Our Team

Associated Researchers

Dr. Kristof Van Assche, Professor, Faculty of Extension, University of Alberta

Dr. Kristof Van Assche, Professor

Kristof Van Assche is Associate Professor in Planning, Governance, and Development at the Faculty of Extension, and Research Fellow at Bonn University's Centre for Development Research. His work spans Europe, the America’s, Central Asia and the Caucasus, and often combines fieldwork with theoretical reflection: systems theories, interpretive policy analysis, institutional economics, post- structuralism. At CRSC and Faculty of Extension, Dr. Van Assche's focus is evolution and innovation in governance, spatial planning and design, rural and natural resource development, innovation, and environmental policy.

Learn more about Dr. Van Assche's research and publications.

Areas of Interest: Innovation and evolution in governance | Rural development | Spatial planning & design | Institutional design in transitional societies
Email: vanassche@ualberta.ca | Phone: +1 (780) 492-2825

Dr. Mary Beckie, Associate Professor, Faculty of Extension, University of Alberta

Dr. Mary Beckie, Associate Professor

Dr. Mary Beckie is an Associate Professor and Director of Community Engagement Studies in the Faculty of Extension at the University of Alberta. Mary grew up on a farm in south central Saskatchewan. With an interdisciplinary doctorate in Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development, her current teaching and research focuses on community engagement and sustainable community development, particularly as relates to agri-food system and the roles of the social economy and local government. Digging in the dirt and growing food is one of Mary’s favorite past-times and when possible she tries to incorporate hands on and community engaged approaches while teaching and researching.

Learn more about Dr. Beckie's research and publications.

Areas of Interest: Sustainable community development | Localized agri-food systems | Alternative agri-food systems
| Theory and practice of community and citizenship engagement
Email: mary.beckie@ualberta.ca | Phone: +1 (780) 492-5153

Rob McMahon, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Extension, University of Alberta

Rob’s research focuses on the appropriation of broadband and internet technologies by rural, remote, Northern and Indigenous communities. His approach involves working with communities to ensure that their voices are heard in all stages of research. He and his partners are exploring ways to house project data and build research and digital literacy capacities in communities, and are involved in efforts to contribute to digital policy and regulation. Current projects include community-based digital literacy workshops with Piikani First Nation (AB) and Gwich'in Tribal Council (NWT), the Digital Futures rural broadband initiative in Alberta, and policy research and evaluation with the national First Mile Connectivity Consortium. For more information see: www.firstmile.ca.

Learn more about Dr. McMahon's research and publications.

Areas of Interest: Community informatics research and practice | Indigenous, rural, remote and Northern communities and ICT | Telecommunications policy and regulation | Digital media and infrastructures

Email: rob.mcmahon@ualberta.ca | Phone: +1 (780) 248-1110

Dr. Kyle Whitfield, Associate Professor, Faculty of Extension, University of Alberta

Dr. Kyle Whitfied, Associate Professor

Dr. Whitfield's research stems mainly from the discipline of planning, with a strong focus on community health and social planning, hospice care issues. The threads that weave through much of Dr. Whitfield's academic inquiries are factors associated with the participation and leadership of community members in planning for and developing improved health conditions. Community capacity building, citizen engagement, quality of life and progress in rural health are highly interrelated.

Learn more about Dr. Whitfield's research and publications.

Areas of Interest: Community planning and health service planning | Community development and citizen engagement | Social movements and citizenship
Email: kyle.whitfield@ualberta.ca | Phone: +1 (780) 492-0165

Research Network

Dr. David Dale-Johnson, Stan Melton Executive Professor in Real Estate, Alberta School of Business, University of Alberta

Learn more about Dr. Dale-Johnson's work
Areas of interest: Marketing | Business economics | Law

Dr. Debra Davidson, Professor of Renewable Resources, Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences, University of Alberta

Learn more about Dr. Davidson's work
Areas of interest: Climate change impacts and adaptation | Transitions in energy and food systems | Natural resource politics and governance

Dr. Sara Dorow, Professor of Sociology, Faculty of Arts, University of Alberta

Learn more about Dr. Dorow's work
Areas of interest: Globalization, community, and labour | Transnational adoption | Community service-learning

Dr. Joshua Evans, Assistant Professor of Human Geography, Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences, Athabasca University

Learn more about Dr. Evans's work
Areas of interest: Housing and homelessness | Urban policy | Public health | Hospital design

Dr. Adam Finn, Professor Emeritus, Alberta School of Business, University of Alberta

Learn more about Dr. Finn's work
Areas of interest: Marketing | Business economics | Law

Dr. Fay Fletcher, Director of Community Engagement Studies and Associate Professor Faculty of Extension, University of Alberta

Learn more about Dr. Fletcher's work
Areas of interest: Collaborative research | Culture and diversity | Adult education

Dr. Lee Foote, Professor of Renewable Resources and Director of the Devonian Botanic Gardens, Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences, University of Alberta

Learn more about Dr. Foote's work
Areas of interest: Wetland ecology and management | Sustainable use of natural resources | Sustainable land use

Dr. Avi Friedman, Professor, School of Architecture, McGill University

Learn more about Dr. Friedman's work
Areas of interest: Affordable and sustainable building practices | Construction technology | Suburban planning and space management

Dr. Judy Garber, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Alberta

Learn more about Dr. Garber's work
Areas of interest: Urban politics | Law, governance, and politics | United States

Dr. Theresa Garvin, Professor, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta

Learn more about Dr. Garvin's work
Areas of interest: Aging and urban/suburban environments | Policy development, implementation and analysis | Community, health & environmental issues | Geography of health and health care | Science, policy and social processes

Dr. Lars Hallstrom, Director, Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities and Associate Professor, Augustana Faculty & Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Alberta

Learn more about Dr. Hallstrom's work
Areas of interest: Sustainable rural communities | Small-scale forestry and woodlots | Public health | Politics of environmental movements

Dr. Eran Kaplinsky, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Alberta

Learn more about Dr. Kaplinsky's work
Areas of interest: Land-use planning and regulation | Property law | Municipal law

Dr. Dan Mason, Associate Professor, Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, University of Alberta 

Learn more about Dr. Mason's work
Areas of interest: Sport management | Sport commerce and culture | Agency theory | Stakeholder theory | Historical & legal aspects of sport and leisure

Dr. Mel McMillan, Professor Emeritus, Department of Economics, University of Alberta and Fellow, Institute for Public Economics

Learn more about Dr. McMillan's work
Areas of interest: Public sector economics | Urban and regional economics | Resource and environmental economics | Government, intergovernmental fiscal relations, taxation

Dr. John Parkins, Professor of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Alberta

Learn more about Dr. Parkins work
Areas of interest: Rural communities and natural resource economies | Deliberative democracy | Environmental politics | Social impact assessment

Dr. Mark Partridge, Professor of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics and Swank Chair in Rural-Urban Policy, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, University of Ohio

Learn more about Dr. Partridge's work
Areas of interest: Community and regional economics | Spatial modeling - rural-urban interface | Regional economic development and growth | Poverty

Dr. Jorge Sousa, Associate Professor of Educational Policy Studies and Adult, Community and Higher Education Coordinator, Faculty of Education, University of Alberta

Learn more about Dr. Sousa's work
Areas of interest: Community development/community economic development | Learning styles in social economy organizations | Community governance models | Participatory decision making | Housing policy and practice

Dr. Bob Summers, Faculty Service Officer- Instructor/Planning Program Coordinator in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Alberta

Learn more about Dr. Summers's work
Areas of interest: Collective action and cultural institutions and their evolution | Environmental governance/policy | Rural water supply issues in Canada and Sub-Saharan Africa | Community development

Dr. Bruce Ziff, Professor, Faculty of Law and Associate Director of folkwaysAlive!, University of Alberta

Learn more about Dr. Ziff's work
Areas of interest: Property law

Communications and Support Staff

Vivian Hu

Administrative Assistant, Research Support Services


Prof. Rob Shields, Henry Marshall Tory Chair, CRSC Academic Director

Rob Shields has led the City-Region Studies Centre since 2009. Rob's research spans urban and regional planning, geography, architecture and interdisciplinary studies. He holds a doctorate in Urban and Regional Studies and is Professor of Sociology and Henry Marshall Tory Chair. Rob is a widely cited scholar, founded of “Space and Culture” refereed journal and “Curb Planning Magazine.” His author of a number of books including “Places on the Margin: Alternative Geographies of Modernity”; “Spatial Questions”; and “The Virtual”. 

Learn more about Dr. Shields's research and publications.

Areas of interest: Cities as social spaces | Northern communities | Participatory design and architecture | Urban culture | City-university relationships
Email: rshields@ualberta.ca | Phone: +1 (780) 492-8262

Dr. Kevin Jones

Dr. Kevin Jones, Director

Kevin Jones has been working with the City-Region Studies Centre at the University of Alberta's Faculty of Extension for the past seven years. Through his scholarship and his many interactions with the City and community, Kevin is a vigorous supporter of sustainable, inclusive and engaged city-building. Dr. Jones maintains research in the areas of municipal governance, environmental policy, public engagement and governance adaptation. He is also Adjunct Professor of Sociology.

Learn more about Dr. Jones's research and publications.

Areas of interest: Sustainability transitions | Citizen engagement | Urban studies | Science and technology studies
Email: k.e.jones@ualberta.ca | Phone: +1 (780) 492-1746