translated to Spanish)
Gobby, J. (2020). More Powerful Together – Integrating Resistance with Alternatives. Radical Ecological Democracy. (translated to Spanish)
Gobby, J. (2020). A Crash Course on Environmental Justice. The Monitor, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. Nov-Dec 2020 issue, p.45-48
Gobby, J. and Guertin, É. (2020). Droits des peuples autochtones, décroissance et une transition énergétique juste au Québec. Possibles, p.54.
Gobby, J and Ivey, R. (2020). More Powerful Together: Movement Reflections on Decarbonizing and Decolonizing Canada (Summary report of Thesis for Activists and Land Defenders). (translated to French)
Gobby, J. (2019). Allying with Indigenous Communities: Reporting on a Conference Workshop for Settler Researchers. Women and Environments International Magazine, p.55-58
Gobby, J. (2019) Confronting Economic Barriers to a Just Transition. Briarpatch.
Gobby, J. (2018). [Review of the book The Archipelago of Hope: Wisdom and Resilience from the Edge of Climate Change, by Raygorodetsky G.] Environmental and Society: Advances in Research, 9(1) pp.177-179.
Gobby, J. (2018). Introduction. In Mudgirls Collective, The Mudgirls Manifesto: Handbuilt Homes, Handcrafted Lives (pp.1-6). Gabriola, BC: New Society Publishers
2019 SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship – 45 000$ per year for 2 years
2015 McGill Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Science Award for Teaching Assistant Excellence – 1000$
2014-2017 New Sun Joy Harvie Graduate Award – 12 000$ per year for 3 years
2013 McGill MacLean Murray Scholarship – 1400$
2013 Dean’s Honours List – McGill University
Conferences and Public Speaking
Jan, 2021 McGill Sustainability Research Symposium 2021 – Sustainable Business
- on Fostering Change: The Role of Individuals in Transforming Society.
Nov, 2020 Building a New World in the Shell of the Old to Face the Climate Crisis: Between Transition, Resilience and Resistance at CRITS École d’innovation sociale Élisabeth-Bruyère, Université Saint-Paul (Ottawa, ON)
- on Theories of Social Transformation from the Grassroots. This featured 3 Indigenous land defenders speaking about their own theories of transformation and about decolonizing research practices.
Oct, 2020 Confronting The Climate Crisis with Systemic Alternatives in the Age of Corona Virus atEJ/CJ – The Environmental & Climate Justice Studies Digital Hub, UC Santa Barbara (California, US)
- Organized and hosted Virtual Panel on What Covid-19 has been teaching us about the fight for climate justice. This panel features 3 community organizers from Montreal who have been responding to Covid-19 in ways that are socially transformative.
June, 2019 International Sustainability Transitions conference at Carleton University (Ottawa, ON).
- on Theories of Social Transformation from the Grassroots, based on a chapter of my doctoral thesis.
- Organized and moderated a panel with Indigenous land defenders and environmental justice researchers about the links between resistance and building alternatives in transformative climate action. The session was livestreamed across Canada and attended in personat the conference.
May, 2019 Engaging Economies of Change. Canadian Association of Ecological Economists (CANSEE) Conference(Waterloo, ON).
- about the need for greater engagement with theories of social transformation among ecological economists.
- a workshop on best practices for research collaborations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. The workshop featured two Indigenous leaders and was the basis for an article which was later published.
April, 2019 ACKnowlEJ Final Project Meeting at Boğaziçi University (Istanbul, Turkey).
- findings and updated map of Environmental Conflicts in Canada.
- to synthesize the main findings from across all participants’ research throughout the 5-year project to compile a list of “Key Lessons for Activists and Communities”.
Nov, 2018 CIARS Decolonizing Conference, University of Toronto (Toronto, ON)
- on Decolonizing and Decarbonizing Canada, sharing the overall results of my doctoral research.
May, 2018 The Great Transition Conference (Montreal, QC).
- on Decolonizing and Decarbonizing Canada, sharing the overall results of my doctoral research.
Oct, 2017 Economies in an Age of Limits: A Time for (R)evolution! Canadian Association of Ecological Economists (CANSEE) Conference,(Montreal, QC).
- Helped with all aspects of conference planning, with a focus on ensuring racial, gender and age diversity in conference presenters and keynotes and prioritizing the inclusion of Indigenous perspectives.
- called Change in the Anthropocene: De-carbonizing and Decolonizing Canada.
- called ‘Academics as Activists?’ on the role of scholars in social transformation.
- calledPerspectives on natural capital and ecosystem services values: Contested concepts or pragmatic solutions?
2015 People and Planet in the Anthropocene. Transformations Conference (Stockholm, Sweden)
- on Indigenous rights and resistance as a powerful transformative force in Canada’s energy economy.
2015 Pathways for Change: Towards a Just and Sustainable Economy. Canadian Association of Ecological Economists (CANSEE) Conference (Vancouver, BC).
- on Indigenous rights and resistance as a powerful transformative force in Canada’s energy economy.
May, 2021 Panelist for La convergence des luttes : impératif moral et stratégique? event organized by Le Hub
Mar, 2021 Panelist for More Powerful Together: Conversations with Climate Activists & Indigenous Land Defenders event, organized by Indigenous Environmental Justice.
Nov, 2020 Keynote and Panelist for More Powerful Together Book Launch, organized by Fernwood Publishing and The ENRICH Project.
Oct, 2020 Panelist for discussion on Identity, Equity and Law in Ecological World-Making, organized by Ecological Law and Governance Association (ELGA).
Oct, 2020 Presented public lecture entitled ‘Let’s talk about transformative change, sustainability, and building a better world. Now’ for McGill’s Food for Thought Public Lecture Series.
Oct, 2020 Panelist for discussion on Environmental Justice, organized by Anthropocene to the Ecozoic (E2A)
Sept, 2020 Moderator and organizer for Climate Science Teach In for Climate Activists, hosted by the CSIM climate lab at Concordia University.
Sept, 2020 Panelists on Divestment from Fossil Fuels at McGill, a webinar hosted by PGSS McGill.
Sept, 2020 Panelist for Just Recovery Teach-in and Panel Discussion organized by Climate Strike Canada. Other panelists included David Suzuki and Seth Klein.
July, 2020 Panelist for Climate Change: A World Beyond Covid-19, presented by CEED, Sustainable Concordia and other groups. Other panelists included Deborah MacGregor and Vanessa Nakate.
June, 2020 Workshop facilitator for Holistic Activist Communities, as part of as a part of Sustainable Concordia’s Sustain’Alive event series centred on activism, society, and the planet.
May, 2020 Panelist for event organized by Fernwood Publishing entitled Environmental Transformation in Times of Crisis. Spoke about the links between the Covid-19 pandemic, social transformation, climate change, and environmental injustice
Mar, 2020 Guest speaker at Vanier’s International Women’s Week Festival. Spoke about the links between climate change, oil and gas development, violence against women, and the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada.
Nov, 2019 Guest speaker on the subject of transformative approaches to climate mitigation in Canada as part of a monthly seminar series on the Anthropocene at Université de Montréal.
Sept, 2019 Panelist in webinar entitled: The Next Generation of Environmental Movements: Activism and Advocacy for Ecological Law, organized by The Earth Law Center and Economics for the Anthropocene with the support of the Ethics Specialist Group of the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law.
Sept, 2019 Workshop co-facilitator. Designed and co-presented workshop entitled “Living Sustainably and Taking Action on Climate Change”, part of a Concordia Student Union workshop series ‘Get Sustainable’ at Concordia University.
Sept, 2019 Workshop co-facilitator. Co-led a workshop for faculty and graduate students at University of Vermont on best practices for research collaborations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. This was one session in a UVM speaker series on Power and Privilege.
Feb, 2019 Organizer and host of Symposium on Environmental Racism, which featured an panel of speakers from communities in Canada facing the impacts of environmental racism.
Feb, 2019 Workshop leader. Gave two workshops (one on developing theories of change and one on building stronger movements through collaboration) at thePowershift Youth Climate Conference, in Ottawa.
Jan, 2019 Guest Speaker at rally for International Women’s day in Montreal. Spoke about the links between climate change, oil and gas development and violence against women in Canada.
Mar, 2019 Workshop co-leader. Co-led workshop on Building Holistic Movement Communities as part of Sustainable Concordia’s Sustain‘Alive workshop series.
Oct, 2018 Keynote Speaker. Presented on Natural Building, Climate Action and Social Transformation, for McGill’s annual Permaculture Week.
Nov, 2020 Podcast Interview on Intersectional Analysis and Environmental Organizing for an online course on Environmental Ethics at McGill
Oct, 2020 Radio Interview on the topic of the intersection of research and activism for Climate Justice Saskatoon’s From the Ground Up Radio Program.
2017 Completed a day-long workshop on Participatory Action Research methods led by Professor Ernesto Mendez at the University of Vermont (Burlington, VT).
2016 Completed a 2-week graduate level summer school called Resurgence: Settler Colonialism and Radical Indigenous Politics, taught by Dene scholar, Professor Glen Coulthard at York University (Toronto, ON).
2006 Obtained a Permaculture Design Certificate upon completing a 2-week course in Permaculture Design. Earth Activist Training (Cazadero, CA).
2004 Completed a 6-month residential course on Eco-Construction and Design at St Norbert Arts Center (Winnipeg, MB).
Non-Academic Work Experience
2008-2011 Island Trustee, Islands Trust Local Government, (British Columbia). I was elected by the community of Lasqueti Island, BC to represent them on the local government. During this term in office I launched a community survey to establish a GHG emissions base line, worked with the community to set GHG emissions reduction targets and design place-based mitigation strategies. In addition, I founded the Community Environmental Stewardship Awards program, sat as a member of the Lasqueti Clean Energy Working Group, and successfully advocated for new policy on low-carbon, local food purchasing for Trust Council events.
2005-2011 Founder, Builder, Facilitator, MudGirls Natural Building Collective, (British Columbia). I founded this feminist collective that has designed and built over 50 healthy, beautiful, affordable and climate-friendly houses on the west coast of Canada using natural and recycled materials and based on permaculture design principles. I coordinated crews of builders on worksites, organized and taught hands-on workshops about natural building, alternative energy, composting, permaculture, alternative water and waste systems, and food growing. The collective is still going strong.
Service, Networks, and Volunteer Work
2021 Member of Scientific Committee for 2nd World Forum on Climate Justice conference organised by the Centre for Climate Justice at Glasgow Caledonian University.
2021 Member of a selection committee for the 2021-2022 Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Doctoral Awards competition.
2021 Associate Editor for Challenges in Sustainability journal.
2021 Peer-Reviewer for Journal Manuscript. Journal of Historical Sociology
2021 Peer-reviewer for Journal Manuscript. Journal of Political Ecology
2020 Peer-Reviewer for Journal Manuscript. Ecological Economics.
2019 Peer-Reviewer for Journal Manuscript. Ecological Economics.
2021- Present Network Member. United Nations Harmony with Nature Knowledge Network. (New York, NY).
2020- Present Network Member, Community-Based Action Research in Parc Extension (CBAR) (Montreal, QC).
2019- Present Steering Committee Member. SHIFT Center for Social Transformation, Concordia University (Montreal, QC).
2014- Present Association Member. Canadian Association of Ecological Economists (CANSEE).
2020- Present Advisory Board Member. Le Ministère de la Nouvelle Normalité (MNN).
2014- Present Organizer, Climate Justice Montreal, (Montreal, QC). I work with this grassroots group in Montreal to organize local education and direct-action events to promote climate and environmental justice, in solidarity with Indigenous land defenders.
2017-2019 Member of Board of Directors, Alternatives (Montreal, QC).
2008-2012 Tour Leader, (Lasqueti Island, BC). I led educational sustainability-themed tours of Lasqueti Island’s unique off-the-grid homes, gardens and alternative power, water, and heating systems.
2007- 2010 Tour manager and performer, Lasquirkus – The Lasqueti Circus (Gulf Islands, BC). I organized and managed all aspects of two successful tours of this 30-member, community-based, sustainability-themed circus.