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Research and Teaching

The University of Alberta's research community is actively discovering solutions that integrate ecological renewal with social resilience and economic prosperity. The Sustainability Council acts to network these efforts, to give them higher visibility and attract new talent to these research areas.

As we enter the decade before 2030, we are focusing efforts on increasing research engagement with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Additionally, our lecture series is driving interest in University of Alberta sustainability research. Explore these and other programs, and see what resources are available to help your sustainability research thrive.

Affiliate Network

Help animate the university's academic sustainability community. Join our interdisciplinary community of academics who are integrating sustainability into their teaching and research, and who are seeking venues to connect with like-minded academics. To join the community and get our latest updates, please join our Sustainability Affiliate Network.

  • All academic staff (including faculty, instructors, adjuncts, post-doctoral fellows and librarians) are welcome to join.
  • There is no cost.
  • There is no obligation beyond what you want to contribute.
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Lecture Series

The Sustainability Council presents an ongoing lecture series exploring local expertise and global innovation across all fields of sustainability. Meet scholars from the University of Alberta and beyond in fields ranging from engineering to ecology, public health to poetry, native studies to nanotechnology.

Our speakers share new perspectives, and explore the diversity of issues encompassed by sustainability. Please join us and help expand the campus dialogue on sustainability issues including: climate change, biodiversity, renewable energy, inequality and food security.

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Sustainable Development Goals at the University of Alberta

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted by the United Nations in 2015 and set out a blueprint for achieving peace and prosperity for people and planet by the year 2030. They recognize that ending poverty and inequality goes hand-in-hand with protecting the environment and building the economy.

The University of Alberta advancing the SDGs through teaching and learning, research and creative activity, community involvement, and partnerships. Meet some of the people leading the way forward, and find out how you can get involved too.

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Research Steering Committee

The Sustainability Council’s Research Steering Committee promotes diverse interdisciplinary sustainability scholarship across all faculties, engaging with local and global communities. The committee spotlights research activities through a speaker series and other activities.

Members are committed to low-carbon research practices; equity, diversity and inclusion; reconciliation and indigenization; and to transparency in all decision-making processes.

Janice Cindy Gaudet belongs to a strong lineage of Metis women’s families located along the South Saskatchewan River and farming community near Batoche, One Arrow and Bellevue, Saskatchewan. She is an Associate Professor at Campus Saint-Jean. She is committed to a de-colonial approach in research, wellbeing and pedagogy by centering Indigenous women’s knowledge, stories and lived experiences. Ma recherche est principalement basée sur la réclamation des savoirs, en particulier celles des femmes Métis. Le but de mes recherches est de remettre en question la pensée occidentale afin de mettre en valeur les épistémologies des femmes, les savoirs des femmes autochtones en relation au bien-être.

Ken Caine is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. Originally from the Northwest Territories of Canada, he was trained as a forester and worked in social forestry for governments and research organizations in Alberta, British Columbia and the Northwest Territories. As a rural environmental sociologist Dr. Caine explores social practices, power dynamics, and institutional change in the context of environmental governance and natural resource management in the western Arctic of the Canadian North and in other circumpolar regions. His most recent research is on Indigenous youth hybrid environmental knowledge. Dr. Caine is co-editor (with Brenda Parlee) of the 2018 University of British Columbia Press book, When the Caribou Do Not Come: Indigenous Knowledge and Adaptive Management in the Western Arctic.

Lianne Lefsrud is an Assistant Professor, Engineering Safety and Risk Management at the University of Alberta. Most recently, Dr. Lefsrud was with the Erb Institute of Global Sustainable Enterprise at the University of Michigan. She uses mixed methods to study how institutional and new venture entrepreneurs use persuasive language and imagery to shape our conceptions of technology, the environment, and regulations. Specifically, her research examines methods of hazard identification and risk management, risk evaluation and social license to operate, and drivers of technology adoption in renewable energies, oil and gas, mining, pipelining, construction, agriculture, and railroading, among other industries.

As Associate Director Research of the Sustainability Council, Dr. Sheena Wilson chairs the Research Steering Committee. A professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Alberta, Wilson works predominantly in and around Treaty Six, Treaty Eight, and the Métis lands of Northern Alberta, Canada, where she was born and raised. Her community-engaged research on sustainability, climate justice and energy transition reflect commitments to intersectional feminism, decolonization and indigenization as method and praxis. More information: