I am an ethnographer: a fancy word to say that I travel to interesting places, meet interesting people, and I try to create interesting stories. I don’t like to think of myself as an author or a filmmaker–there is too much responsibility in sticking those identity labels to oneself. But I do own a keyboard and a fancy camera or two.

I am a Canada Research Chair and Professor at Royal Roads University. I work in human geography and cultural studies, or somewhere in between–depending on the time of the day and who’s asking.

On this website you will find information about my projects–mostly scribbles and videos–and especially whatever I happen to be working on and excited about. However, I won’t post all my scholarly papers here (if you are interested in that or my CV you might want to check out And I’m not on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, or Twitter (I am on Vimeo, though), so in the end this here is a pretty special kind of place!

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Could the Salish Sea become Canada’s next World Heritage site?

“You know, Laurie, you could have lobbied for the inscription of maybe justthe Gulf Islands National Park Reserve and this whole initiative could have been a whole lot easier.” “I know,” Laurie Gourlay replies with a smirk, “but I do enjoy a challenge.” And a mighty challenge it is. Far beyond the boundaries of the … Continue reading Could the Salish Sea become Canada’s next World Heritage site?

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