Derek Shaw


Derek Shaw
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Ph.D., University of Colorado, Boulder

I finished my Ph.D. in 1996 at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Since then I have made my home in Tofino, BC, on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. I recently moved to Eureka in order to teach at Humboldt and I have been pleasantly surprised by how friendly people are here.
I have had a wide variety of jobs since completing my Ph.D., some academic, some definitely not. For example, I have worked as a fisheries observer, kayak guide, and environmental consultant. I served two terms as an elected municipal councilor in Tofino. For nine years, every summer I conducted 6-8 weeks of marine-based bird surveys in the inlets of coastal British Columbia.

On the academic side, I have taught in the Agricultural Sciences department at the University of British Columbia, the Phlisophy department at Simon Fraser University, and the Environmental Studies department at the University of Victoria. For the past four years, I taught for the International Honors Program on an academic year-long university program called Beyond Globalization. This program takes a group of around 30 undergraduates to Tanzania, India, New Zealand, and Mexico to explore issues around culture, ecology, and social justice through cross-cultural and trans-disciplinary perspectives.

The focus of my teaching and research these days is in the area of global politics and economics, with particular emphasis on the role of economic forces in shaping the current global situation. I am particularly interested in the history of economic relationships and the ability of international institutions to address pressing issues such as climate change, species loss, and social justice.