Community Research Connections is dedicated to building civic literacy and useful knowledge for integrated decision-making around critical social issues, particularly Canadian community development, that is more sustainable. We believe the urgency has never been greater for Canadian society to act now on modern day challenges of climate change adaptation and mitigation and biodiversity conservation. We are deeply committed to making a difference with our research, working in collaboration wherever possible with a diversity of Canadians across the country. We are also faithful to timely research dissemination, sharing our work on the ground, and to creating novel e-communities of commitment, passion, and innovation around sustainable community development.
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Who We Are A trans-disciplinary team of researchers, practitioners, and artists dedicated to the production of useful knowledge and tools for Canadian communities to transition to more sustainable development paths.
The team’s leader is Ann Dale, Trudeau Fellow Alumna (2004), Canada Research Chair (2004-2014), School of the Environment and Sustainability, Royal Roads University. Professor Dale, with her extensive background in public policy and government, brings a wealth of practical and theoretical knowledge to the team. Believing that both place-based and virtual communities are essential for solving modern day problems, she is deeply committed to expanding the public space for critical dialogue and asking the ‘right, hard’ questions. She currently leads and collaborates on several research projects.
- Changing the Conversation
- Meeting the Climate Change Challenge (MC3)
- Places + Spaces
- National Municipal Adaptation Project
- Understanding Agriburbia: Conflict and innovations on the rural/urban fringe
- The Solutions Agenda
- Community Vitality
- Social Capital
- Sustainable Infrastructure
- Sustainable Community Development
Professor Dale chairs the Canadian Consortium for Sustainable Development Research and is a member of the National Advisory Committee on Energy Efficiency and the World Fisheries Trust. She is a Fellow of the World Academy of Social Sciences and was the founding research associate in residence for the Council of Canadian Academies, 2010-2011. She is currently an Executive in Residence with 1125@Carleton. Professor Dale is a well-known Canadian author of a number of books, including her most recent two collaborations, Urban Sustainability, and Community Vitality: From Adaptation to Transformation. Her book, At the edge, received the 2001 Policy Research Initiative’s Outstanding Research Contribution, for more see the publications section.
Professor Dale has received a number of awards for her scholarship.
- She held Royal Roads University's first Canada Research Chair from 2004 to 2014
- 2014 CUFA Distinguished Academic Career Achievement Award
- 2013 Canada Council of the Arts Molson Prize for the Social Sciences
- 2009 Bissett Alumni Award for Distinctive Contributions to the Public Sector
- Trudeau Fellow, May 2004 to April 2007, Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation
- Fellow, World Academy of Art and Science, 2003 to present
- Profiled as one of the top 25 minds in British Columbia, BC Business Magazine, June 2002
- Nominated for YWCA Women of Distinction Awards, 2001 and 2002
- Policy Research Initiative Award for Outstanding Research Contribution to Public Policy, 2001
- Dean’s Honour List, McGill University, 1999
To participate in her blogs, visit:
Other projects of interest include,
- Governance for Sustainable Development
- Gender and Sustainable Development
- The National Environmental Treasure (The NET)
Rob Newell completed an undergraduate in Biology and Statistics (University of Victoria), but developed a keen interest in the communication of environmental trends and sustainability ideas while working in the design, development and delivery of environmental education programs and completing a graduate thesis on approaches to effective environmental communications (MA in Environment and Management, Royal Roads University). Rob is committed to exploring and discovering new methods of communicating sustainability to broad and diverse audiences, and his work has included developing environmental education programs for settlement agencies and project leading in Asia, Africa, and the South Pacific. Rob leads the social media program (HEADTalks) and data visualization work of the team and is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Victoria.
Rebecca Foon is an urban planner dedicated to integrating a holistic understanding of sustainability in growing healthy communities. She is an accomplished organizer and facilitator, sustainability management systems creator, sustainability assessment leader, and green building consultant. She has extensively researched water-related environmental issues in North America and India in partnership with the Indian Institute of Management. More recently, she worked as a sustainability/creative consultant for Planet Green's urban environment television series Wa$ted (Discovery Channel) and is the LEED coordinator for Prominent Development's new residential development project targeting LEED gold in Montreal.
Yuill Herbert is a founding director with Sustainability Solutions Group (SSG). Yuill has worked on sustainability consulting projects in the spheres of community planning, sustainability assessments, and green buildings. Major projects include the development of an open source model to evaluate the climate change impacts of municipal plans, the development of a carbon neutral course for Cascadia Green Building Council and a sustainability assessment for Concordia University. Yuill also helped introduce the LEED for Homes rating system in Canada. He has advised municipal, provincial and federal governments on policies related to sustainability and is active in sustainable development.
Chris Strashok holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Calgary and a master’s degree in Environment and Management from Royal Roads University. He is a CRC research associate and an associate Royal Roads University faculty member, teaching the Systems Methods for Environmental Management in the Masters for Environment and Management program. He has a background in computer modeling and simulation, sustainable community development, chemical engineering, and systems theory. He has put his modeling experience to practice when working with whatIf? Technologies developing computer-based simulation models for long-term strategic planning and scenario analysis.
Jaime Clifton is the Research Curator for CRC Research, Changing the Conversation, and MC3 2.0. She is currently developing the practice of research curation, which adapts elements of museum curatorial practice to mobilize academic research online. She is passionate about digital storytelling and knowledge sharing via online communication channels, such as blogs and social media. She holds a Bachelor of Arts, specializing in Art History, from the University of Victoria and a Master of Museum Studies from the University of Toronto. She has worked and volunteered in various art galleries, museums, and libraries—including the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Royal Ontario Museum, Myseum of Toronto, Gerstein Science Information Centre, and Marie Dressler House Museum.
Christine Callihoo is a senior land use and community planner with Associated Engineering in Burnaby, BC. She holds a master’s degree of science in Natural Resources Management and an undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies (Planning) from the University of Northern BC. Christine has worked in Canada’s Arctic in partnership with Inuit communities developing climate change adaptation plans. Working with communities to develop climate change adaptation plans enabled the development of a keen interest in addressing community vulnerability, resiliency, and preparedness. More recently, she has provided seminars to local governments and First Nations on topics specific to community-based climate change adaptation and resiliency. Christine is interested in collaboration with community practitioners and theorists on the general topic of community-based climate change adaptation, and more specifically on the role of (good) governance in addressing climate change impacts at the community level.
1125@Carleton is an experimental, collaborative virtual and physical space for problem-solving. It provides a space—both virtual and physical—that brings private and public users together, giving them the capacity to rethink and reframe problems, and co-create, prototype and implement solutions.
Canadian Council on Social Development (CCSD) is a not-for-profit organization that partners and collaborates with all sectors and communities to provide an evidence-based “safe space” that facilitates open and honest dialogue. This safe space leads to innovative and active problem solving to address a wide variety of the issues and challenges we face in our society today.
President and CEO
Sustainability Solutions Group (SSG) is a pioneering, federally-incorporated workers cooperative created specifically to develop solutions to societal issues using a holistic sustainability lens. SSG is at the forefront of sustainability in Canada working with leading projects in all sectors.
whatIf? Technologies specialize in the design and implementation of system models used for scenario analysis, strategic planning, policy analysis, decision support, and education. whatIf? Technologies unique system models offer the capability to test the likely impacts of alternative policies, actions and conditions (ahead of time, in a virtual environment) to ultimately make informed plans and decisions.