John Wagner

John Wagner is a professor of environmental anthropology in the Department of Community, Culture and Global Studies in the Irving K. Barber Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.  

John conducts research on human/water relations in the Okanagan Valley, the Columbia River Basin in Canada and the United States, and in Papua New Guinea. In his Columbia River Basin research, John focuses on water governance and the relationship of the Columbia River Treaty to irrigation, food security, food sovereignty and Indigenous rights. In the Okanagan Valley, he has conducted research on settler colonialism, the history of water management, and floodplain restoration as a climate change mitigation strategy. As a co-investigator for the Peachland Creek Watershed Ecosystems project, his focus is on watershed governance. 


Dr. John Wagner
Professor, Department of Community, Culture and Global Studies


Research Themes

  • Environmental anthropology 
  • Political ecology  
  • Water governance 
  • Local ecological knowledge 



Development of an inclusive watershed governance model for Peachland Creek with Rheanne Kroschinsky

UBC Experts Guide

UBC Future Waters 

UBC Waterways Project

  • John Wagner and graduate student, Rheanne Kroschinsky, exploring sqwʔa (Peachland Creek) canyon.

Touring the watershed is a critical step in developing an appropriate governance plan.

Talking about watershed governance while being out on the land together adds important local context that can’t be derived from other types of meetings.

Effective watershed governance plans require long-term planning for people and the environment.