Publishing Their Work: Two Graduate Students Publish About their ALI Research

One of ALI's priorities is to help train a new generation of researchers in disciplines related to land use planning. Numerous articles have been published by graduate students involved in our projects so far, and this summer, two more students have seen their work accepted by academic journals.

Marie–Ève Jean was part of the University of Alberta's Civil Engineering Masters program when she joined the research team led by Dr. Evan Davies, to work on ALI's three-year project Systems Modeling Sustainable Land and Water Policy in Alberta's Irrigation Sector. In order to better understand how Alberta's irrigation system functions in the real world, she stepped out of the lab and went directly to some of Alberta's irrigation districts, where she shadowed reservoir managers and ditchriders, before speaking to experts and irrigation officials from across the province.

The insights she gathered were highly valuable to the construction of the project's systems model, and led her to co-author an article with Dr. Davies, "Towards best water management policies: how current irrigation reservoir operation practices compare with theory in Alberta." This work was published online by the journal Water International in August. Access to the article is free for many on-campus readers.

Haoluan Wang was a Masters student in the University of Alberta's Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology when he joined the three-year ALI project Economic Evaluation of Farmland Conversion and Fragmentation In Alberta. Working with Principal Investigator Brent Swallow, his research examined how Albertans in the province's capital region felt about the visible changes to the land around them, and how policies influencing land use might be received. Relying on more than 800 surveys, Haoluan was able to gain highly-valuable insights into the public's feelings about agricultural land conversion and fragmentation, which he and Dr. Swallow shared directly with the Capital Region Board –– the body that oversees regional development in the Edmonton area.

This work served as the basis of Haoluan's thesis, which he defended last year, and which now has been adapted into a paper, "Optimizing expenditures for agricultural land conservation: spatially-explicit estimation of benefits, budgets, costs and targets." The journal Land Use Policy has accepted this work for publication, and it will become available in the months ahead.

Peer-reviewed publication success for graduate students is one of ALI's greatest points of pride. As the global population continues to grow, and demands on land use evolve with technology and climate, the issues being researched at ALI will become increasingly important both in Alberta, and around the world. Supporting the development of a new generation of researchers helps ensure that expertise will continue to be available to contribute to policy discussions around these vital questions.

For more information on Marie-Ève's work, click here.

For more information on Haoluan's work, click here.