Alexander Zahara


Office: Chat Lab, CS Portable 1017
Telephone: (709) 864-2966
Fax: (709) 864- 3119


Dr. Arn Keeling (Memorial)
Dr. Lianne Leddy (Laurier Brantford)

Committee Members:

Dr. Max Liboiron (Geography)
Dr. Nicole Power (Sociology)

Previous Education:

Master's of Environmental Studies, Queen's University (2015)
Bachelor of Science in Biology (Hons), University of Saskatchewan (2012)

Research Interests:
Feminist Science and Technology Studies
Discard Studies
Settler Colonial Studies & Indigenous Studies
Action-Oriented Research

Title of Project:

Settler Fire Management: An Examination into Wildfire Policy and Practice in Northern Saskatchewan

Project Description:
Over the last several decades, wildfire management in Northern Canada has become an important, controversial issue. The severity of wildfires has increased throughout Boreal Forest regions of Saskatchewan (SK), due to a combination of climate change, historical wildfire management regimes, and contemporary practices. In Northern SK, wildfires directly impact the lives of the region’s Indigenous (Dene, Métis, Rocky Cree, Swampy Cree, and Woodland Cree) residents. In the last 5 years, Northern lobbying and protests groups have formed around wildfire controversies, describing them not as an issue of scientific versus traditional knowledge, but one of dignity and self-determination.
This project examines the history of wildfire management policy and practices in Northern Saskatchewan. While most research has focused on the impact of wildfires on Northern communities, this project focuses on wildfire management itself. The purposes of the project are to:
• Better understand the social and historical context of wildfire management policies and practices.
• Be able to place wildfire management issues within their historical context.
• Examine opportunities for wildfire management to address potential interests and concerns raised by Northern residents.
This project will contribute to a broader understanding of the social and cultural dimensions of wildfire management, which may assist local organizations in developing best practices for managing fires in a context of changing wildfire activity and controversy.

• Zahara, A. (Accepted). ‘On Sovereignty, Deficits, and ‘Dumpcanos’: Risk Governance in an Arctic Dump Fire’ in Sarathy, B., Hamilton, V. and Brodie, J. (eds.) Inevitably Toxic?: Historical Perspectives on Contamination, Exposure, and Expertise. University of Pittsburgh Press.
• Liboiron, M., Ammendolia, J., Winsor, K., Zahara, A., Bradshaw, H., Melvin, J., Mather, C., Dawe, N., Wells, E., Liboiron, F., Fürst, B., Coyle, C., Saturno, J., Novacefski, M., Westscott, S., & Liboiron, G. ‘Equity in Author Order: A Feminist Laboratory’s Approach.’ Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience 3: 1-17.
• Hird, M. & Zahara, A. ‘The Arctic Wastes’ (2017) in Grusin, R. (ed) Anthropocene Feminism. University of Minnesota Press, 121-147.
• Liboiron, M., Liboiron F., Wells, E. Richard, N., Zahara, A., Mather, C., Bradshaw, H. & Muchiri, J. (2016) ‘Low rate of plastic ingestion in Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) from Newfoundland destined for human consumption collected through citizen science methods.’ Marine Pollution Bulletin 113: 428-437.
• Zahara, A.., & Hird, M.. (2015). ‘Raven, Dog, Human: Inhuman Colonialism and Unsettling Cosmologies.’ Environmental Humanities 7: 169-190.
• Zahara, A.., Michel, N., Flahr, L., Ejack, L., & Morrissey, C.. (2015) ‘Latent cognitive effects from low-level PCB exposure in juvenile European starlings, Sturnus vulgaris.’ Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 34 (11): 2513-2522.
• Flahr, L., Michel, N., Zahara, A., Jones, P., & Morrissey, C. (2015). Developmental exposure to Aroclor 1254 alters migratory behaviour in juvenile European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). Environmental Science and Technology 49 (10): 6274-6283.

Public Writing:
• Zahara, A. ‘Plastics and Methylmercury’ Civic Lab for Environmental Action Research Blog. 15 July 2017.
• Zahara, A. ‘Difference in the Anthropocene: Indigenous Environmentalism in the Face of Settler Colonialism’. Discard Studies Blog. 14 March 2017.
• Zahara, A. ‘Fostering Dialogue: Bringing Together Perspectives on Industry’s Social Licence to Operate.’ Memorial University Gazette. 6 October 2016.
• Zahara, A. ‘Ethnographic Refusal: A How to Guide’. Discard Studies Blog. 8 August 2016.
• Peterson, J. and Zahara, A. ‘Anthropocene Adjustments: Discarding the Technosphere.’ Discard Studies Blog & HKW Anthropocene: Technosphere Issue. 26 May 2016.
• Zahara, A. ‘Refusal as Research Method in Discard Studies.’ Discard Studies Blog. 21 March 2016.
• Zahara, A. ‘Bringing Waste to Public Spaces: A Discussion with Artist Keeley Haftner.’ Discard Studies Blog. 14 July 2014.


  • Society for History of Technology Fellow (2017)
  • Dr. Alan MacPherson Award in Historical and Cultural Geography (2016)
  • Memorial University Dean’s Excellence Award (2016-2018)
  • SSHRC J.A. Bombardier Doctoral Award (CGS-D, 2016-2018)
  • Queen’s Environmental Studies Graduate Scholarship (Sept 2014)
  • SSHRC J. A. Bombardier Master’s Award (CGS-M 2014-2015)

Research Groups:

  • Northern Exposures:
  • Civic Laboratory for Environmental Action Research:
  • Queer Science Reading Group:
  • Waste, Science Technology & Environment:


Department of Geography

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000