Lisa Nathan

Hello and thank you for your interest.

Working for an educational institution that occupies unceded Musqueam territory, each day challenges me to fulfill my responsibilities as a guest on their territory. Part of that work involves (re)imagining ways to define, value, and care for information, stepping away from the extractive logics and short-term thinking that led to our ongoing climate justice crisis.

My research, teaching, and service are guided by the concepts of humility, reciprocity, and “imagining otherwise” (an aspiration generatively explored by Daniel Heath Justice).


I am honored to be a member of the Withy Design Collective and an advisor to the iStories research group. I am also a member of two UBC Research Clusters: Designing for People and Transformative Memory Network. I invite you to check out the scholarship in my publications section to learn about my research.


I approach undergraduate and graduate teaching as a facilitator, guiding learners as they design their own critical and reflective practices for engaging with information. Recent courses I developed include:

  • LIBR 593b Information in Times of Crisis (with Dr. Luanne Sinnamon)
  • LIBR 564 Information Practice and Protocol in Support of Indigenous Initiatives (with Amy Perreault)
  • INFO 100 (De)coding Information and Why It Matters (with Michelle Kaczmarek, Saguna Shankar, and Dr. Eric Meyers)
  • INFO 456 Information Policy & Society


School of Information Service

  • 2010-2018 I was honored to serve as the Coordinator of the First Nations Curriculum Concentration
  • 2019-2021 I served as the Graduate Advisor for the School of Information



  • PhD (University of Washington)
  • MLIS (Simmons University)
  • Information & Climate Justice
  • Information in Times of Crisis
  • Indigenous-led information initiatives
  • Information policy/ethics
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Multi-lifespan information systems


  • Hazas, M. & Nathan, L.P. (eds.). (2018). Digital Technology and Sustainability: Engaging the Paradox. Routledge

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles

Peer Reviewed Conference Papers

  • Nathan, L.P., Kaczmarek, M., castor, m., Cheng, S. and Mann, R. (2017). “Good for Whom?”: Unsettling Research Practices: ACM Affiliated Conference on Communities & Technology (C&T ‘17)
  • Meyers, E.M. and Nathan, L.P. (2016). Impoverished Visions of Sustainability: Encouraging Disruption in Digital Learning Environments. Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW ‘16). (222-232) Paper received honorable mention
  • Halbert, H. and Nathan, L.P. (2015). Designing for Discomfort: Supporting Critical Reflection through Interactive Tools. Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW ‘15), (349-360).
  • Nathan, L.P., Shaffer, E., Campbell, S., Castor, M. (2015). Collections Of Trauma: Identifying Generative Frictions. Proceedings of the iSchool Conference (iConference ‘15) (9 pages, acceptance rate 58%). Nathan contributed framing and 80% of the writing.


  • Hazas, M. and Nathan, L.P. (2018). Introduction to Digital technology and sustainability: engaging the paradox. In M. Hazmas & L.P. Nathan (Eds.). Digital technology and sustainability: Engaging the paradox. (pp.3-13).
  • Brown, Pam, Carpenter, J., Lawson, G., Lawson, K., Nathan, L.P. and Turin, M. (2017) Uplifting Voices: Indigenous Languages in Canada in the 21st Century. Reflections of Canada: Illuminating our biggest opportunities and challenges at 150 years. Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies, Vancouver, Canada
  • Janet Davis and Lisa P. Nathan (2015). Value Sensitive Design: Applications, Adaptations, and Critiques. Handbook of Ethics, Values, and Technological Design, 11–40

Other (Professional Magazines & Reports)

  • Bates, O., Thomas, V., Remy, C., Friday, A., Nathan, L.P., Hazas, M., and Mann, S. (2018). Championing Environmental and Social Justice: Embracing, embedding, and promoting broader notions of sustainability in HCI. ACM interactions, 23(5)
  • Carpenter, J., Guerin, A., Kaczmarek, M., Lawson, G., Lawson, K., Nathan, L. P., and Turin, M. (2016). Digital Access for Language and Culture in First Nations Communities (SSHRC Knowledge Synthesis Final Report).
  • Nathan, L.P. (2016). Teaching, Writing and Reflective Practice. Bulletin of the Association for Information Science & Technology, 43(3)
  • Nathan, L.P. & Meyers, E.M. (2016). Enriching Visions of Sustainability. Through Informal Public Pedagogies. ACM interactions, 23(5)

Current Courses

Winter 2021

INFO100 (De)coding Information and Why it Matters Sections

Information and data as concepts and aspects of everyday experience. Creation, sharing, authorization, and valuing of information with implications for society. Critical perspectives and practices to engage with data, information, and technologies for personal productivity, scholarly inquiry, and civic engagement.

Winter 2021

INFO456 Information Policy and Society Sections

Develops capabilities required to assess the need for information policies in professional contexts, evaluate relevant socio-technical dimensions and envision likely implications for specific communities and practice settings.

Winter 2021

LAIS608 Academic and Research Practices in Library, Archival and Information Studies Sections

Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Computers and Society (SIG CAS)
Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction (SIG CHI)
Canadian Federation of Library Associations/Fédération canadienne des associations de bibliothèques (CFLA) Indigenous Matters Committee
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA): Member (2012-ongoing)
British Columbia Library Association
American Library Association (ALA)
American Indian Library Association
American Society of Information Science & Technology
Progressive Librarians Guild

My intention as an educator is to support students in becoming reflective information professionals who take responsibility for making informed, ethically grounded decisions concerning the design and use of information systems. I strive to enhance students’ critical thinking skills, enrich their experiential knowledge, and develop their capacity for humility.

The success of any course is tied to students’ willingness to actively participate in the learning process. Therefore, I work towards an environment (whether in-person or online) that generates, guides and supports engaged inquiry. Informed by relationships made during my years as Coordinator for the iSchool’s First Nations Curriculum Concentration (FNCC), I encourage students to identify and address issues of marginalization and inequality in dominant information practices (i.e., how information is organized, shared, stored and managed). In 2016 I was honored to receive the Thomson Reuters Outstanding Information Science Teacher Award from the Association for Information Science & Technology. In 2017 I was surprised by a thoughtful Ph.D. student who acknowledged me as a “Great Supervisor” through the Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies’ #UBC #GreatSupervisor campaign.

I currently supervise three inspiring doctoral students:


Michelle Kaczmarek (2016-ongoing)

  • Research interests: Sustainable Information Practices; Information, Disruption and Resilience; Migration and Displacement; Human-computer Interaction.


Saguna Shankar (2016-ongoing)

  • Research interests: Human-Information Interaction; Information Practices of Newcomers to Canada; Information Services to Support Social Inclusion; Visual Research Methods.


Rodrigo dos Santos (2019-ongoing)


I had the pleasure of supervising Dr. Elizabeth Shaffer’s dissertation (Completion 2019)


CTLT Indigenous Initiatives: Classroom Climate Series: Territory Acknowledgment (Sept. 2016) [link].

Open UBC: Exploring tension and risk in open scholarship (Nov. 2017) [link].

Designing for People: Why It’s Okay to Be Uncomfortable While Learning (Jan. 2019) [link].

The Daily of UW: The need for humility in the fight against the climate crisis (Jan. 2020) [link].