Research Themes

Our research focuses on understanding the links between environmental modelling and policy, using interdisciplinary approaches from natural sciences, social sciences, and engineering. The overarching goals of our group's work are: to better understand the links between humans, technology, and the environment; to develop data, computational tools, and methods that support environmental decision-making around [air] pollution, climate, and energy (with and for policy-makers and affected communities); and to explore how diverse kinds of environmental knowledge can inform policymaking. 

Evaluating the impacts of technology and policy

How will changes in technology and policy impact the environment, and human well-being? How will these impacts be distributed, locally and globally? How certain can we be about these impacts, given other changes in human activity, or climate variability and change? We explore these questions through development of prospective scenarios, modelling, and uncertainty analysis. Our current work in this area focuses on long-range pollutants such as mercury and persistent organics, and energy transitions in India. 

Funding for this area of our research is from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada, and MEOPAR.

Developing digital tools for environmental justice

Our research in this area aims to better understand and respond to inequities 

in the production of, and exposure to, air pollutants through the development of data sets, data analysis, and modelling tools. What are the spatial and temporal patterns on injustice in exposure (in Canada)? What drives these patterns, and how might they change with policy? How can digital tools be used to better screen and map environmental justice issues, particularly when used by affected communities and policy makers?

Funding for this area of our research is from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada and the Cascadia Urban Analytics Cooperative. 

Exploring the role of environmental knowledge in policymaking 

We are curious about how the ways we represent the environment interact with the ways that we govern it, from local to global scales. Drawing from Science and Technology Studies, we conduct empirical case studies that explore: How is environmental knowledge produced and mobilized in policy-making contexts, and by whom? What makes knowledge about the environment authoritative in spaces like city councils or global environmental negotiations? 

Funding for this area of our research is from the UBC Hampton Fund.