Dr. Patricia Fitzpatrick, an associate professor for the geography department at the University of Winnipeg (U of W), is doing remarkable work while on study leave.
Fitzpatrick is a resource management geographer whose research generally focuses around two key questions: “What can we do to better manage our resources?” and “How can we foster resilient and healthy communities?”
She says “I do a lot of different things under that umbrella, but I’m always trying to think about how to make communities stronger.”
Currently, Fitzpatrick has a few different projects on the go, but the most notable one is a “partnership grant funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada to look at energy security. It’s called Community Appropriate Sustainable Energy Security in Northern or Remote Communities.”
“Students get to go and work on community energy planning in northern or remote communities.”
This work is incredibly rewarding for Fitzpatrick. Not only is she proud to see her efforts bring about meaningful change, but she also feels honoured and privileged to participate in hearings where she can listen to stories from people who talk about how the community energy project impacts their lives.
The U of W will host a workshop with the Consumer’s Association of Canada (Manitoba Branch) and the Public Interest Law Centre on Tuesday, March 10 about re-envisioning energy strategy for Manitoba.
What is something you've learned from your students?
“It’s hard to pinpoint one thing I’ve learned from students, because I learn from them every time I interact (with them).”
What was your worst grade in university?
“First year of university, all Cs.”
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
“I don’t know if it’s a superpower, but in Star Trek, they have transporters. No more planes.”
What's the best part about your work?
How can an individual be mindful of mapping their own energy use?
“I think you should think about energy any time you’re trying to buy something. It can just be a fleeting thought, but think about how much energy it took to produce it, how much energy it takes to maintain it.”
Published in Volume 74, Number 20 of The Uniter (March 5, 2020)