Michelle-Lee’s research seeks to build and mobilize knowledge about social innovations - ones that allow us to transform and build positive paths towards social-ecological-cultural resilience. Primarily, she has focused on topics of transnational and local water governance, social innovation, and transformation. In each of these domains, she has aimed to build new theoretical constructs and conduct empirical case study analyses, as well as undertake projects that begin to bring these fields together. However, beyond her water governance research, she also collaborates with scholars to examine case studies in other domains to gain insights on social innovation and transformation.
Currently, Michelle-Lee’s areas of research interest include:
Through this work, Michelle-Lee remains deeply committed to growing her own knowledge about decolonization, two-eyed seeing methodologies, and developing her capacity for understanding and implementing, both truth and reconciliation.
Michele-Lee has studied across different disciplines for each degree, including Ecology (BScHons, The University of Western Ontario), Geography (MSc, University of Victoria), and Global Governance (PhD, Wilfrid Laurier University, Balsillie School of International Affairs). Michele-Lee has spent time conducting field work on remote glaciers in northwest Canada, on shrimp aquaculture ponds in Thailand, and on watershed governance and networks in watersheds in several different countries. Having spent time as a strategic water policy advisor in the provincial government of British Columbia (Canada), Michele-Lee’s research continues to maintain a focus on policy and governance relevant topics.
Previous projects have included:
In addition to conducting research, Michelle-Lee has invested heavily in mobilizing social innovation, transformation, and resilience research to help build the understanding and capacity of both students and practitioners to grapple with complex, social-ecological challenges. The practitioners have included staff from large international development aid organizations and foundations (e.g. USAID, Inter-American Development Bank, Virgin Foundation) major networks (e.g. Rockefeller Resilient Cities, Asian Cities for Climate Change Network), national governments, and social enterprises. These experiences often provide a “real-time” testing of transformation concepts and are directly informing her ongoing research.
Major initiatives and engagement includes: