Nicole Wilson


Research Interests:
Climate change vulnerability and adaptation, Community-based monitoring, Social and ecological systems, Environmental and Social Impact Assessment, Indigenous water governance, Political ecology, Socio-cultural and Environmental Values


EDGES alumna Dr. Nicole J. Wilson was recently awarded a Mitacs Elevate post-doctoral fellowship to conduct research in partnership with Carcross/Tagish First Nation. The project will develop strategies to implement Chapter 14 of the First Nation’s land claim agreement based on their traditional water laws. She is working under the supervision of Gordon Christie in the Peter A. Allard School of Law at UBC.

In May 2018, Nicole received her PhD in Resource Management and Environmental Studies working under the supervision of Dr. Terre Satterfield and committee members including Dr. Leila Harris.

Nicole’s research focused on the role of Alaska Native Tribes and First Nations in water governance in the transboundary context of the Yukon River Basin, which spans Alaska, Yukon and British Columbia. Her work examined the socio-cultural impacts of hydrologic change and the how adaptive responses to environmental change employed by Indigenous peoples, are constrained or facilitated by the broader water governance context. Her dissertation research builded on existing partnerships with the Yukon River Inter-tribal Watershed Council – a grassroots Indigenous organization comprised of 70 Alaska Native and Canadian First Nations (partner since 2010).

Nicole is both a Vanier and Killam scholar. She is also a member of the Program on Water Governance. Prior to coming to UBC, she completed her Master’s of Science in Natural Resources at Cornell University. Her MS research examined the impacts of climate change on the subsistence livelihoods of the Koyukon Athapaskan people of Ruby, Alaska. She also holds a BA in Development Studies from the University of Calgary.

Wilson, N.J., Walter, M.T., and Waterhouse, J. 2015. Indigenous Knowledge of Hydrologic Change in the Yukon River Basin: A Case Study of Ruby, Alaska. ARCTIC 68, 93–106. doi:10.14430/arctic4459

Wilson, N.J., 2014. Indigenous water governance: Insights from the hydrosocial relations of the Koyukon Athabascan village of Ruby, Alaska. Geoforum 57, 1–11. doi:10.1016/j.geoforum.2014.08.005

Wilson, N.J., 2014. The Politics of Adaptation: Subsistence Livelihoods and Vulnerability to Climate Change in the Koyukon Athabascan Village of Ruby, Alaska. Hum Ecol 42, 87–101. doi:10.1007/s10745-013-9619-3

Kassam, K.-A.S., Baumflek, M., Ruelle, M., Wilson, N., 2011. Human Ecology of Vulnerability, Resilience, and Adaptation: Case Studies of Climate Change from High Latitudes and Altitudes. in: Blanco, J., Kheradmand, H. (Eds.), Climate Change – Socioeconomic Effects. Intech, pp. 217–236.

Follow Nicole Wilson at or Research Gate or visit her personal website






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