Research Associate

David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science, Faculty of Mathematics; Environment and Resource Studies, Faculty of Environment; Director, Computer Systems Group, University of Waterloo

Profile picture of Don CowanDr. Cowan’s current research in software engineering has produced the Web Informatics Development Environment (WIDE) technologies and toolkit that have been used to create over 80 operational web-based and mobile software systems for many different partner organizations in areas such as social indicators, volunteerism, environment, socioeconomic development, tourism, population health, aboriginal affairs, arts and culture, and built heritage. The partners with whom Dr. Cowan works very closely in requirements, design, implementation, deployment and maintenance, range from local NGOs, businesses, universities and research centres, to all levels and types of government including First Nations groups and the United Nations.  Dr. Cowan is active in the CHEC initiative at the University of Waterloo developing software systems for City of Stratford in built heritage, volunteerism, economic development and community indicators.

Selected Publications 

Gardner, H. L., Kirchhoff, D., Cowan, D., and Tsuji, L. J. S. (in press). An approach to collecting, collating, reviewing, and disseminating technical information for the advancement of evidence-based environmental decision-making including environmental assessments in remote First Nations of northern Canada. The International Indigenous Policy Journal.

Karimi, V.R., Cowan, D.D., Alencar, P.S.C. (2014). An approach to correctness of security and operational business policies. International Journal of Accounting Information Systems, 15, 323-334.

Isogai, A., McCarthy, D. D., Gardner, H. L., Karagatzides, J. D., Vandenberg, S., Barbeau, C., Charania, N., Edwards, V., Cowan, D., Tsuji, L. J. S. (2013). Examining the potential use of the Collaborative-Geomatics Informatics tool to foster intergenerational transfer of knowledge in a remote First Nation community. The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education, 42(1).

Cowan, D.D., McGarry, F.M., Moran, H., McCarthy, D.D., King, C. (2012). Information technology to support Indigenous Peoples. IEEE IT Professional, 14(4), 39-47. 

Cowan, D., Alencar, P., McGarry, F. (2014). Perspective on open data: Issues and opportunities. IEEE International Conference on Software Science, Technology and Engineering, pp. 24-33.

Contact information:


Phone: 519-885-3327

Link to profile

Reflections on wellbeing

University of Waterloo