I am a political scientist by training, with a long-standing combination of teaching and research interests in comparative politics, environmental policy, environmental health, public health (and the social determinants of health specifically) and natural resource management. Following 8 years at St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia (where I was Canada Research Chair in Public Policy and Governance, as well as the first Director of the National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health) I came to the University of Alberta in 2009 to serve as the first Director of the ACSRC. Since that time, we have conducted over 40 projects related to rural sustainability in Alberta and Canada (based largely in 3 priority areas: environmental sustainability (water), social sustainability (aging and youth), and institutional sustainability (rural/municipal planning, policy and governance). We have also partnered with researchers, research networks and rural development organizations (such as the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation) around the world, and contribute to projects funded by SSHRC, CIHR and other funding agencies.
In addition to rurally-focused work, I continue to work with different teams of researchers in Canada, the USA and the EU on environmental policy and planning issues such as water and watershed management, municipal planning and governance, regionalization, innovation and most recently the possibility of a new/alternative pedagogy for sustainability. I have been a long-standing member of the University of Alberta's academic committee for sustainability, and am now one of 4 faculty members that constitute the University Provost's Academic Team for Sustainability Initiatives.
Biography: Although I was born in Alberta, by 3 years of age I was already living in another country, and spent much of the next 30 years moving, living and working in different parts of the world (the USA, the UK, Norway) and this probably led (in part) to my interest in comparative politics. Living in the UK introduced me to the sports of rugby, cricket, football and golf, and while cricket and football fell by the wayside, I went on to play university and club rugby from 1990 to 2005 in Alberta, the UK, the USA (briefly) and in Nova Scotia (where I also coached until 2009). Having been raised in a very musical household, I have played guitar since I was 15 years old (following/overlapping 10 years of piano) and most recently have started playing bass in a local cover band in Camrose.