Ian Bateman OBE, FRSA, FRSB | Keynote

Ian J. Bateman OBE, FRSA, FRSB, is Professor of Environmental Economics and Director of the Society, Economy and Environment Institute (SEE-I) at the University of Exeter, UK. SEE-I incorporates the Centre for Rural Policy Research (CRPR) and the Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment (CSERGE;; independently ranked as the No.1 European research institute in environmental and resource economics).

Ian also holds professorships in Australia and New Zealand, holds a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit award (awarded 2011 for five years) and is a Member of the H.M. Treasury and UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) Natural Capital Committee. He is also the only economist on the Defra Science Advisory Council.

Ian was Head of Economics for the UK National Ecosystem Assessment (UK-NEA; and led the economics component of the second phase of the UK-NEA.

Ian has been Principle Investigator (PI) of nearly 70 major research grants, ongoing examples of which include the NERC Valuing Nature Network ( which unites over 1,200 business and policy decision makers with research experts worldwide; and the ESRC Social, Economic and Environmental Research (SEER) Large Grant. Ian has or is advisor or consultant to: Defra, DfT, DoH, NICE, OECD and numerous other bodies. He is also the Editor of the leading journal Environmental and Resource Economics. His main research interests revolve around the issue of ensuring sustainable wellbeing through the integration of natural and social science knowledge. He has particular skills in the fields of quantitative analysis as well as the valuation of non-market benefits and costs. He has written over 130 peer-reviewed journal papers and a large number of book chapters and books.

According to Web of Knowledge he has been cited over 6,000 times and according to Google Scholar over 12,000 times. He has written or edited more than a dozen books and over 100 chapters in books. He was awarded on OBE in 2013 for services to environmental science and policy.




Sandeep Agrawal

Dr. Sandeep Agrawal is a Professor and Director of the Planning Program at the University of Alberta, Canada. He is an urban and regional planner whose research interests include regional planning and governance, international development, multiculturalism and human rights. Having served on various municipal and provincial boards and tribunals in Ontario and Alberta, Dr. Agrawal has extensive experience in administrative law and decision-making. He currently serves on Alberta’s Municipal Government Board that hears appeals on subdivision applications, property assessments, inter-municipal disputes, municipal annexations, and other matters.

Dr. Agrawal is a Principal Investigator on ALI's project Urban Form, Land Use and Sustainability: Recommendations and Key Research Gaps.




Peter Boxall

Peter Boxall is Professor and Chair of the Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology, Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences, University of Alberta. His research largely focuses on the valuation of environmental amenities and ecosystem services and the incorporation of these values into resource management and policy. His research also involves the development of policy instruments to increase the provision or conservation of ecosystem services in agricultural systems. This has led to a research program on the development, design and use of conservation auctions. He is past Leader of the Linking Environment and Agriculture Research Network (LEARN) a national research network funded by the federal government. He is currently a principal investigator of the Alberta Living Laboratory project which is a pilot project seeking to test the efficacy of reverse auctions to secure restored wetlands on agricultural landscapes. He leads the social science elements of these efforts and is involved in the integration of the social and natural science pieces to generate cost effective environmental improvements as well as more effective policy design.  

Dr. Boxall is a Principal Investigator on ALI's Alberta's Living Laboratory Wetlands Project.



Jason Cathcart

Having joined Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AF) in 2003, Jason has held a number of positions related to soil and land resources; the most recent being Manager of Land-use Policy for the Department (since May 2009).  In this role, Jason is a Unit Lead for land-related resource-based policy, specifically departmental participation and input into the Government of Alberta’s Land-use Framework.  Prior to this role, Jason held technical positions as the provincial Soil Quality Program Coordinator for the former Alberta Environmentally Sustainable Agriculture (AESA) Program and as the provincial Soil Conservation Specialist responsible for Alberta’s Soil Conservation Act

Participating on a number of cross-ministry teams, Jason’s work focuses in the area of privately-owned agricultural land resources, and most recently on land conflict resulting from land competition between agriculture and non-agricultural development; he is the principal lead responsible for AF’s reporting and evaluation on provincial agricultural land fragmentation and loss.  Other key work areas have included ecosystem services policy and conservation and stewardship tool development for private landowners.

Originally from a mixed dairy farm operation in eastern Ontario, Jason holds a Doctorate degree in agro-ecology and a Master’s degree in soil science from the University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, and a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and physical geography from Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario.  In addition to his role with the Government of Alberta, Jason holds an Adjunct Professor position with the Department of Renewable Resources with the University of Alberta in Edmonton and is a registered Professional Agrologist with the Alberta Institute of Agrology.



Shari Clare

Shari works as an environmental consultant and is one of the founding Directors of Fiera Biological Consulting Ltd., a small environmental consulting firm based in Edmonton. Her work as a consultant gives here considerable insights into how environmental regulation and policy influences decision-making by government and industry, and how these decisions impact management actions and environmental outcomes on the ground. Shari is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology at the University of Alberta. Her research interests include water policy, design standards for constructing and restoring wetlands, systematic conservation planning, urban ecology, and the use of market-based instruments to improve environmental policy outcomes. She has a PhD in conservation biology and is registered as a Professional Biologist in Alberta.

Dr. Clare is a Co-Investigator on ALI's Alberta's Living Laboratory Wetlands Project.



Craig Copeland

First elected Mayor in October 2007, Craig Copeland has become an unwavering ambassador for the City of Cold Lake.  He dedicates himself to making Cold Lake a better community while striving to make a connection with the residents he represents.

Craig boasts the City, its people, the surrounding region and its community groups wherever he finds himself.  He has a strong vision for the future and works tirelessly to learn the expectations the citizens of Cold Lake have for their City and its leadership.  He is proud to have worked with a council that has proven it will not back down from any challenge the City faces and will work with local residents, the region, the Province and the Federal Government to achieve its goals. 

This is Craig’s third term as Mayor which was preceded by one term as a city councillor.  When he's not at City Hall or attending an event in the community, Craig manages four fish hatcheries in the Province of Alberta. He has brought his educational background in Fish and Wildlife to bear in his employment with the Government of Alberta for over 30 years.

Craig has two adult daughters who were raised in Cold Lake and currently call Alberta their home. In his free time away from work he enjoys fishing, traveling and being an active member of the community.  He’s referred to in the community as a social butterfly.



Irena Creed

Irena Creed is Professor and Canada Research Chair in Watershed Sciences at Western University.  Her expertise is in characterizing watershed processes through innovative techniques that combine field, laboratory, GIS, remote sensing and modeling approaches.  She conducts science that tracks the movement and fate of nutrients within and through watersheds, which are released to the atmosphere (generating greenhouse gases) and aquatic systems (affecting productivity and diversity), work that is relevant to the security of water supplies. She brings a Canadian perspective to a global network of scientists focused on discovering watershed responses to global change and extending watershed research into more broad and integrative disciplines like ecosystem health and ecosystem services.

Dr. Creed is a Principal Investigator on ALI's Alberta's Living Laboratory Wetlands Project.



Bev Dahlby

Bev Dahlby is a Distinguished Fellow in the School of Public Policy, where he is the Director of the Tax and Economic Growth Program. He has a PhD in economics from the London School of Economics and has published extensively on tax policy and fiscal federalism. Bev has served as a policy advisor to the federal and provincial governments in Canada on the reform of business taxation, the fiscal equalization program, tax credits for television and film industry, taxation of inbound foreign direct investment, and saving non-renewable resource revenues. His international experience includes advisory work on tax reform for the IMF, the Thailand Development Research Institute, and the World Bank. Bev served on Statistics Canada’s advisory council from 2005 to 2012. In 2010-11, he was a member of the Jenkins Panel on Federal Support to Research and Development, and he is currently a member of Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission.

Dr. Dahlby is a Principal Investigator on ALI's project Municipal Revenue Generation and Implications for Land Use and Environmental Quality



Evan Davies

Dr. Evan Davies is an Associate Professor in Water Resources Planning and Management in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta.  His research interests focus on understanding the complex feedbacks between water availability and use.  In particular, his work aims to incorporate socio-economic and environmental feedbacks into models of hydrology, and agricultural, municipal, and industrial water use to improve water resources management at the basin to regional scale; and to develop and assess indicators as a means of comparing structural, management, and policy alternatives.  The computer models he has developed explicitly simulate connections between social, economic and environmental systems, and can thus 1) show “big picture” effects of policy alternatives and 2) provide insights to improve management.  The work is important because accurate planning for water policy and infrastructure requires a clear understanding of the problem and the effects of alternative solutions in order to develop reliable long-term projections of both hydrological variables and sectoral water demands. Dr. Davies received his doctoral degree from the University of Western Ontario (2007), and Masters and Bachelors degrees from the University of Waterloo (2003, 2001).

Dr. Davies is a Principal Investigator on ALI's project Systems Modeling and Sustainable Land and Water Policy in Alberta’s Irrigation Sector.



Denise Di Santo

Denise Di Santo is a water resources planner, experienced in watershed management and water resources policy development. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Geography from the University of Calgary, a Bachelor of Education degree from Lakehead University, and earned a Master of Science degree in Renewable Natural Resources, Watershed Management at The University of Arizona. Denise is also a professional educator, having developed and taught environmental science courses at several universities in Canada and the United States, as well as teaching related disciplines at the secondary education level. Her work varies from community impact assessments in rural Alberta and developing community involvement strategies for water supply remediation in Arizona, to developing ground water protection policies and water reuse and stormwater implementation strategies in the urban context for counties and municipalities.

Denise has worked at several levels of government in Canada and the United States, and in private consulting. She recently worked on a project team to complete a watershed hydrology protection plan under a grant from the US Environmental Protection Agency. The Plan will serve as a watershed management template for other watersheds in the US to follow. Denise is currently working with Alberta WaterSMART on The Sustainable Water Management in the Athabasca River Basin Initiative. She serves on the Bow River Basin Council’s Legislative and Policy Committee, and is on the Board of the Elbow River Watershed Partnership.



Bill Donahue

In May of 2015, Bill joined the Alberta Environmental Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting Agency (AEMERA) executive team as Vice-President and Chief Monitoring Officer, where he is responsible for the delivery of ambient environmental monitoring programs in Alberta. Prior to joining the AEMERA team, Bill worked as an independent environmental researcher and strategic advisor for government, industry, community, aboriginal, and university clients.  After earning his Ph.D. in aquatic science from the University of Alberta in 2000, Bill studied contaminant dynamics in Alberta as an NSERC Post-Doctoral Fellow with Alberta Environment, and subsequently completed a law degree and became a member of the Alberta Bar in 2009. 

Over the past dozen years, as a private consultant and with an Alberta-based environmental NGO, Bill has focused on developing practical environmental science and policy advice and solutions to large-scale environmental problems associated with cumulative industrial effects, climate change, drought, and impairment of freshwater ecosystems. His research interests include the interactions between climate change, human disturbance, ecosystem function, and carbon and contaminant dynamics. His work on diminishing surface water supplies and climate change in the western prairies has gained significant international scientific, public, and political attention.

Prior to joining AEMERA, Bill was a member of the Joint Canada-Alberta Oil Sands Monitoring Water Component Advisory Committee, and the independent expert science panel tasked with reviewing the emergency response and mid- and long-term monitoring programs in the wake of the Obed Mine process water spill into the Upper Athabasca River in October 2014.



Scott Duguid

Scott Duguid is currently the Director of Consultation for the Land Use Secretariat, housed within the Ministry of Environment and Parks.  Scott graduated in 1994 from the University of Guelph with a degree in Geography (Rural land use).  During his career in resource management and planning Scott has held positions in the Northwest Territories as the Land Resource Geographer for the Sahtu Land and Water Board and the Environmental Manager for the Independent Environmental Monitoring Agency.  In those roles Scott assisted in the creation of the Sahtu Land Use Plan and collaborated on the Deh Cho planning process.  Since coming to Alberta, Scott has worked with Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, Indigenous Relations and now the Land Use Secretariat on Indigenous involvement in regional planning. Scott is a father of 3 teenage children who likes to hunt and fish and is also a high school football and rugby coach.  



Dan Farr

Dan Farr looks for new ways to collect and apply environmental data. On the data collection side, he started the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Program almost 20 years ago. On the application side, he uses environmental data to guide land management from the operational scale through to regional plans and provincial policy. He had a real job once, with the Foothills Research Institute, but now enjoys the less steady but equally rewarding lifestyle of independent consultant.

Dan ran future land use scenarios for Alberta's Land Use Framework, most recently in the Lower Athabasca Region, and introduced the idea of systematic conservation planning that led to new protected areas there. He currently leads a handful of projects in which environmental data are used develop climate change adaptation strategies, improve the environmental performance of Canada’s oil sands industry, and assess the value of ecosystem services affected by land use.



Bill Given

Born and raised in Grande Prairie, Bill spent his grade 11 year as a Rotary Exchange student before returning home to graduate from the Grande Prairie Composite High School. He attended the Medicine Hat College to study Visual Communications. His professional career includes a marketing consultancy and employment in the technology sector. Mayor Given first joined City Council in 2001 as an alderman, becoming the youngest ever to be elected to a seat on Grande Prairie's council at age of 24. He was re-elected in the 2004 and 2007 elections and was successful for in his bid for the mayor's seat in the 2010 election when he became the youngest mayor in the city's history and was re-elected for a second term in 2013.

Over the years, Bill has contributed to the community in a variety of areas. He’s been a basketball player, coach and volunteer organizer, was the charter president of the Rotaract Club, presided over the Peace Country Luge Association, and volunteered as secretary of the Grande Prairie Disabled Transportation Society, among many other personal investments of his time and talents in the community.

Bill has a Certificate in Local Government Administration from the University of Alberta. Mayor Given and his wife Susan, have a daughter, Mila and a son, Paja.



Greg Goss

Dr. Greg Goss is a Professor in Biological Sciences and is cross-appointed to the School of Public Health and a Fellow of the National Institute of Nanotechnology. He is the past Scientific Director of the University of Alberta Water Initiative and has a broad program aimed at water research including environmental toxicology, environmental health,  water availability and climate change effects on water resources. He has numerous grants from both government and industry partners. His toxicology research program investigates the effects of municipal wastewater, hydraulic fracturing fluids, pesticide and herbicides, oil sands process affected water and other wastewaters and the effects of nanomaterials on fish and invertebrates. He is working directly with Environment Canada and the OECD on devising appropriate guidelines for testing for nanomaterials. He also has programs on water management and predictive forecasting of Alberta’s water resources with climate change and increased agricultural, industrial and municipal growth.

Dr Goss is also past-President of the Canadian Society of Zoologists, serves on the Council for numerous national and international societies and advisory boards, is on the Editorial Board for 4 international journals. He also is the President of a consulting company, Aquosity Environmental Consulting that consults for government agencies on environmental justice cases. Dr. Goss was awarded the Killam Annual Professorship at the University of Alberta and in 2010-11 was a McCalla Professor at the U of A in 2009-2010. He is the past winner of the PetroCanada Young Innovator Award, the Canadian Society of Zoologists Early Investigator Award and the American Physiological Society Young Investigator Award.



Lars Hallström

Dr. Lars K. Hallstrom is the Director of the Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities and an award-winning professor in 2 departments (Social Science – Augustana and Resource Economics & Environmental Sociology) at the University of Alberta. Dr. Hallstrom’s work focuses on comparative public policy, and particularly on the intersection of politics, science and public policy. He has been the recipient of over 80 research and knowledge mobilization grants, and has published widely on issues of rural development, rural governance, municipal and local policymaking, environmental policy, natural resource management and civic activism. As a core member of the Network for Ecosystems Sustainability (NESH), he has worked with researchers and watersheds from across Canada on issues of ecohealth assessment, theories of integration to guide intersectoral action in public policy, and linking public health to water and watershed management. He is particularly interested in the design and evaluation of multi-level programs and interventions to support adaptation and resilience in complex system such as rural communities, and in the role for public and expert knowledge in post-normal conditions of high risk and high uncertainty. Most recently, he is the lead editor of two edited volumes published in 2015 – “Ecosystems, Society and Health: Pathways through Diversity, Convergence and Integration” with McGill-Queens University Press and “Sustainability Planning and Collaboration in Rural Canada” with the University of Alberta Press.

Dr. Hallstrom was Principal Investigator on ALI's project Municipal Governance Reform and Land Use Planning in Alberta.



Lisa Holmes

Lisa Holmes was elected to serve the community of Morinville, Alberta (population 9,400) as a Councillor in 2010 and as Mayor in 2013. In 2013, she was elected as the AUMA Board Member representing the area of Towns East. In September 2015, she was acclaimed President of AUMA for a two year term. Before entering political life, Lisa did her post-secondary studies in Political Science and Economics and worked for several non-profit organizations like Ducks Unlimited Canada, the Alberta Library Trustees Association and the Alberta Teachers Association. She grew up in the farming town of Hanna, Alberta and the beautiful city of Salmon Arm, BC. She and her husband Thomas have two sons, 8 and 12 years old.





Scott Jeffrey

Scott Jeffrey is a professor in the Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology, at the University of Alberta. A native of SW Ontario, Scott has a PhD in Agricultural Economics from the University of Minnesota as well as Masters and Bachelors degrees from the University of Guelph.  His research focuses on firm level economic issues in agricultural production management, with an emphasis on efficiency, risk, and the interaction between agricultural production practices and provision of ecosystem services.  Scott has been with the University of Alberta since 1992.

Dr. Jeffrey is a Principal Investigator on ALI's project Economic Evaluation of Farmland Conversion and Fragmentation in Alberta.





Kevin Jones

At the City-Region Studies Centre, Dr. Jones has been active in researching adaptations in urban governance and development.  Additionally, he innovates public research models which collectively explore the future of cities, and support the creation of engaged, resilient and sustainable communities.  He is co-editor of “City-Regions in Prospect? Exploring Points between Place and Practice”, to be published by McGill-Queen’s University Press in 2015. He is Editor of Curb Magazine.

Dr. Jones also has a background in the social study of science, technology and society, environmental sociology and policy studies. A significant focus of his research has been the study of expertise and citizenship in relationship to risk scenarios.  Recent projects have involved research into institutional adaptation to food safety and food security concerns in Alberta, and to climate change within the Western Canadian forest economy.



Chris Manderson

Chris joined Calgary Parks in 1998 and has worked in Natural Area Management and Planning for the city for that entire time. He is currently leading the Urban Conservation group in Calgary Parks, which is responsible for urban ecosystem management, including planning and policy, habitat management, integrated pest management and habitat restoration.

Chris has a degree in Botany from the University of Alberta. Prior to joining the City of Calgary, Chris worked for over 10 years in environmental consulting as an ecologist, with a particular interest in wetlands and plant community ecology.





Ron McMullin

Ron McMullin is the Executive Director of the Alberta Irrigation Projects Association (AIPA) which represents Alberta’s 13 irrigation districts and associated engineering and manufacturing companies.  AIPA supports the resiliency of the irrigation industry through education, representation, collaboration, and the promotion of good water management.  In his career path, Ron also worked with Alberta Agriculture, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada at the Lethbridge Research Centre and with the Alberta Research Council.  Ron is currently a board member of the Alberta Water Council, of the Classroom Agriculture Program and of the Endangered Species Conservation Committee, and served on the Regional Advisory Council for the SSRB Land-use Planning Framework.  Ron has a B.Sc. in Agriculture and a M.Sc. in Soil Science.



Scott Milligan

Scott Milligan is the Executive Director of Planning with Alberta Environment and Parks (Government of Alberta). His team focuses on development of land and environmental plans, with a focus on regional land use plans under Alberta’s Land Use Framework policy, woodland caribou recovery, integrated land management, recreation trail planning, and environmental management frameworks for air, water, and biodiversity.

Scott was part of the team that developed the first regional plan for Alberta – the Lower Athabasca Regional Plan – in the oil sands region of Alberta. His focus was development of new Conservation Areas, Environmental Management Frameworks for Air, Water, and Biodiversity, new public land recreation management strategies and areas, and initiating a Regional Strategic Assessment for a sub-region of Lower Athabasca – South Athabasca Oil Sands.

Scott is a Registered Professional Forester and has been with the Alberta government for 24 years. His career started in northern Alberta as a field forester, then to headquarters in Edmonton for development of reforestation and forest operations policy, and the past 6 years as a Director in Land Use Planning. His current area of focus is on development of the North Saskatchewan Regional Plan, and implementation of the Lower Athabasca and South Saskatchewan Regional Plans.



Anish Neupane

Anish joined Environment and Parks in 2007 as an economist and has worked on a range of files -- ecosystem services, conservation offset, water quantity and quality management, invasive species, wetland policy, caribou range planning, species at risk, and financial security mechanisms. Anish is currently the manager of biodiversity and ecosystem services team in Environment and Parks with responsibility for the biodiversity policy, conservation offset framework and ecosystem services framework.

Anish has an undergraduate degree in environmental and conservation sciences, and a graduate degree in resource economics from the University of Alberta.




David Pannell

David Pannell is Professor and Head of School of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Western Australia; Director, Centre for Environmental Economics and Policy; ARC Federation Fellow (2007-2012); Distinguished Fellow and past president of the Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society; Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia; and a Director of Natural Decisions Pty Ltd. He has been an active commentator on environmental policy within Australia, arguing for policies that better reflect scientific, economic and social realities. He was a Director on the Board of Land and Water Australia 2002-05. His research includes the economics of land and water conservation; environmental policy; farmer adoption of new practices; risk; and economics of farming systems. His research has been published in seven books and 200 journal articles and book chapters, and has been recognised with awards from the USA, Australia, Canada and the UK, including the 2009 ARC Eureka Prize for Interdisciplinary Research.



Andrew Plantinga

Dr. Andrew Plantinga is Professor in the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara.  Dr. Plantinga received a PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California-Berkeley in 1995, an MS in Forestry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1988, and a BA from Grinnell College in 1986.  Dr. Plantinga’s research focuses on the economics of land use, climate change, and forests, with emphasis on econometric modeling of land-use decisions, the analysis of environmental policies that affect private land-use decisions, and the study of land development pressures.






Dave Poulton

Dave Poulton is the Principal of Poulton Environmental Strategies, a consultant to organizations, businesses, and governments with a special interest in fostering cross-sectoral collaborations.  He is currently Executive Director of the Alberta Association for Conservation Offsets, a forum to advance understanding respecting the use of conservation offsets and the development of offset policy.

Dave holds a Master of Laws degree in the Natural Resources, Energy and Environment program at the University of Calgary Faculty of Law. His thesis focused on conservation offset policy for Alberta, drawing on biodiversity offsets systems in the United States and Australia. His research ongoing interests include market-based conservation, parks and protected areas and land-use planning.

Dave is President of the Board of Directors of the Environmental Law Centre in Edmonton, Alberta, and member of the Advisory Group of the Business and Biodiversity Offset Programme (BBOP), based in Washington D.C.  He has served on a number of advisory panels to both the federal and provincial governments.

Dave served as Executive Director of the Calgary/Banff (now Southern Alberta) Chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society from 2000 to 2008, and Conservation Director of that organization from 1999 to 2000.  Prior to joining CPAWS Dave practiced law in Calgary for 11 years. He holds a B.A. and M.A., in political science from the University of Calgary, and LL.B. from Dalhousie University, as well as an LL.M. from the University of Calgary.



Arturo Sanchez-Azofeifa

Dr. Sanchez-Azofeifa (BSc University of Costa Rica, MSc Hydrology University of New Hampshire, PhD Earth Sciences University of New Hampshire) is currently a Full Professor at the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Alberta. Dr. Sanchez-Azofeifa also serves as the director of the Alberta Center for Earth Observation Sciences (CEOS.

Dr. Sanchez-Azofeifa has been the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship (1990-1996), has been appointed as the First Canadian/Latin American Fellow of the prestigious Aldo Leopold Leadership Program at the Wood’s Institute for Environment, Stanford University (2006); he received the 2006 University of Alberta’s Faculty of Sciences Research Award for Outstanding Contributions to Research, the 2006 Canadian Forest Service Merit Award and the Taylor & 2006 Best Research Letter Award published by the International Journal of Remote Sensing. He is also the recipient of the 2008-09 McCalla Research Professorship at the University of Alberta.  In 2009 he received the Best Teacher Award – Adult Education from the Edmonton Region Autism Society.

In 2008, he entered the top 1% citations in the world for the field of Environment & Ecology in Essential Science IndicatorsSM from Thomson Reuters. In 2012 he was awarded the prestigious Sir McMaster Fellowship by the Australia’s Commonwealth Science and Research Innovation Organization (CSIRO), and was also promoted as Senior Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). In 2016, the Alberta’s Astech Foundation honored him for his outstanding achievement in environmental technology and Innovation. He has published over 150 scientific papers and 2 books.

Dr. Sanchez-Azofeifa is a Principal Investigator on the ALI project Economic Evaluation of Farmland Conversion and Fragmentation in Alberta.



Morris Seiferling

Morris led the development of the provincial Land-use Framework as the new strategic government direction for land use in Alberta. Morris led the development of the Alberta Land Stewardship Act that provides legislative underpinning for regional planning and other related initiatives. He also led the development of the first regional plan for the Lower Athabasca Region, which provides direction and guidance for land and natural resource decision makers in Northeast Alberta.

Morris has been responsible for the management of public lands in Central and Western Alberta and agricultural extension programs in both Central and Northwestern Alberta. Morris has development and delivered policies and programs in environmentally sustainable agricultural production, animal welfare and on farm environmental programs.  

In addition to a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture, Morris has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, and is a member of the International Association of Public Participation, the Alberta Institute of Agrologists and is a Licenced Land Agent.  

Following his retirement from Government, Morris has provided consulting services to Government, Industry and Non-Government Organizations in areas related to natural resource and land management.



Brent Swallow

Brent Swallow is Professor in the Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology at the University of Alberta, trustee of Bioversity International, and founding member of the Edmonton Food Council.  He is a native of Saskatchewan who earned his bachelors and masters degrees from the University of Saskatchewan and PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  He lived and worked in Africa between 1984 and 1987 and again between 1991 and 2009, where he conducted and led research at the National University of Lesotho, the International Livestock Research Institute, and the World Agroforestry Center. 

Between 2007 and 2009 he served as Global Coordinator of the Alternatives to Slash and Burn Program. Much of his research focuses on the economics of land use and land management institutions, including watershed management, opportunity costs of avoided deforestation in the humid tropics, and multiple values of alternative land uses in Alberta’s Capital Region.  He has provided expert advice to the Governments of Norway, Finland, Kenya, Uganda, Canada and the United States, as well as the City of Edmonton, the World Bank, the International Fund for Agricultural Development, and the International Development Research Centre.

Dr. Swallow is a Principal Investigator on the ALI project Economic Evaluation of Farmland Conversion and Fragmentation in Alberta.



Allan Wallis

Allan Wallis is associate professor of public policy at the School of Public Affairs, University of Colorado Denver, where he directs the Center for Local and Regional Communities and the concentration in local government. Previously, he was director of the school’s Ph.D. program and of the Wirth Chair in Environmental and Community Development.

Professor Wallis’ principal areas of research are regional governance and growth management.  He has worked with the Center for Urban and Environmental Solutions at Florida Atlantic University to produce four indicator reports on the South Florida region. His co-authored article on the development of the Regional Transportation Authority in South Florida appeared in Urban Affairs Review. He directed a six year evaluation of regionalism in South Florida for the MacArthur Foundation. He was also a consultant to the Foundation in the development of a strategic plan to guide its grant making in the area of regionalism.

For eight years, Dr. Wallis was director of research for the National Civic League. During that time he authored the series of articles--Reinventing Regionalism—which appeared in the National Civic Review. With Doug Porter, he authored the monograph—Ad Hoc Regionalism—published by the Lincoln Land Institute. He is a co-principal investigator on a study published by the Lincoln Land Institute evaluating the impacts of state growth management policies. He authored a chapter on “Developing Regional Capacity to Plan Land Use and Infrastructure,” in the recently published textbook--Urban and Regional Policy Analysis--edited by David Hamilton and Patricia Atkins (Sharpe). With Gene Bressler, at NC State, he wrote a chapter on urban sprawl in the West, for Healing the American West (University of Arizona Press).

In 2015, Dr. Wallis was a Fulbright senior research scholar at the University of Alberta. His work there focused on the development of regional planning policies in the Calgary and Capital regions. He is employing that work as part of a larger study comparing governance in the Calgary, Denver, Edmonton, and the Salt Lake City regions.

Professor Wallis holds a Ph.D. in environmental psychology from the Graduate School of the City University of New York, a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University, and a Bachelors of Architecture from the Cooper Union. He has taught architecture at the University of Colorado and at Ball State University. He has also taught urban design and town planning at Pratt Institute and at the Cooper Union. He is author of the book Wheel estate: The Rise and decline of Mobile Homes (Oxford University Press).



Michael Walters

Michael Walters is a constructive, creative and collaborative community builder.

Michael is known as a creative problem solver and relationship builder, never afraid to face down any serious community or public policy challenge. Early in his career, as director of the Community Action Project in North Central Edmonton, he led a team to redevelop hundreds of derelict homes, inspire new economic activity, and transform a neighbourhood.

His approach to homelessness at the Bissell Centre was similar: he helped men and women in the inner city struggling with housing and mental illness issues become leaders and together they made homelessness an issue governments now take seriously. At a time when nearly everyone said it was impossible to include urban agriculture as a part of Edmonton’s growth strategy, Michael led the Greater Edmonton Alliance to convince city council to create the Citywide Food and Agricultural Strategy.

Michael spent a number of years working as a policy and public engagement consultant in Edmonton and across Alberta. He received the Queens Golden Jubilee Medal in 2000 for his work with the homeless. In 2009, he was chosen as one of Edmonton’s Top 40 under 40 by Avenue Magazine. He was also named one of Alberta Venture’s Next 10 most influential Albertans in 2013.

In his role as City Councillor for Ward 10, Michael sits on Edmonton’s Annexation Negotiating Committee, Capital Region Board Transit Committee serving as vice-chair, Alberta Urban Municipalities Association’s Environment and Sustainability Committee, the River Valley Alliance, and is also a Council lead on the city’s Housing, ELEVATE and Public Engagement Initiatives.

Michael is married to Kara, a registered nurse, and together they raise their two spectacular children Isaac and Samson.