Present Positions

Research Interests


Recent Positions Related to Research


Refereed Publications


Research Funding


Development Geography




Department of Geography
McGill University,
805 Sherbrooke Street West,
Montreal, QC H3A 2K6
Telephone: (514) 398 - 4219
Fax: (514) 398 - 7437
Email: tom.meredith@mcgill.ca

Dr. Thom Meredith

Dr. Meredith's interest is the management of ecological resources, with a particular focus on environmental impact assessment and community response to environmental change (Link). He maintains active research on community-based environmental protection strategies that bring both scientific and local or traditional information into environmental decision-making. Current and recent research sites include mountain forest communities in Quebec, British Columbia, Mexico and East Africa.

In 1979 he joined the Department of Geography at McGill University. From 1981 to 1993, was the director of the McGill's Environmental Studies Program. Currently, he is Director of the Canadian Field Study in Africa and McGill’s African Field Study Semester. He has lived and worked in Canada, England, Mexico and Kenya.

Ph.D. 1978, Applied Biology, Cambridge University
M.Sc. 1975, Botany and Microbiology, University of London
Dipl. in Conservation 1975, Geography/Botany/Zoology, University of London
Bach. Environmental Studies (Honours) 1974, Geography, University of Waterloo

Professional field : environmental management
Languages: English, French, Spanish
Geographic study area : Canada, Africa, Latin America

Present Positions

(to top)

Research Interests

  • Community-based management of environmental and ecological resources
  • Information technology (GIS, Web, satellite images) in environmental decisions
  • Adaptation and innovation in indigenous and traditional land-use systems
  • Environmental impact assessment -- public participation and community values


Recent Positions Related to Research

  • Past Board Member, Association québécoise pour l'é valuation d'impacts
  • Co-founder, member of trilateral (three country, six university) , North American Consortium for Community-Based Biodiversity Conservation.
  • Board Member, Fondation du Maire de Montreal pour la Jeunesse. 1995 to 1997.
  • Visiting Researcher, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico. 1994-1995
  • Director, Environmental Studies Program, Faculty of Science, McGill. 1983-1993
  • Coordinator, McGill Project on Sustainability and Development. 1990-1992
  • Executive member, Canadian Association of Geographers. 1989-1992.
  • Convener of Panel on Critical Environmental Zones Canadian Global Change Program (Royal Society of Canada). 1989-95.
  • Member, International Geographic Union, Commission on Critical Zones. 1991-96.
  • Founder, past director, present member, Canadian Association of Geographers Impact Assessment Study group.
  • Chair, organizing committee, Society for Human Ecology Conference, Montreal, 1999.
  • Consultant on impact assessment. UNEP, Nairobi. Six month sabbatic secondment, 1988.
  • Visiting Lecturer, University of Nairobi. Six month sabbatic leave activity, 1988.
  • Chairman, Organizing Committee for the Second North American Caribou Workshop
  • Member, Canadian Society of Environmental Biologists' Committee for Environmental Impact Assessment 1983-85. The committee was charged with submitting guidelines for professional standards in impact assessment.Parks
  • Canada consultant on land use change and development around Kootenay National Park, B.C., 1979-80.

(to top)

Refereed Publications (since 1995)

Kull, Christian A., Camellia K. Ibrahim, Thomas C. Meredith. 2007.  Tropical forest transitions and globalization: neoliberalism, migration, tourism, and international conservation agendas. Society and Natural Resources 20 (8): 723-737.

Dressler, W.H., C.A. Kull, and T.C. Meredith. 2006.  The politics of decentralizing national parks management in the Philippines.  Political Geography 25 (7): 789-826.

Kull, Christian A., Ibrahim, Camellia K., and Thom Meredith. 2006. Can Privatization Conserve the Global Biodiversity Commons? Tropical Reforestation through Globalization. Presented at "Survival of the Commons: Mounting Challenges and New Realities," the Eleventh Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property, Bali, Indonesia, June 19-23, 2006. Published on line at: Digital Library of the Commons (The Trustees of Indiana University) http://dlc.dlib.indiana.edu/archive/00001944/

* Meredith, Thomas C., George Dias and Leah Wilson. 2005.  Principles behind the CBED decision support procedure. Pp 74.  In CEC and TNC. 2005. North American Central grasslands priority conservation areas: technical report and documentation. Eds. J.W. Karl and J. Hoth. Commission for Environmental Cooperation and The Nature Conservancy. Montreal, Quebec.

Balram, S, Dragicevic, S and Meredith, T. (2004). A collaborative GIS method for integrating local and technical knowledge in establishing biodiversity conservation priorities. Biodiversity and Conservation, 13:6 1195-1208

Meredith, Thomas C, (2004), “Community Participation in Environmental Information Management: Exploring Tools for Developing an Impact Assessment Preparedness Program” Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. Research and Development Monograph Series, 2000. 85 pp. (In French and English)

Meredith, Thomas C, (2004), “Assessing Environmental Impacts in Canada” in Bruce Mitchell (ed) Resource and Environmental Management in Canada: Addressing Conflict and Uncertainty. OUP. Toronto. 467-498.

Meredith, Thomas C, Sonja Klinsky, Matthew Straub, Daniel Hackett, (2004). Caring for Community: An Environmental Atlas for Sustainable development of Montreal’s West Island. McGill University Project on Community Based Environmental Decision Support. Montreal. 60 pp.

Balram, S, Dragicevic, S and Meredith, T (2003). Achieving effectiveness in stakeholder participation using the GIS‑based Collaborative Spatial Delphi Methodology. Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management, 5:2 365‑394.

Meredith, Thomas C., Gregory G. Yetman and Gisela Frias (2002). Mexican and Canadian case studies of community-based spatial information management for biodiversity conservation. In: William J. Craig, Trevor M. Harris and Daniel Weiner (eds.), Community Participation and Geographic Information Systems. Taylor and Francis. London. 205-217.

_________(2002). Democracy and Participation in Environmental Decision-Making Human Ecology Review, 9:1 62-63.

_________(2002). Using Spatial Decision Support Systems in Expert Workshops Human Ecology Review, 9:1 72-76.

_________and Gisela Frias (2002). Cross Cultural Participation in Sustainable Development: Canadian Academic Involvement with Mexican ENGOs. Human Ecology Review, 9:1 77-81

_________ (2002) Assessing Environmental Impacts in Canada. in Greenbaum, Alan, Alex Wellington and Ron Pushchak (eds) Environmental Law in Social Context: A Canadian Perspective. Captus Press, Concord, Ont. pp 287-293

_________(2000) Reaching Consensus on Biodiversity Conservation Priority Regions: A report on the Commission for Environmental Cooperation Strategic Directions for the Conservation of Biodiversity. CBED. McGill University Department of Geography. 118 pp.

_________(1999). Cosmologies, Concepts and Commitment: Using Biodiversity Indicators in Critical Zones Models. In John Pierce and Ann Dale (eds.) Achieving Sustainable Development. UBC Press 243-276.

_________ with W. Smith and T. Johns. (1999). Exploring methods for conservation of woody vegetation in the Batemi Valley, North Central Tanzania. Biodiversity and Conservation 8: 447-470. (2nd Author).

_________ with W. Smith (1999) Identifying biodiversity priorities based on local values and abundance data. in D.A.Posey (ed). Cultural and Spiritual Values of Biodiversity. UNEP 372‑375. (2nd author).

_________ (1999) Empowerment, Marginalization and Public Participation in Community-Based Biodiversity Conservation in Craig, W.J., T. Harris and D. Weiner (eds). Empowerment, Marginalization and Public Participation: Report of Specialists Meeting. NCGIA, UCSB, Santa Barbara. P 58 (Abstract. Full paper at http://www.ncgia.ucsb.edu/varenius/ppgis/papers/meredith.html.)

_________ (1999) Human Ecology and the Human Condition (Open letter from the president of the Society for Human Ecology). Human Ecology Review 6:2, 132‑134.

__________(1997) Linking Science with Citizens: Exploring the use of geographic information and analysis in community-based biodiversity conservation initiatives. Human Ecology Review 3:2 231-237.

_________ (1997). Making Knowledge Powerful: Mexican Village Project Uses Environmental Information Technology to Strengthen Community Voices in Biodiversity Conservation. Alternatives 23:4. 28-35

_________ (1997) Information Limitations in Participatory Impact Assessment. In : John Sinclair ed. Environmental Impact Assessment in Canada. University of Waterloo Press. pp 125-154.

_________ with E. Shenkier. (1997). Euro-North American and Indigenous Perception of the Natural Environment: the case of the Algonquin of Barriere Lake. In A. Wellington (ed.) Canadian Issues in Environmental Ethics Broadview Press, Toronto. (2nd author).

_________ with W. Smith and T. Johns. (1996). The use and conservation of woody vegetation by the Batemi, North Central Tanzania. Economic Botany. (2nd author).

________ (1995) Assessing Environmental Impacts in Canada. In B. Mitchell (ed.) Resource and Environmental Management in Canada. OUP. 360-383.

_________ (1995) Geographic information and community-based environmental decisions. In R. Alvarez (ed.) Memorias: Sociedad Latinamericana de Perception Remota. SELPER-Mexico, A.C., 203-215

(to top)

Research Funding

FQRSC -- team grant: Community-based Environmental Decision Support
(Meredith PI in group of 4) -- 2003-2006 $140,000

Woodcock Foundation
Collaborative conservation planning for the West Island communities of the Island of Montreal: an interdisciplinary approach. (PI on grant with two partners) -- 2002-2003 $107,500

Woodcock Foundation
Collaborative conservation planning for the West Island communities of the Island of Montreal. -- 2001-2002 $35,800

Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency -- Community Participation in Environmental
Information Management: Exploring Tools for Enhancing Human Impacts
Assessment in EIA -- 2001-2002 $24,000

Village of Senneville B Evaluating ecological conservation strategies -- 2001-2002 $8000

Commission for Environmental Cooperation (NAFTA) -- Defining North American Biodiversity
Priority Areas -- 2000 $8,000

SSHRC -- Community-Based Environmental Decision Support -- 2000-2003 $67,000

FCAR -- team grant: Community-Based Biodiversity Conservation (Meredith PI in group of 5 ) -- 1999-2002 $225,000

SSHRC -- Community -University Research Alliance Development Funding -- 1999-2000 $5,000

(to top)



Contact Information

Department of Geography

McGill University

805 Sherbrooke Street West

Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3A 2K6

phone: (514) 398-4111 fax: (514) 398-7437

Undergraduate Email

Graduate Email

Last updated 13/03/2008