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Anne Dance

Topic: My PhD project delved into the reclamation of contaminated landscapes in Canada in the twentieth century. In particular I was looking at the tar ponds in Sydney, Nova Scotia, and the Athabasca oil sands (Funded by the Commonwealth Scholarship)

Supervisors: Dr. Catherine Mills and Professor Richard Oram

Some of my other current and past projects include hydroelectric development in Western Canada, the travels of agricultural expert E. Cora Hind, and the politics of public space and protest.

I have also been employed as a policy analyst for the Canadian credit union system and as a non-partisan legislative assistant in the Canadian House of Commons (Parliamentary Intern Programme).

Education: B.A. History Honours, with minors in Political Science and English Literature, St. Thomas University (2007) M.A. History, University of Victoria (2008) M.A. Thesis: “Dikes, Ducks and Dams: Creston Flats and the Changing Politics of Reclamation, 1883-2006".


As part of her research, Anne conducted research in Cape Breton; the photographs and associated text (Cape Breton Report) describe part of her work there.

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The ever-helpful archival team at the Beaton Archives, located on the University of Cape Breton campus  

While I was in Sydney, I glimpsed this massive dredger in the harbour. Plans are afoot to expand Sydney harbour for heavier vessels.

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Some of the fantastic Sydney Tar Ponds Agency staff shared their pizza lunch with me while explaining their work at the site

  During my visit, Sydney Tar Ponds Agency staff gave me a superb tour of the tar ponds site and explaining the many reclamation works
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A view of the former Sydney steel facilities from the other side of the harbour  

Reclamation work is increasingly visible at the tar ponds site

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A glimpse of some of the work at the tar ponds site  

Ducks swim near the ongoing reclamation work in the Sydney tar ponds


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