Kate E. Bauer

PhD Program (She/Her)


Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

Coastal space, environment, technology, heritage, Canadian history, labour history

Major and Minor Fields


  • Canadian History

Minor 1

Technology In/And Environment

Minor 2

Empire, Colonialism, and Indigeneities

Working Dissertation


"A question of presence": the Canadian lighthouse system, 1880-2000


Steve Penfold


My dissertation traces the expansion and transformation of navigational aids on the Canadian coastline from Confederation to the turn of the 21st century. Drawing from oral histories, archival records, personal collections, and published media, I explore the political, environmental, and social dynamics of technological change at lighthouses across Canada, with a particular focus on the electrification, automation, and destaffing of stations in the twentieth century.


Kate's interest in lighthouses and coastlines began during a summer undergraduate research internship on Campobello Island, New Brunswick, in the summer of 2016. Her dissertation project looks at the development, expansion, and transformation of the lighthouse system in Canada, with a particular focus on the causes and consequences of automation and technological change.

In summer 2023, Kate taught the fourth year seminar HIS496H1F "Topics in History: Global Histories of Water." This new course introduced upper-year history students to themes in environmental history and the history of technology.


MA, McGill University
BA (hon), McGill University