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William C. Found
University Professor Emeritus, Senior Scholar

William C. FoundSince joining York University full-time in 1968, Bill Found has based his teaching and research in the Department of Geography and the Faculty of Environmental Studies.  His interests include landscape analysis, environmental management, program implementation and evaluation, participatory development, mathematical modelling, and the use of multi-media techniques in teaching and research.  His current research, writing and documentary-film production reflect his passionate interest in the evolution of Caribbean landscapes.  Much of his work involves collaboration with Caribbean organizations.

A devoted teacher, Bill has supervised the research of 94 graduate students at York, with generous support from several agencies including the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the International Development Research Centre, and the Canadian International Development Agency.  His undergraduate teaching included early innovations in computer-assisted learning and the use of multi-media techniques.  Bill held a number of administrative appointments, but continued to teach throughout his career.  He was given the University-wide Teaching Award in 2005, and continued post-retirement undergraduate teaching until 2010.  His work with graduate students continues. 

Much of Bill Found’s research and related teaching has been international in scope, with major projects centred in a variety of Caribbean locations, East Africa, and Indonesia.  He has been instrumental in providing international opportunities for York students, particularly through exchange agreements with other universities.  His own work has included visiting research/teaching appointments at Harvard, Umeå (Sweden), and the University of Toronto, and at the Academies of Sciences in Cuba and the U.S.S.R..

Bill’s publications cover a broad range of topics, pushing the frontiers of study in land utilization, resilience thinking, project implementation, participatory processes, and cultural landscapes.  Several of his professional reports are evaluations of programs or projects in universities, and in international-development settings.  Much of his recent professional work is conducted in association with Dalvorem International. A sample of Bill’s publications includes A Theoretical Approach to Rural Land‑Use Patterns; Working with People: Indonesian Experiences with Community-Based Development (with H. Poerbo, F. Carden and L. Grenier); Economic and Environmental Impacts of Land Drainage in Ontario (with A.R. Hill and E.S. Spence); The Impact of York University on the City of North York; Techniques of Project Planning and Implementation: Ten Steps to Success; Historic Sites, Material Culture and Tourism in the Caribbean Islands; and Decentralization at Ryerson University.  His latest/forthcoming publications include Anguilla at a Crossroads: Heritage, Development and the Anguilla National Trust (documentary film); A Research Collection of Historical Maps and Prints of the Caribbean Islands: Part I: Photographic Prints, Photocopies and Facsimiles (; The Sugar Cane Landscape of the Caribbean Islands: Resilience and the Changing Plantation Social-Ecological System (with M. Berbés-Blázquez); The St. Kitts Scenic Railway; and Geography at York University: Reflections on the First Fifty Years (edited with J. Radford). 

Bill Found holds degrees from McMaster University (B.A.) and the University of Florida (M.A. and Ph.D.); and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Umeå in 1989.  He was named University Professor at York in 1987.  His many administrative appointments at York have included Vice President (Academic Affairs) (1979-1985) and Acting President (1984).

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