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Tara McGee, PhD, BES

Professor, Associate Chair Undergraduate


Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

About Me


PhD (1996)  The Australian National University

BES (1989)  Bachelor of Environmental Studies (Co-op), University of Waterloo.


Research areas
  • Human dimensions of environmental hazards
  • Human dimensions of wildfire
  • Wildfire mitigation and preparedness by homeowners and governments
  • Wildfire evacuation
  • Wildfire recovery
  • Wildfire experiences Indigenous communities
  • Public participation
  • Qualitative research methods
Research interests

Dr. McGee’s research focuses on individual, community, and organizational responses to environmental hazards.  She has completed numerous studies on the human dimensions of wildfire, including wildfire risk perceptions, evacuation, mitigation and preparedness, and recovery.  Most of her human dimensions of wildfire research is based in Canada, including the First Nations Wildfire Evacuation Partnership, and research in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.  She is also working with researchers in Australia, New Zealand, and Portugal.  Although Dr. McGee’s research has focused mainly on wildfires, she has carried out and supervised research related to other hazards including floods, earthquakes, and avalanches.  

Research projects

  • Barriers to FireSmart Development in Alberta (Principal Investigator)
  • First Nations Wildfire Evacuation Partnership (Principal Investigator)
  • Examining the impacts of wildfire on the health and well-being of Indigenous peoples and communities in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. (Co-Investigator)  


HGP 252 Human Dimensions of Environmental Hazards.  

This second year Human Geography course introduces students to key concepts and theoretical frameworks in the human dimensions of environmental hazards and disasters field, including vulnerability, environmental justice, resilience, mitigation and preparedness, recovery, risk communication, risk perceptions, social amplification of risk, and warning response.  Students will also gain knowledge about the roles and responsibilities of the public and government agencies in environmental hazard mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery.  

HGP 399 Research Methods in Human Geography and Planning

This course introduces Human Geography students to social science research.  Students gain knowledge and experience in conducting research, and will actively engage in developing data collection methods, collecting data, analyzing data, and writing up research results.