Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

Despite the acknowledged complexity associated with sustainable development, it remains for society to assess, monitor and report information pertaining to changes in resource condition and the potential impacts on socio-economic values.  Often the challenge is to translate scientific results into information relevant to deliberative decision-making processes.  This research stream focuses on the challenge of meaningfully monitoring and assessing natural resource condition at a range of scales to support innovative impact mitigation and adaptation strategies.

Current Research Projects

Exploring interactions between research capacity and Environmental Impact Assessment in Yukon Territory, Canada

Samantha Darling (Ph.D. Candidate) with G.M. Hickey.

Funded by: Government of Yukon Territory, Canada

Environmental Impact Assessment as an Instrument for Protecting the Northern Quebec Wild Food System.

Tian Qi Che (MSc. Candidate) with G.M. Hickey.

Funded by: Ouranos and McGill Sustainability Systems Initiative (MSSI)


Completed Research Projects

Improving the effectiveness of Environmental Assessment for sustainable development

This research explored the grounded analysis of Environmental Assessment (EA) related policies, programmes and projects internationally. Specific projects have included: a constant comparison of EA regulations across Canada; proposing a new hierarchical approach to environmental decision making for EA (Morin, MSc); a critical review of Cumulative Effects policy in Alberta’s oil sands (Farias Zarate, MSc); an evaluation of the effectiveness of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) in South America (Kis Madrid, MSc); proposing a framework for evaluating the effects of brick kilns in Mexico using SEA (Aguirre Zamarripa, MSc); determining the policy implications of cumulative effects associated with wind power development in Nova Scotia (Tutty, MSc); a constant comparison of EIA requirements in East Africa and international aid agencies (Jadhav, MSc); a discussion of the potential for implementing Cumulative Effects Assessment in Canada (Stoimenova, MSc); and exploring ways in which to integrate EA practices into community planning processes (Poirier, MSc).

Assessing the Vulnerability of Victoria's Central Highlands Ecosystems to Climate Change.

C.R. Nitschke, S.K. Arndt, R.J. Keenan and G.M. Hickey.

Funded by: Department of Sustainability and Environment, Victoria, Australia (2007-08).

Sustainable Food Security and Environmental Management Through Integrated Assessment of Rural Development Initiatives. M.A. Curtis, G.M. Hickey, J. Fyles, B. Pelletier.

Funded by: Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) (2008).