(Blog) RPLC Members Present at ACUNS in Calgary

On November 4th, five members of the RPLC traveled to Calgary to participate in a panel on the RPLC and their experiences as rural researchers. The panel was one of a number of pre-conference workshops of the Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies (ACUNS) Student Conference on Northern Studies at the University of Calgary. A small audience was present in the room and the workshop was also live broadcast over Zoom and Periscope.
Participating in the panel were:
Michael Blatherwick (Brandon University): Liaison Officer – BlatherwickM@brandonu.ca
Meggie MacMichael (Dalhousie University): Governance Team Support – mfmacmichael@dal.com
Linamar Campos (Université de Montréal): Human Capital and Migration Team Support – LinamarCamposF@outlook.com
Laura Ryser (University of Northern British Columbia): Infrastructure and Services Team –
Henry Penn (University of Alaska Fairbanks): Infrastructure and Services Team – hjpenn@alaska.edu
The workshop first introduced participants to the RPLC. Michael Blatherwick ran through a presentation covering what we are, who we are, what we do, and how to get involved. Participants were very interested in the practical elements of the network, including influencing policy through communication with policy-makers, how to get involved as a young researcher, and the long-term future of the RPLC. Panelists described concrete examples of how the RPLC has already supported knowledge mobilization and the engagement of policy makers. This included Bill Ashton’s presentations on immigration to leaders in the Maritime Provinces and the State of Rural Canada report produced in collaboration with CRRF. The young researchers and government employees present were encouraged to visit the website to find relevant publications and to identify researchers working in areas of interest to them.
The second portion of the workshop was a panel of the RPLC members. The panelists each described how they got involved with rural and northern research and reflected on best practices for fitting into a research team. One great piece of advice echoed by several panelists was to fully understand the larger project you are part of by reading the project proposal and understanding the roles and perspectives of other team members. The workshop was designed to be interactive, and so a lively discussion ensued involving audience members, the moderator, and panelists. Even those listening in through Zoom were able to ask questions and give comments.  Some of the questions and topics of discussion were: adjustments in rural and northern research, how rural research can impact policy, the nature of research funding in Canada, and how to engage rural communities.
Final remarks from panelists were to follow your interests, bring a rural lens to all work that you do, and utilize your own rural background and experiences to inform decisions and connect with participants.
Anyone who would like to watch the full panel can do so here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xLvtq5tQW0

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