I consider research assistantships an integral part of my teaching responsibilities. Mentoring promising undergraduate and graduate students in advanced research techniques is a time-consuming, but rewarding activity. It requires that I ask not just what an RA can do for me, but what and how I can contribute to an RA’s academic development. Identifying appropriate research tasks that evolve as an RA develops new skills is challenging and interesting for both mentor and student.
The faculty researcher must take time to explain what needs to be done, as well as why and how a research technique is employed and what the RA’s contribution will mean for a larger project. At the same time, I always encourage assistants to provide constructive feedback and to suggest ways to improve processes. I am pleased that most of the undergraduate RAs with whom I have worked most closely have won SSHRC scholarships and other prestigious awards to support their graduate studies.
I strive to create opportunities for exceptional RAs to co-present or co-publish findings with me. Examples of publications include:
“Conceiving and Executing Operation Gauntlet: The Allied Raid on Spitzbergen, 1941,” Canadian Military History, accepted after peer review in July 2016 pending revisions, forthcoming Fall 2017. (with Ryan Dean, Ph.D. student, University of Calgary).
Canada’s Northern Strategy under the Harper Conservatives: Key Speeches and Documents on Sovereignty, Security, and Governance, 2006-15. Documents on Canadian Arctic Sovereignty and Security (DCASS) No. 6. Calgary and Waterloo: Centre for Military, Strategic and Security Studies/Centre on Foreign Policy and Federalism/Arctic Institute of North America, 2016. xlix, 421 pp. (with Ryan Dean, Ph.D. student, University of Calgary).
“Sovereignty for Hire: Civilian Contractors and the Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line” in De-Icing Required: The Canadian Air Force’s Experience in the Arctic, ed. P.W. Lackenbauer and W.A. March. Sic Itur Ad Astra: Canadian Aerospace Power Studies Series No.4. Trenton: Canadian Forces Air Warfare Centre, 2012. 95-112 (with Daniel Heidt, Ph.D. candidate, Western University).
“Building on ‘Shifting Sands’: The Canadian Armed Forces, Sovereignty, and the Arctic, 1968-72,” in Canada and Arctic Sovereignty and Security: Historical Perspectives ed. P.W. Lackenbauer. Calgary Papers in Military and Strategic Studies. Calgary: Centre for Military and Strategic Studies/University of Calgary Press, 2011 (with Peter Kikkert, Ph.D. candidate, Western University.) 283-308.
“Sovereignty and Security: The Department of External Affairs, the United States, and Arctic Sovereignty, 1945-68,” in In the National Interest: Canadian Foreign Policy and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, 1909-2009, ed. Greg Donaghy and Michael Carroll. Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2011. 101-20 (with Peter Kikkert, M.A. student, University of Waterloo.)
The Canadian Forces and Arctic Sovereignty: Debating Roles, Interests, and Requirements, 1968-1974. Waterloo: Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies / WLU Press, 2010. x, 378 pp. (with Peter Kikkert, M.A. student/Balsillie fellow 2008-09).
“Damned if they DEW, Damned if they Don’t: Canadian-American Relations, Sovereignty, and the Construction of the Distant Early Warning (DEW) Line.” Paper delivered at the Tri-University Conference in History, Waterloo, Ontario, November 2007 (with Dan Heidt, M.A. student, University of Waterloo).
“The Gustafsen Lake Standoff,” in Blockades or Breakthroughs? Aboriginal Peoples Confront the Canadian State, 1970-2007, ed. Yale Belanger and Whitney Lackenbauer. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, forthcoming 2014. (with Nick Shrubsole, Ph.D. candidate, University of Waterloo).
“Indigenous Nationalisms and the Great War: Enlisting the Six Nations in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF), 1914-17,” in Aboriginal Peoples and the Canadian Military: Historical Perspectives ed. P. Whitney Lackenbauer and Craig Mantle. Kingston: CDA Press, 2007. 89-115 (with Katharine McGowan, B.A./M.A. student, University of Waterloo).