FACULTY 2020-12-02T14:49:58-08:00


Samuel Bartels
Assistant Professor, Ecosystem Science and Management

Dr. Bartels joined UNBC in mid-July 2020 as Assistant Professor in the Ecosystem Science and Management Program. Prior to this, he held a postdoctoral fellowship at University of Alberta, and completed his PhD at Lakehead University. His applied research in forest ecology and silviculture focuses on the dynamics of forest ecosystems, particularly on how both natural and anthropogenic disturbances affect biodiversity, stand development and productivity. Through his teaching and research, Dr. Bartels hopes to deepen knowledge and understanding of forests and their diverse services and values to human society.

Troy Bordun
Assistant Professor, English

Dr. Troy Michael Bordun completed his doctoral degree in Cultural Studies at Trent University. Prior to UNBC, Bordun was a part-time contract instructor at Trent, Concordia University, and Bishop’s University. His research interests include film genres, transnational cinema, celebrity studies, porn studies, and comics. Bordun’s publications in film studies include Genre Trouble and Extreme Cinema: Film Theory at the Fringes of Contemporary Art Cinema (Palgrave MacMillan, 2017), recent articles in Mise-en-scène and Cinephile, and a chapter in Screening Scarlett Johansson: Gender, Genre, Stardom (Palgrave MacMillan, 2020). He has published articles and reviews on sf cinema in Science Fiction Film and Television, CineAction, and Science Fiction Studies, and articles on the history of pornography in Synoptique, Porn Studies, and Celebrity Studies. Bordun was a co-director of Trent Film Society and is also an occasional video essayist.

Deborah Carter
Senior Lab Instructor, Nursing

Dr. Deb Carter joins the School of Nursing as Senior Lab Instructor: Learning Management Systems (SLI-LMS). Deb completed a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies at UBC’s Okanagan campus. She brings a unique blend of work experience, academic underpinnings, and research to the new SLI-LMS position.

As a designer, Deb determines effective educational technologies and communication approaches for instructors and students to develop open learning environments (OLEs). She considers the diverse needs of computer users and dynamic timelines across multiple projects and communities to address the uncertainty and risk of potential shifts or changes to classroom practices, modes of delivery, and assessment.

As a researcher, Deb explores the impact to organizational narratives and on emerging professional stories when a bounded human system identifies a disruption in its practices and processes. Through shared-value approaches, she examines the retrospective perspectives, individually and collectively, of how team members formulate and facilitate an emergent context-based resolution to wicked problems. 

Adam Cohen
Metadata Librarian

Adam is the new Metadata Librarian at the Geoffrey R. Weller Library. He graduated from the University of Alberta’s School of Library and Information Studies with his MLIS in 2019, and has been working professionally since then. He is responsible for keeping the library catalogue up-to-date, managing our institutional repository, and open journal system, along with other librarian tasks.

His interests lie in cataloguing practice for niche library materials, pedagogy for technical literacy, and Linked Data in libraries.

Rahul Jain
Assistant Professor, Social Work

Dr. Rahul Jain is an Assistant Professor and Regional Field Coordinator at the School of Social Work, UNBC Northeast Campus. Dr. Jain gratefully acknowledges the Territory of Treaty 8 where he is blessed to live, work and play.

Prior to joining UNBC, Dr. Jain worked in various capacities —  mental health clinician, youth supervisor, instructor, product & training manager, and additional managing editor. Dr. Jain came to UNBC with extensive clinical social work practice experience and holds registration in the clinical class (Registered Clinical Social Worker- RCSW). He is among the only 3.9 percent social work registrants in BC with an RCSW designation. As an RCSW, Dr. Jain is qualified to assess, diagnose, and treat mental disorders.

In terms of his educational background, Dr. Jain received degrees in BA (Psychology, Sociology, and Public Administration), MA (Sociology), LLB, MSW, and PhD (Sociology).

Dr. Jain’s research interests include mental health especially at-risk children/youth, information and communications technology, medical social work, remote/northern social work, community development, multiculturalism, and Indigenous social work practice. 

Doug Jarvis
Assistant Professor, Political Science

Doug has recently joined the UNBC community as a faculty member of the political science department who also teaches history.  He completed his Ph.D. at Carleton Universty, where his dissertation focused on the historical relationship existing between the institutional framework of family organization, the cultural transitions of gender relations and the political development of the Western nation-state.  During his dissertation, he taught political philosophy, public policy and history.  Since then, he has taught at the higher education level in both Canada and the USA and has focused extensively in his research on comparative North American studies.  He was an invited contributor to the two-volume bipartisan American politics anthology titled Trump and Political Philosophy (Palgrave MacMillan, 2018).  Over the years, he has taught courses on Canadian politics at the national, provincial and local levels.  This stands alongside teaching a variety of courses in American studies, comparative politics and international relations.   A committed educator, he has also worked in special education at the secondary level with high aptitude students who face both learning and emotional challenges.   Doug is most excited to be a part of the UNBC community to develop his current research interests on the often over-looked historical relationship existing between rural frontier development and urban social-progressive values within Canadian politics.   This is due to UNBC’s rich tradition of research and service in matters pertaining to resource economy-based community issues, Indigenous affairs and Canadian northern studies

Roy Jensen
Assistant Professor, Chemistry

Dr. Roy Jensen received a Ph.D. (chemistry) from the University of Victoria. His pedagogical interests explore learner development, the factors affecting student success, and the modernization of instructional material. He has received several teaching awards during his career. Several pedagogical projects have a discovery research component.

He is the author of three books: Communicating Science, Exploring Chemistry, and Strategic De-escalation. Communicating Science and Exploring Chemistry are available free from http://www.RoguePublishing.ca

Beyond academia, Dr. Jensen is involved in outreach activities that increase public awareness of science in society.

Tara Joly
Assistant Professor, Anthropology

Tara Joly is an environmental anthropologist specializing in applied and community-based research with Indigenous peoples in northern Canada. Dr. Joly’s research interests include Indigenous rights, practicing anthropology, extractive industries, disturbed landscapes, settler colonialism, human-environment relations, history of science, and interdisciplinary studies. Her work examines Métis and other Indigenous responses to Alberta oil sands development, with an emphasis on (wet)land reclamation and encounters between different ways of knowing and using the environment. She is particularly interested in documenting how Indigenous land in settler colonial states is remade as extractive territory or settler home, and her research examines and supports processes by which Indigenous peoples assert sovereignty and renew relationships to place.

Liam Kelly
Lecturer, Economics

Liam joined the Department of Economics at UNBC in September 2020. He is currently in the final stages of completing his PhD in Food, Agricultural, and Resource Economics at the University of Guelph. Liam’s research interests relate to institutions, land and natural resources, and economic development. His current research focuses on land reform and the potential for economic development on First Nations reserves in Canada. Previously, Liam studied land tenure, gender inequality, and agricultural investment in rural Haiti, finding that women are less likely to invest in their inherited land, due in part to their property rights being less respected and more attenuated than those of their brothers. This research was recently published in the Journal of Economic Issues. In addition, Liam has studied the legalization of cannabis, focusing on the importance of the black market and the potential economic benefits for both Ontario and the Canadian food processing industry. Originally from British Columbia, Liam enjoys spending his free time outdoors and with his family.

Matt McLean
Senior Lab Instructor, Geographical Information Systems

Matt McLean is a Senior Lab Instructor in the UNBC GIS Lab. Originally from Quesnel B.C. started studies at UNBC in 2012. In 2017 He completed his degree in Computer Science with a minor in Geographic Information Systems. After graduating Matt spent two years working as a Senior Research Assistant at the College of New Caledonia working on a wide variety of projects including Forest Health, Flood Plain Mapping, Energy Management, and his personal favorite developing techniques for using Remotely Piloted Aircraft systems for very-high-resolution mapping and eco-system mapping. After then end of his contract at CNC Matt started his MSc in Natural Resource Management where is research is focused on using RPAS and Machine Learning to add automating to the process of classifying quality of vegetation that affects the habitat of Ungulates.

Matt started as Senior Lab Instructor in the GIS Lab summer of 2020. Since started he has been working on upgrading servers to provide High Availability computation to the GIS Lab for the coming years. And is excited to share knowledge developed over the past several years in Applied Research with UNBC’s GIS Students.

When not in the GIS Lab Matt can be found exploring back roads for water falls and other interesting things to photograph with his drones, or enjoying cooking for friends. 

Daniel Sims
Associate Professor, First Nations Studies

I am a member of the Tsay Keh Dene First Nation and grew up in the Prince George area.  My research is community based and I have worked with numerous First Nations in British Columbia and Alberta throughout my career.  My current tri-council funded research project examines concepts of wilderness and development in the Finlay-Parsnip watershed, particularly with regard to failed colonial projects.  I joined the Department of First Nation Studies in 2020 and currently serve as chair.

Shauna Stanyer
Instructional Designer/Senior Lab Instructor, Centre for Teaching, Learning & Technology

Shauna is a new faculty member serving as an Instructional Designer/Senior Lab Instructor within the Centre for Teaching, Learning & Technology. In the past, she held the position of Instructional Design Technician for the UNBC School of Health Sciences, as well as various other positions at UNBC since 2007. In her current role at the CTLT, Shauna guides faculty in the design of effective teaching and assessment strategies in a web-based e-learning environment, works closely with Instructors and other team members to produce a variety of learning materials for use in the classroom, individual and group study in our learning management system (learn.unbc.ca), and provides instructional technology support and documentation.

Glen Thielmann
Lecturer, Education

Glen has taught at four high schools in Prince George over the last 25 years in the areas of Social Studies, Geography, English Language Arts, and some homegrown courses.  He has done sessional instruction and teacher mentoring for SFU and UNBC before accepting a term position as a lecturer in the Bachelor of Education Program at UNBC in 2020.  His undergraduate BA degree in Geography and English came from UBC in 1994, his teacher training was completed through SFU in 1995, as well as his Masters of Education in Curriculum, Instruction, and Leadership in 2004. 

Currently, Glen is a PhD candidate at UNBC in the interdisciplinary Natural Resources and Environmental Studies Program with a research focus on place-responsive pedagogy as a space of convergence for diverse aims of educators and the education system, including Indigenous ways of knowing, action on sustainability and climate change, establishing connections between identity and place, biogeoliteracy, and extension of curricular competencies.  His Education courses build on these themes alongside the B.Ed program’s focus on “People, Place, and Land.”

Long ago, Glen worked as a forest ecosystem geographer and got to wander all over the woods of northern BC and Alberta, getting to know many plants, soils, and bears on a first name basis, and enduring all manners of weather.

Siraj ul Islam
Assistant Professor, Environmental Science and Engineering

Dr. Siraj Ul Islam has a Ph.D. in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies from the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC). He is working as an Assistant Professor in the Environmental Science program. Dr. Islam is a hydroclimatologist, with research interests spanning a broad spectrum of environmental science, including climate dynamics, hydro-climate predictions and numerical modeling. His research investigates the impacts of climate change on western Canada’s water resources, including the intensity and frequency of extreme climatic events and changes in water availability. His research also focuses on the impacts of climate change on traditional territories of Canadian Indigenous communities living in northern British Columbia and southern Yukon.

Jennifer Wigglesworth
Lecturer, Ecosystem Science and Management

I joined the Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Management program as a Lecturer in October 2020. Before coming to UNBC, I completed a BSc and a MA in Human Kinetics at the University of Ottawa, and I am currently completing a PhD in the School of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Queen’s University. My research examines social and environmental justice in outdoor sports and leisure, with a focus on the power of place names in outdoor landscapes. I qualitatively explore women’s rock climbing through feminist, anti-racist, and decolonial perspectives. In this way, rock climbing serves as an entry point for me to ask larger questions about equity, diversity, inclusion, and sustainability in outdoor cultures.

Wenbo Zheng
Assistant Professor, Environmental Engineering

Dr. Wenbo Zheng is an Assistant Professor in Civil Engineering at the School of Engineering since September 2020. Wenbo received his PhD from the University of British Columbia in Kelowna, and a master’s degree and a bachelor’s degree from Tongji University in China, all in civil engineering with a focus on geotechnical engineering. Before joining UNBC, he was a postdoctoral research and teaching fellow at the University of British Columbia, and held an international exchange fellowship at the China University of Geosciences in Wuhan. Wenbo’s research interests lie in geomechanics that applies to a broad spectrum of geo-resource and geohazard issues, including sand proppant crushing/embedment in shale gas extraction, slope stability/landslides, and tunnelling. His current research focuses on integrating advanced laboratory characterization (e.g. x-ray CT) with computational geomechanics (e.g. discrete element modelling) to understand the fundamental behaviours of geomaterials and their implication to engineering applications.


Welcome to a new beginning! This handbook provided by the CAUT will be useful in answering many of your potential questions before making the decision to become a faculty member.

Congratulations on your job offer! But before you sign…

Like many candidates for university positions, you may feel lucky to get a job offer. The salary offered may seem very appealing compared with your income as a graduate student, and the prospects for renewing your position or for obtaining tenure may look impressive.

You may feel reluctant to ask future colleagues about their salaries and other details of their individual appointments. You might assume that those colleagues who do provide information are able to represent fully what is possible in your own situation. Meanwhile, the administration representative with whom you’re dealing may be helpful and supportive. Although you might expect that misunderstandings can be corrected after accepting the offer, in many cases this may well not be true.

Perhaps you’re worried that negotiating astutely for your future will cast you as a ‘troublemaker;’ perhaps you doubt that there is scope for any negotiation at all. You may even feel embarrassed to ask that verbal agreements be put in writing, especially if you have been assured that the issues addressed are dealt with routinely for all employees. And the deadline for signing may be approaching rapidly.

For any or all of these reasons, you might sign a contract that will put you at a disadvantage for the rest of your career. Your future faculty association or union can help you obtain more complete information about the implications of an offer and the ins and outs of negotiating a fair and reasonable appointment. If you call before you sign, here are 10 important questions you should ask.

CAUT Handbook for New Faculty – http://www.caut.ca/pages.asp?page=428&lang=1

Handbook can be found here: New Faculty Handbook


More information on employee benefits at UNBC can be found through the Human Resources Department website at:  www.unbc.ca/hr

Medical Services Travel Fund

A medical services travel fund is available to members of the UNBC-FA to supplement the existing extended health employee benefits.  See Article 50.11 of the UNBC Faculty Agreement to find out about the medical service travel fund, which expenses are covered, and how to submit a claim for reimbursement.  The fund reimburses costs for members and their dependents who have been referred for out-of-town treatment by a physician or dentist where treatments are not available in Prince George.

Members can claim up to $5,000 annually and the deadline to submit applications is the last Friday in January after New Year’s Day for expenses that have been incurred in the previous calendar year. Expense claim forms and original receipts are to be submitted directly to the Human Resources Department by the deadline.

All claims are reviewed by a panel of one UNBC-FA executive member and one HR administrator to determine eligibility. Reimbursements are considered a taxable benefit by the Canada Revenue Agency, and the University will withhold taxes and report the amounts on a T4A in the applicable year.


For information on the UNBC pension plan for employees, visit:


Post Retirement Benefits

Members of the UNBC-FA who have retired are eligible for post-retirement medical/dental benefits. See Article 19 of the UNBC Faculty Agreement to find out about the post-retirement medical/dental fund, which expenses are covered, maximum claim per calendar year, and how to submit a claim for reimbursement.

The maximum yearly benefit is $1,000 and the deadline to submit applications is the last Friday in January after New Year’s Day for expenses that have been incurred in the previous calendar year. Expense claim forms and original receipts are to be submitted directly to the Human Resources Department by the deadline.

All claims are reviewed by a panel of one UNBC-FA executive member and one HR administrator to determine eligibility. Reimbursements are considered a taxable benefit by the Canada Revenue Agency, and the University will withhold taxes and report the amounts on a T4A in the applicable year.

Sunlife Medical/Dental Benefits

Sunlife Benefits FAQ

Sun Life Faculty Association Employee Benefits

Sun Life Faculty Association Benefits for Employees working beyond the traditional retirement date

Coordination of Benefits and Transitional Coverage