A Note of Welcome from the Directors

deanne-and-dana-cred-e-rootWelcome to CBU’s first interdisciplinary degree. Housed jointly by the School of Arts and Social Sciences, and the School of Science and Technology, and with support from Unama’ki College, this degree represents a university-wide commitment to research and teaching in the areas of environment and sustainability. As Co-Directors and founders of this new degree, we are eager to welcome the first cohort of students in September 2017. We know that you’re driven, curious, and passionate about environmental issues and we look forward to working closely with the Class of 2020 to help you shape a green path for your future.

See you on campus,
Dana Mount and Deanne Van Rooyen


ungava-rocks-cred-jf-martinDr. Deanne van Rooyen

Dr. Deanne van Rooyen is the Co-Director and co-founder of the Bachelor of Arts and Science in Environment, and an Assistant Professor of Geology. She received her PhD in Earth Sciences from Carleton University in 2013. Her research focuses on structural geology and tectonics, which is concerned with how rocks are deformed, how mountain chains evolve, and how continents are put together. She works specifically with metamorphic rocks, and uses them to find information about the pressures and temperatures the minerals in them record, making it possible to extract information about how mountains were formed billions of years ago. She also uses radiometric dating to determine the ages of rocks and structures. Her work is a combination of field work during the summers, and analytical work the rest of the year. She works in some truly amazing parts of Canada, with research projects in the Monashee Mountains of British Columbia, here in Cape Breton, and in Nunavik and Nunatsiavut in the Ungava Bay area of northern Quebec and Labrador. Her projects in the North focus on investigating the ages and structures of rocks from the 1.8 billion year old mountains with the goal of understanding how our planet has changed and evolved over its 4.5 billion year lifespan. She is passionate about sharing the beauty of rocks and geology with students because the past of our planet is the key to its future. Her work frequently deals with issues in mineral and resource exploration, which is a primary driver for technological advancement and economic development, and she is committed to promoting responsible resource development that respects the environment and land, its inhabitants, and the future health of our planet. She teaches courses in physical geology, geochemistry, engineering geology, hydrogeology, and environmental topics for the new BAS in Environment.

dana-hipwadersDr. Dana Mount

Dana Mount is the Co-Director and co-founder of the Bachelor of Arts and Science in Environment, an Associate Professor of English, and the Assistant Dean of Research and Graduate Studies. She received her Bachelor of Environmental Studies and Master of Arts, School of Women’s Studies, from York University, and her Doctorate in English and Cultural Studies from McMaster University. In addition, Dana earned a graduate Diploma from the Water Without Borders joint program between the United Nations University (INWEH) and McMaster University. Her current research is on the cultural work of garbage and waste. She is interested in the cultural and environmental implications of garbage as a concept, category, and material. Her work largely draws from literary texts in which garbage or waste is a theme or motif. This current project exemplifies the fact that Dr. Mount is interested in cultural and literary representations of nature, environment and environmental crisis. She has been published in The Oxford Handbook of Postcolonial Studies, Postcolonial Text, and ARIEL, and has a forthcoming article in Resilience. Her work in ecocriticism is supported by interests and teaching in postcolonialism, gender studies, and indigenous studies. Dr. Mount’s work crosses disciplinary boundaries and she has found herself collaborating at times with economists, biologists, geologists, and folklorists. Her teaching style is at times random, but always passionate, compassionate, and provocative.