Tara McGee, PhD, BES

Professor, Faculty of Science - Earth & Atmospheric Sciences Admin
Associate Dean EDI, Faculty of Science - Deans Office


Professor, Faculty of Science - Earth & Atmospheric Sciences Admin
(780) 492-3042
3-89 Tory (H.M.) Building
11211 Saskatchewan Drive NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2H4

Associate Dean EDI, Faculty of Science - Deans Office




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) http://www.eas.ualberta.ca/wildfire
  • First Nations Wildfire Evacuation Partnership (Principal Investigator) https://www.eas.ualberta.ca/awe
  • 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)  

Lab - Human Dimensions of Hazards Research Group

Tory 3-2


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.  



Research opportunity

Students interested in completing their PhD/MA on the human dimensions of wildfires should contact me to discuss their research interests. I would also be happy to speak to other students with research interests in the broader human dimensions of hazards field.  


HGEO 252 - Human Dimensions of Environmental Hazards

Interactions between environmental hazards, individuals and communities; risk reduction strategies by members of the public and management agencies. Prerequisite: Any *3 course. Not available to students with credit in HGP 252.

Winter Term 2022

Browse more courses taught by Tara McGee


Rethinking the maps: A case study of knowledge incorporation in Canadian wildfire risk management and planning
Author(s): Jennifer Sherry, Timothy Neale, Tara K. McGee, Maria Sharpe
Publication: Journal of Environmental Management
Volume: 234
Page Numbers: 494-502
External Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2018.12.116
Preparedness and Experiences of Evacuees from the 2016 Fort McMurray Horse River Wildfire
Author(s): Tara K. McGee
Publication: Fire
Volume: 2
Page Numbers: 13
External Link: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/331556679_Preparedness_and_Experiences_of_Evacuees_from_the_2016_Fort_McMurray_Horse_River_Wildfire_Fire_2_13
Residents' preparedness, experiences and actions during an extreme wildfire in the Far North, Aotearoa New Zealand
Author(s): Tara K. McGee, E.R. (Lisa) Langer
Publication: International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Volume: 41
External Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2019.101303
Residents' wildfire evacuation actions in Mishkeegogamang Ojibway Nation, Ontario, Canada
Author(s): Tara K. McGee, Mishkeegogamang Ojibway Nation, Amy Cardinal Christianson
Publication: International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
External Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2018.10.012
Innovative wildfire mitigation by municipal governments: Two case studies in Western Canada
Author(s): Leanne Labossiere, Tara K. McGee
Publication: International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Volume: 22
Page Numbers: 204-210
External Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2017.03.009