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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
October 18, 2017
Canadian Excellence

Dr. Jody Decker

Associate Professor

Contact Information
Phone: ext.2215

Office Location: 3E17

Academic Background

Associate Professor
Geography & Environmental Studies
Wilfrid Laurier University
Waterloo, Ontario Canada N2L 3C5

Phone: 519 884-0710, (ext. 2215)
Fax: 519 725-1342


Registered Nurse to 1991
PhD, York University, North York, Ontario 1989
Postdoctoral Fellow, Queen's University, Kingston, ON 1990-1992


Courses taught at graduate and undergraduate levels

I teach a variety of graduate and undergraduate courses around the themes of the geographies of health and place, using cross-cultural and gendered perspectives:

GG270: Cultural/Historical Geography
GG273: Geographies of Health
GG373: Landscape and Identity
GG376: Local Canadian Communities
GG452: Development of Geographic Thought
GG690: Geographic Thought and Methodology
GG630: Seminar in Cultural & Historical Geography
GG636: Gender Perspectives on Geographical Issues


Former Reviews Editor for The Canadian Geographer and reviewer for several major journals and funding agencies

Member of the Medical Geography Specialty Group

Member of Grants Review of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society

Board member of the Heritage Planning Advisory Committee for Waterloo Region and Chair of Transit Initiatives


Decker, J. We Should Never Be Again the Same People (book, in progress, to be published by Wilfrid Laurier University Press).

Decker, J. “Epidemics in Saskatchewan during the Fur Trade Era” in Geography of Saskatchewan (Regina: Canadian Plains Research Center), In Press, Spring, 2007:pp. 86-90.

Decker, J. “Smallpox Along the Frontier of the Plain Borderlands at the Turn of the 20th C”, in Susan Neylan and Ted Binnema (eds) New Histories for Old: Changing Perspectives on Canada's Native Pasts, (UBC Press) In Press, November, 2007.

Sperling J. and Decker J., “The Therapeutic Landscapes of the Kaqchikel of San Lucas Tolimán, Guatemala” in Allison Williams (ed) Therapeutic Landscapes: Advances and Applications, accepted, (Ashgate Press), Winter, 2008.

Decker J. “Transportation – Portages”in David Wishart (ed) Encyclopaedia of the Great Plains. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, Centre for Great Plains Studies), 2004.

Decker, J. “The Gendered and Geographical Impact of Resettlement on the Li Minority Community, Hainan Island, China” in Himalayan and Central Asian Studies, Vol.6, #3-4, July - Dec, 2002; pp.125-141.

Decker J. The York Factory Medical Journals, 1846-52, in The Canadian Bulletin of Medical History, Vol. 14, #1, 1997, pp. 105-129.

Decker J., Sharpe B., and Dillon J. Mapping Antibiotic-Resistant Neisseria Gonorrhea Isolates in Metropolitan Toronto: Issues of Scale, Positional Accuracy and Confidentiality, The Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases, Vol. 8, #5, 1997, pp. 273-278.

Decker Jody F., Country Distempers: Deciphering Disease and Illness in Rupert's Land before 1870, in Jennifer Brown & Elizabeth Vibert (eds) Reading Beyond Words: Documenting Native History, (Broadview Press, 1996), pp.156-181.

Decker Jody F. and Freeman Donald B., The Role of Portages in Shaping the Economic Geography of the Western Canadian Fur Trade, 1774-1850, in James R. Gibson (ed) Canada: Geographical Interpretations. Essays in Honour of John Warkentin. (North York, Ontario: Atkinson College Geographical Monograph #22), 1993: 31-67.

Decker J. Depopulation of the Northern Plains Natives, in Social Science and Medicine, Vol. 33, #4, 1991, pp.381-393.

Decker J. Tracing Historical Diffusion Patterns: The Case of the 1780-82 Smallpox Epidemic Among the Indians of Western Canada' in Native Studies Review, Vol. 4 #1 1&2, 1988, pp.1-24.


a) Doctoral

2002 (in progress) “Social Construction and Embodiment of Historically Situated Indigenous Peoples”

2004 (in progress) “Grounded diaspora theory: gendered perspectives of the Niagara Mennonites”

2006 (in progress) “The influence of the food environment on food consumption for geographically distinct groups in Ontario”

2007 (in progress) “Tuberculosis and the politics of race and health on the Canadian Plains, 1882-1937”

b) Masters

2000 (MES) (completed 2002) “Health and development: Infectious intestinal diseases in a transborder region”

2004 (MA) (completed 2006) “The influence of poverty and violence on the Kaqchikel of San Lucas Toliman, Guatemala”

2003 (MA) (in progress) “The status of GIS for West Nile Virus surveillance in the Grand River watershed”

2007 (MA) (in progress) “Public Bathrooms: Backstaging of a gendered space”

1995 (MES) (completed 1997) “Spatial Variation of Lead in soil and sediment in Iquliut, NWT and links with human health”

1997 (MA) - (completed 2000) ”Aids in Ontario: An examination of mobility patterns and spatial variations”

Last updated: July 5, 2011