Dr. Eran Kaplinsky, Research Director, Alberta Land Institute

Faculty of Law, University of Alberta

Professor Eran Kaplinsky teaches in the areas of property law and planning law. He holds a Bachelor of Laws from Tel Aviv University, a Master of Laws from the University of Toronto, and a Doctor of Juridical Science from the University of Toronto. Professor Kaplinsky is also a research affiliate of the City-Region Studies Centre. His teaching and research interests include: land-use planning and regulation, law and economics, municipal law and property law.



Dr. Sandeep Agrawal

Director, University of Alberta Planning Program

Dr. Sandeep Agrawal, Director of the University of Alberta Planning Program, is an urban and regional planner whose research interests include land use planning and design, international planning, multiculturalism and human rights and planning policy. His research works have focused on changing Canadian demographics and the effects of immigration, religion and cultures on urban structures and public policies. His most recent works focus on human rights and zoning in Toronto, high density rural regions of India, effects of tall buildings in Colombo, Sri Lanka and migration of people between China and Canada. Dr. Agrawal served on City of Edmonton's Subdivision and Development Appeal Board. Recently, the provincial cabinet has appointed him on the Municipal Government Board, effective April 1st, 2015.

Mohamed Ammar

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta.

Mohamed Ammar joined the Water Resources Engineering group in the University of Alberta as a PhD student after he had received his Master’s degree in Irrigation Engineering from Cairo University in Egypt. He received a bachelor degree in Civil Engineering from Cairo University and also had the chance to work as a water resources engineer in Dar Al-Handasah in Egypt after graduation.

Dareskedar Amsalu

Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology, University of Alberta

Dareskedar Amsalu received his BSc degree in Agricultural Economics at Haramaya University in Ethiopia in 2008. After graduation, he was employed as a Graduate Assistant at the same university and worked there for two years. Dareskedar joined the MSc program in the Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology at the University of Alberta in September 2013 and is currently doing his MSc thesis on the Economic Evaluation of Alberta’s Irrigation Rehabilitation Program as part of the ALI project.

Rick Blackwood

ALI Community Advisory Board

Mr. Blackwood is the Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) of Integrated Resource Management Planning Division for Alberta’s Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development and the Stewardship Commissioner for the Government of Alberta’s Land Stewardship Act.

As ADM for Integrated Resource Management Planning, Rick is responsible for the development, design and implementation of integrated resource (air, land, water and biodiversity) management plans.  He maintains the relationships and engagement necessary to ensure continued dialogue for planning in Alberta.

As Stewardship Commissioner for the Alberta Land Stewardship Act, Rick is responsible for overseeing the development, implementation, review and amendment of Land-use Framework regional plans.

Over the course of his career, Rick has held a variety of senior management positions within the department and was also seconded to the role of General Manager of the Foothills Model Forest in support of Alberta’s role in Canada’s Model Forest Network. Rick was previously the ADM for Fish and Wildlife. He is a Registered Professional Forester with the College of Professional Foresters of Alberta.

Dr. Peter Boxall

Department of Resource Economics & Environmental Sociology, University of Alberta

Dr. Peter Boxall is a Professor of Environmental and Resource Economics and Chair of the Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology. His research currently involves agri-environmental issues, such as beneficial management practices adoption for environmental improvements and the economics of wetland drainage and restoration. He is also studying the efficacy of market-based instruments such as procurement auctions and offset programs for water quality improvements. He has recently led a national research network (LEARN – Linking Environmental and Agriculture Research Network) focused on agriculture and environmental issues.

Bijon Brown

Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology, University of Alberta.

Bijon Brown is a third year Agricultural Economics doctoral student in the department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology at the University of Alberta. Before commencing studies at the University of Alberta, he completed both his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in Economics at the University of the West Indies (UWI) in Jamaica.

Dr. Shari Clare

Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology, University of Alberta

Dr. Shari Clare is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology at the University of Alberta. Dr. Clare is also a Senior Biologist and Founding Director of Fiera Biological, an Edmonton-based, multi-disciplinary biological consulting firm that specializes in ecological land-use planning, policy development, and wildlife research and management throughout western Canada. She has extensive experience in field assessment methods and conducting vegetation surveys, wetland assessments, fish habitat assessments, and biological resource assessments. Dr. Clare’s research has focused on wetland policy implementation in Alberta, and specifically, what factors influence decision-making and how these decisions influence outcomes for wetland protection and management.

Brian Conger

School of Public Policy, University of Calgary

Brian W. Conger, MPP, is a Research Associate with the Urban Policy Program at the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy. A practicing community planner, Brian has over five years of experience in the development of comprehensive statutory plans, and land use and development exercises in municipalities across Alberta. Brian graduated from The School of Public Policy in 2013, with a focus on urban policy, city-region governance and urban-rural equity.

Dr. Irena Creed

Department of Biology with cross-appointments to the Departments of Earth Sciences and Geography, Western University

Dr. Irena Creed is the Canada Research Chair in Watershed Sciences and Professor at Western University in the Department of Biology with cross-appointments to the Departments of Earth Sciences and Geography. She is the founder and leader of the Catchment Research Facility, an advanced monitoring, analytical and modeling facility established for the analysis of catchment processes. Dr. Creed has been working with the Government of Alberta to develop the relative wetland value assessment system for the new Alberta wetland policy.

Dr. Bev Dahlby

Department of Economics, University of Calgary

Dr. Bev Dahlby is a Professor of Economics and Distinguished Fellow at The School of Public Policy, University of Calgary. He attended St. Peter’s College, the University of Saskatchewan, Queen’s University and the London School of Economics. Dr. Dahlby has published extensively on tax policy and fiscal federalism and has served as a policy advisor to the federal and provincial governments. His international experience includes advisory work on tax reform for the IMF in Malawi, for the Thailand Development Research Institute, and for the World Bank in Brazil. He was a member of the Jenkins Panel on federal support to research and development, a research fellow at the C.D. Howe Institute, and a member of Statistics Canada’s advisory council.

Dr. Evan Davies

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta

Dr. Evan Davies is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Alberta and specializes in systems analysis and modeling. Dr. Davies’ work has been published in top water resources, social sciences, and global-change journals including Advances in Water Resources, the Hydrological Sciences Journal, Hydrological Processes, Human Ecology, the International Journal of Greenhouse Gas Control, and Technological Forecasting and Social Change.

Dr. Miles Dyck

Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta.

Dr. Miles Dyck is a Soil Scientist in the Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, Edmonton.  He received his PhD from the University of Alberta and BSc and MSc degrees at the University of Saskatchewan.  Dr. Dyck’s research interests are primarily in the areas of soil physics, soil fertility focusing on the effects of agricultural management practices on water and nutrient transport processes in agricultural ecosystems.  Dr. Dyck’s interest in agricultural systems and soils began at a young age while he was growing up on his family’s grain farm near Swift Current, Saskatchewan. He currently teaches courses in soil physics and sustainable agriculture.

Tom Grabowski

ALI Community Advisory Board

Tom Grabowski is President, CEO and co-founder of The Silvacom GroupTM Group of Companies. Silvacom was founded in 1983 and has offices in Edmonton, Calgary and Grande Cache. Silvacom’s consulting, software and data solutions have changed the way that Energy, Utility, Forestry, Mining and other resource sector companies and government agencies conduct their activities on the land. Tom moved to Alberta in 1977 to attend the University of Alberta. He graduated from the U of A with a B.Sc. and M.Sc., as well as an MBA. Tom serves on the board of the Alberta Chamber of Resources as well as a number of private corporations. He serves on the ACR Executive Committee and he chairs the ACR’s Responsible Development Committee.

Dr. Lars Hallstrom

Department of Resource Economics & Environmental Sociology, University of Alberta

Dr. Lars K. Hallstrom is the Director of the Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities. A comparative political scientist and policy analyst by training, he comes to Alberta after several years as a Canada Research Chair in Public Policy and Governance at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, NS. A graduate of the University of Calgary (BA) and Purdue University (MA, PhD), Lars' work focuses on comparative environmental policy, and particularly on the intersection of politics, science and public policy. He has been the recipient of over 30 research grants, and has published work on subjects such as environmental theory in international relations, the role of environmental NGOs in European integration, participatory spill-over from environmental activism, the policy linkages between science, environment and health and the attitudes toward forestry and forest management in Cape Breton. He is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Alberta, with a joint appointment in the Augustana Faculty and the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences.

Marie-Eve Jean

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta

Marie-Ève Jean has been involved in local and international projects related to community welfare and environmental issues since she was an adolescent. A native of Québec, Marie-Ève obtained a bachelor degree in Water Engineering (Department of Civil Engineering) at Université Laval. She is now pursuing her Master of Science at the University of Alberta, specializing in water management of reservoirs.

Dr. Scott Jeffrey

Department of Resource Economics & Environmental Sociology, University of Alberta

For more than two decades, Dr. Scott Jeffrey has worked on farm-level agricultural issues that have implications for policy and policymakers. These include analyses of public risk management programs, environmental stewardship practices, climate change, and agricultural productivity and efficiency. He has extensive experience in taking academic research results from these studies and communicating them in policy-relevant terms. Recently, Dr. Jeffrey has been heavily involved in the Saskatchewan and Alberta case studies of the Watershed Evaluation of Beneficial Management Practices (WEBS) project, coordinated by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Dr. Melville McMillan

Institute of Public Economics, University of Alberta

Dr. Melville McMillan is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Economics and a Fellow of the Institute of Public Economics at the University of Alberta.  His BA and MSc are from the University of Alberta and his PhD is from Cornell University.  After a brief stint at the University of Wisconsin (Madison), he joined the University of Alberta in 1975.  McMillan’s research and teaching interests are in public economics and, in particular, public finance, fiscal federalism, urban and local economics, and the demand for and supply of public goods and services.  He has published in these areas and has also advised governments and organizations nationally and internationally (e.g., the World Bank).  Although “retired”, Melville McMillan remains actively involved in academic and policy matters and is usually found in his office in the Department of Economics. Further details are available at

Dr. Jack Mintz

School of Public Policy, University of Calgary

Dr. Jack Mintz was appointed the Palmer Chair in Public Policy at the University of Calgary in January 2008. Widely published in the field of public economics, he was touted in a 2004 UK magazine publication as one of the world’s most influential tax experts. He serves as an Associate Editor of International Tax and Public Finance and the Canadian Tax Journal and is a research fellow of CESifo, Munich, Germany, and the Centre for Business Taxation Institute, Oxford University. Dr. Mintz has consulted widely with the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and various governments, businesses and non-profit organizations in Canada.

Dr. F. L. (Ted) Morton

ALI Community Advisory Board

Dr. Morton has a B.A. from Colorado College and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. Dr. Morton is currently an Executive Fellow at The School of Public Policy and Professor of Political Science at the University of Calgary.

Dr. Morton most recently served as Minister of Energy for the Government of Alberta (2011-12). Prior to that, he served as Minister of Finance (2010) and Minister of Sustainable Resources Development (2006-2009). In 2001, he was the Director of Policy and Research for the Office of the Official Opposition in the Canadian House of Commons.

As Alberta’s Minister of Sustainable Resource Development, Dr. Morton oversaw the development of Alberta’s Land Use Framework (2008) and the passage of the Alberta Land Stewardship Act (2009). As Minister, he increased Alberta’s participation in the Robert Bateman Get-to-Know Your Wild Neighbors project; opened the Bow Habitat Station in Calgary (2010) and was the Founding Committee Chair of the Kids Can Katch Trout Pond (officially opened in 2012).

An avid outdoorsman, Dr. Morton has a long-record of supporting habitat conservation as the key to maintaining wildlife and fisheries. He is a member of Ducks Unlimited, Trout Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, Delta Waterfowl, Safari Club International and the Pacific Salmon Foundation.

Prof. David Percy

Faculty of Law, University of Alberta

Professor David Percy became Dean of the Faculty of Law in 2002 and served in this role until 2009. His teaching and research interests are in contracts, construction law and natural resources law, including oil and gas law. He is co-editor of Contracts: Cases and Commentaries, now in its seventh edition and used at law schools across Canada. He wrote The Framework of Water Rights Legislation in Canada, as well as books on Wetlands and Ground Water. Professor Percy is also a former President of the Canadian Association of Law Teachers.


Dr. Feng Qiu

Department of Resource Economics & Environmental Sociology, University of Alberta

Dr. Feng Qiu has more than four years of experience working with the State Board of Agriculture staff in North Carolina. For her doctoral dissertation at the University of North Carolina, she conducted research focused on the impacts of US government policies on farmland valuation and tenure arrangements. She is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Resource Economics & Environmental Sociology at the University of Alberta, and teaches a senior class in land use economics.

Gerald Rhodes

ALI Community Advisory Board

Gerald Rhodes joined the AAMDC as Executive Director on May 1, 2003, following a lengthy career in municipal management at the Town of Devon, Town of Blackfalds, I.D. 15 (now Woodlands County), I.D. 17 East (now M.D. of Lesser Slave River) and I.D. 8 (now the M.D. of Bighorn).  Gerald is a Certified Local Government Manager, completing the Local Government Certificate and Senior Executive Fellows programs,  earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Calgary with a major in Economics and completed his MBA in 2009.

Gerald is responsible for providing strategic advice to the AAMDC’s elected Board of Directors, ensuring that their direction is carried out through the AAMDC’s administration, and providing leadership to AAMDC staff.

The diversity of rural municipal issues and the challenge of learning from and speaking with municipal councillors and administrators on a daily basis has been one of the many reasons why Gerald has truly enjoyed his role with the AAMDC.

Gerald and his wife, Nadia, reside in Devon with their five children.

Xiaofeng Ruan

Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta.

Xiaofeng Ruan is a research associate, as well as a PhD candidate, in Department of Renewable Resources in University of Alberta. His dissertation is about estimating species extinction risk in the fragmented environment, and he has four years’ field experience in Busby and Hinton area in Alberta. Xiaofeng received both of his master’s and bachelor’s degrees in environmental science in China, where he once worked on phytoremediation, and held three relevant patents.

Dr. James Rude

Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology, University of Alberta

Dr. James Rude is a former employee of Agriculture and Agrifood Canada, where he did extensive policy modelling with respect to international trade and domestic policies across developed country markets. He has published on the implications of agriculture support programs in Canada, the European Union, and the United States. He is presently an Associate Professor with the Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology at University of Alberta, specializing in Trade Policy, Agricultural Marketing, and Price Analysis.

Dr. Arturo Sanchez-Azofeifa

Department of Earth and Atmospherics Sciences, University of Alberta

Gerardo Arturo Sánchez-Azofeifa is a Professor at the University of Alberta, the director of the university's Center for Earth Observation Sciences, and the director of Tropi-Dry, a research group focusing on land use/policy studies in tropical dry regions of the Americas. His research is related to the study of impacts of land use/cover change (LUCC) on biodiversity loss and habitat fragmentation in tropical dry forest environments.

Sánchez-Azofeifa uses advanced technology, including remote sensing and phenology towers, to evaluate land use and cover change in Mesoamerica. His research focuses on the efficacy of creating protected areas (National Parks and Biological Reserves) and use of Environmental Services payment methods to control tropical deforestation. In addition, his research examines remote sensing (multispectral and hyperspectral) in connection with Primary Productivity (PP), Leaf Area Index (LAI), Photosynthetic Active Radiation (PAR) and biodiversity, particularly in tropical secondary dry forests. He is currently developing techniques to identify and understand the relationship of lianas (non-self supporting tropical plants) and tropical hardwood species by means of hyperspectral remote sensing to generate data reflecting detailed leaf and canopy level information. Sánchez-Azofeifa's most cited paper is his 2006 Nature article, "Widespread amphibian extinctions from epidemic disease driven by global warming."

Dr. Enid Slack

ALI Research Advisory Committee

Dr. Enid Slack is the Director of the Institute on Municipal Finance and Governance (IMFG) and an Adjunct Professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. The IMFG focuses on the fiscal health and governance challenges facing large cities and city-regions in Canada and around the world. Enid has been working on municipal finance issues in Canada and abroad for 35 years. She has worked with the World Bank, IMF, CIDA, UN Habitat, ADB, and IADB in countries such as Brazil, China, Colombia, India, Mexico, Mongolia, the Philippines, and South Africa. She has written several books and articles on property taxes, intergovernmental transfers, development charges, financing municipal infrastructure, municipal governance, municipal boundary restructuring, and education funding In 2012, Enid was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work on cities.

Dr. Robert Summers

Department of Earth and Atmospherics Sciences, University of Alberta

Robert Summers is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Alberta.  Research interests include collective action and cultural institutions, environmental governance and policy, rural water supply issues in Canada and Sub-Saharan Africa and community development.

Dr. Brent Swallow

Department of Resource Economics & Environmental Sociology, University of Alberta

Dr. Brent Swallow is Professor with the Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology at the University of Alberta.  Dr. Swallow is a native of Saskatchewan who earned his BSA (81) and MSc (83) degrees from the University of Saskatchewan and his PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (91).  His major fields of study at the PhD level were resource economics and development economics; he has continued to study the development – environment nexus throughout his career. He has authored 70 journal articles and book chapters.  He is a Distinguished Associate of the World Agroforestry Centre and has won best paper awards from the International Water Resources Association and the International Association for the Study of Common Property.

Dr. Alfons Weersink

Department of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Guelph

Alfons Weersink received a doctorate degree from Cornell University in 1989. He is currently a Professor at the University of Guelph in the department of Food, Agricultural & Resource Economics. Weersink completed a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Guelph in 1982, and a Master of Science in Applied Economics from Montana State University in 1984. Recent research interests include: economic and environmental trade-off analysis, environmental policy evaluation, determinants of farm structure, farm management and rural labour markets.

Peter Woloshyn

ALI Community Advisory Board

Peter was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Natural Resources Conservation Board in 2006. As chief executive officer, Peter is responsible for the ongoing regulation of Alberta’s confined feeding operations under provincial legislation. He is also responsible for scientific, technical and corporate support for Board reviews of proposed major natural resource projects. Peter co-chairs the multi-stakeholder Policy Advisory Group, which provides advice on policy related to the delivery of provincial regulations governing the confined feeding industry.

Peter grew up on a forage and beef farm in the Devon area. He has an extensive background in agricultural policy, economics and research, with Master of Science and Bachelor of Science degrees in Agricultural Economics from the University of Alberta.

Before joining the Natural Resources Conservation Board in 2006 as its chief executive officer, Peter worked for 22 years with Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (AFRD). He joined AFRD’s Resource Economics Branch in 1982, where he worked on economic analyses of various agricultural land and resource use issues.

In his most recent position with AFRD as director of the Agricultural Research Division, Peter was responsible for Alberta’s livestock and crop research programs.

Peter also worked on secondment for two years with the Agricultural Financial Services Corporation, focusing on crop insurance issues and the initial stages of a new private sector reinsurance arrangement for Alberta.

His interests include photography, hiking the North Saskatchewan River Valley and backpacking the Rocky Mountains with his family.

Dr. Todd Zimmerling

ALI Community Advisory Board

Dr. Zimmerling has an undergraduate degree in zoology from the University of Alberta and an M.Sc. and PhD in population ecology from the University of British Columbia.

Dr. Zimmerling is a Professional Biologist with 19 years experience working on a wide range of wildlife and fisheries related projects across western Canada.  He started his career as an environmental consultant, founding his own company with his wife, and growing that company to 25 biologists in six offices across Alberta, British Columbia and Yukon Territory.

In April 2007, after 14 years as an environmental consultant Dr. Zimmerling became the President and CEO of the Alberta Conservation Association (ACA), where he oversees a staff of 80 and deals closely with government, industry and community stakeholders on a wide range of conservation related issues.

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