Debra Davidson

Professor, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sci - Resource Economics & Environmental Sociology

Contact

Professor, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sci - Resource Economics & Environmental Sociology
Email
debra.davidson@ualberta.ca
Phone
(780) 492-4598
Address
543 General Services Building
9007 - 116 St NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2H1

Overview

Area of Study / Keywords

Environmental Sociology; Transition Studies; Institutional Analysis


About

Areas of Specialization: Climate change impacts, mitigation and adaptation, Environmental equity and justice, Transitions in energy and food systems, Natural resource politics and governance.



Research

Current Research Activities: Advancing Impact Assessment for Canada's Socio-Ecological Systems. Co-Lead Investigators Dr. Debra Davidson and Dr. Ian Stewart (Kings University). Social Sciences and Humanities Partnership Development Grant. Co-funder: Impact Assessment Agency of Canada. Funding: $652,000. 2020-2023. This interdisciplinary and collaborative research initiative includes participation of researchers and partner organizations across Canada. We are focusing on how we can address many of the most challenging issues facing impact assessment processes in Canada, including gender-based analysis, addressing Indigenous sovereignty, integrating multiple forms of knowledge, and emerging climate impacts.

Courses

R SOC 271 - The Politics of Food and Natural Resources

Students will gain a sociological understanding of contemporary Canadian politics in the food and natural resources sectors. Examination of the nature of political organizations and policymaking in Canada; the particular roles played by the state, the public, and certain sectors of civil society, including social movements, industry organizations, labour unions, scientific organizations, and rural and aboriginal peoples. Contemporary case studies may include climate change and energy dependence, genetic engineering in agribusiness, the organic food products movement, mining in the circumpolar north, forestry expansion in the boreal region and cod management in the Atlantic fisheries. Not to be taken if credit received for ENCS 271 or REN R 271.

Winter Term 2022
R SOC 555 - Advances in Environmental Sociology

In-depth examination of a select set of current theoretical and empirical areas in the sub-discipline of environmental sociology. Examines the relationships among various environmental and social problems and how such problems and undesirable conditions can be and are being addressed. Prerequisite: R SOC 450.

Winter Term 2022
R SOC 559 - States, Social Movements and the Environment

Covers classic and contemporary theories of states and social movements and their application to environmental and ecological issues. Topics include the Environmental State; relationships among state and societal forces; sub-national, national, and international environmental politics; political distinctions among environmental and ecological issues; and the potential for sustainability governance. Prerequisite: consent of Instructor.

Winter Term 2022

Browse more courses taught by Debra Davidson

Scholarly Activities

Research - Resilient Forests: The social dimensions of adopting genomics assisted tree improvement strategies for climate change adaptation in Alberta's forest sector.

20160901 - 20200930

Resilient Forests is a large interdisciplinary research project that entails studying the viability of genomics-assisted tree improvement strategies in the forest sector in Alberta. This project includes a social science component led by Dr. Davidson and Dr. Gwendolyn Blue (University of Calgary), that focuses on three research activities: 1. a combination of media analysis and focus groups among diverse publics will be pursued to allow for characterization of the political landscape into which genomics assisted tree breeding would be introduced, in order to identify key priority issues and potential controversies that may emerge; 2. evaluation of the institutional reflexivity of scientific expertise in the forest sciences to allow for cautionary management of new technologies, and effective science-policy communication; 3. assessment of lessons learned among forest practitioners who have adopted similar new technologies in the past.


Research - Social and organizational dimensions of climate change mitigation among Alberta’s grain and beef producers

20170102 - 20181231

There is tremendous potential for building sector-level mitigation capacity by identifying innovative management practices already taking place. Determining the efficacy of such practices, and the organizational factors that facilitate their emergence can inform strategic planning designed to enable sector-wide upscaling of innovative mitigation technologies, enabling more producers to take advantage of carbon credits, and enhance the environmental sustainability of operations. Achieving such goals requires transdisciplinary research in which the social dimensions of agriculture are given equal weight with biophysical and technological dimensions. Here, we focus on climate mitigation in the grain and beef production sectors while maintaining or enhancing economic vitality. Through the use of media analysis, surveys, and interviews, we draw attention to the influence of social and organizational factors on management and farm-level decision making, which is essential to inform strategic planning for efficient adoption of new mitigation technologies. 

Publications

What Shapes Public Engagement in Fracking Issues?
Author(s): Truong, Duyen, Parkins, John R. & Davidson, Debra J.
Publication Date: 2020
Publication: Society & Natural Resources
External Link: https://doi.org/10.1080/08941920.2020.1772927
Context matters: Fracking attitudes, knowledge and trust in three communities in Alberta, Canada.
Author(s): Truong, Duyen, Davidson, Debra J. & Parkins, John R.
Publication Date: 2020
Publication: The Extractive Industries and Society
Volume: 6
Issue: 4
Page Numbers: 1325-1332

Ignoring Indigenous peoples—climate change, oil development, and Indigenous rights clash in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Author(s): Zentner, Emilie, Kecinski, Maik, Letourneau, Angeline and Debra J. Davidson.
Publication Date: 2019
Publication: Climatic Change
Volume: 155
Issue: 4
Page Numbers: 533-544

Exnovating for a renewable energy transition.
Author(s): Davidson, Debra J.
Publication Date: 2019
Publication: Nature Energy
Volume: 4
Issue: April
Page Numbers: 254-256

Just don’t call it climate change: Climate-skeptic farmer adoption of climate mitigative practices
Author(s): Davidson, Debra J., Rollins, Curtis, Lefsrud, Lianne, Anders, Sven, Hamann, Andreas
Publication Date: 2019
Publication: Environmental Research Letters
Volume: 14
Issue: 3
Page Numbers: 034015

Emotion, reflexivity and social change in the era of extreme fossil fuels.
Author(s): Davidson, Debra J.
Publication Date: 2019
Publication: British Journal of Sociology
Volume: 70
Issue: 2
Page Numbers: 442-462

The Effort Factor: An adjustment to our understanding of social-ecological metabolism in the era of Peak Oil.
Author(s): Davidson, Debra J.
Publication Date: 2019
Publication: Social Problems
Volume: 66
Issue: 1
Page Numbers: 69–85

Missed opportunities: The absence of climate change in media coverage of forest fire events in Alberta.
Author(s): Davidson, Debra J., Anthony Fisher and Gwendolyn Blue.
Publication Date: 2019
Publication: Climatic Change
Volume: 153
Issue: 1
Page Numbers: 165-179

Rethinking adaptation: Emotions, evolution, and climate change.
Author(s): Davidson, Debra J.
Publication Date: 2018
Publication: Nature and Culture
Volume: 13
Issue: 3
Page Numbers: 378-402

Chipping away at democracy: Legislative slippage in Alberta’s energy development zone.
Author(s): Davidson, Debra J. Edwin Edou, and Barry Robinson
Publication Date: 2018
Publication: Energy Research and Social Science
Volume: 46
Page Numbers: 303-310

Overcoming the ‘Barriers’ Orthodoxy: A New Approach to Understanding Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Governance Challenges in the Canadian Forest Sector.
Author(s): Wellstead, Adam, Robbert Beisbroek, Paul Cairney, Debra Davidson, Johann Dupuis, Michael Howlett, Jeremy Rayner, and Richard Stedman
Publication Date: 2018
Publication: Canadian Journal of Forest Research
Volume: 48
Page Numbers: 1-5

Calling forth the change-makers: Reflexivity theory and climate change attitudes and behaviors.
Author(s): Davidson, Debra J. and Richard C. Stedman.
Publication Date: 2018
Publication: Acta Sociologica
Volume: 61
Issue: 1
Page Numbers: 79-94

Oxford Handbook of Energy and Society
Author(s): Davidson, Debra J. and Matthias Gross (Editors)
Publication Date: 2018
Publication: Oxford University Press

Environment and Society: Concepts and Challenges
Author(s): Bostrom, Magnus and Davidson, Debra J.
Publication Date: 2018
Publication: Palgrave-MacMillan

Evaluating the Effects of Living with Contamination from the Lens of Trauma: A case study of fracking development in Alberta, Canada.
Author(s): Davidson, Debra J.
Publication Date: 2017
Publication: Environmental Sociology
Volume: 4
Issue: 2
Page Numbers: 196-209

Is urban agriculture a game changer or window dressing? A critical analysis of its potential to disrupt conventional agri-food systems.
Author(s): Davidson, Debra J.
Publication Date: 2017
Publication: International Journal of the Sociology of Agriculture and Food
Volume: 23
Issue: 2
Page Numbers: 63-76

The Food, Energy and Water Nexus and Urban Complexity.
Author(s): Lankao, Patricia Romero, Timon McPhearson, and Debra J. Davidson
Publication Date: 2017
Publication: Nature Climate Change
Volume: 7
Issue: 4
Page Numbers: 233-235

Food safety risks, disruptive events and alternative beef production: a case study of agricultural transition in Alberta
Author(s): Davidson, Debra J., Kevin E. Jones and John Parkins
Publication Date: 2016
Publication: Agriculture, Food and Human Values
Volume: 33
Issue: 2
Page Numbers: 359-371

Gaps in agricultural climate adaptation research.
Author(s): Davidson, Debra J.
Publication Date: 2016
Publication: Nature Climate Change
Volume: 6
Page Numbers: 433-435

Adapting to Food Safety Crises: interpreting success and failure in the Canadian response to BSE
Author(s): Jones, Kevin, and Debra J. Davidson
Publication Date: 2014
Publication: Food Policy
Volume: 49
Page Numbers: 250-258

Footprints in the Oilsands: A Double Diversion with global repercussions
Author(s): Davidson, Debra J. and Michael Gismondi
Publication Date: 2014
Publication: Sociological Imagination
Volume: 50
Issue: 1
Page Numbers: 13-34

Marriage on the Rocks: Sociology’s Counsel of our Struggling Energy-Society Relationships
Author(s): Davidson, Debra J.
Publication Date: 2014
Publication: Chapter 10 in The Routledge International Handbook of Social and Environmental Change

The effort factor: Evaluating the increasing marginal impact of resource extraction over time.
Author(s): Davidson, Debra J. Jeffrey Andrews and Daniel Pauly
Publication Date: 2014
Publication: Global Environmental Change
Volume: 25
Page Numbers: 63-68

Cell-gazing into the future: What genes, Homo heidelbergensis, and punishment tell us about our adaptive capacity
Author(s): Andrews, Jeffrey and Debra J. Davidson
Publication Date: 2013
Publication: Sustainability
Volume: 5
Page Numbers: 560-569

Not all about consumption
Author(s): Davidson, Debra J. and Jeffrey Andrews
Publication Date: 2013
Publication: Science
Volume: 339
Issue: 15 March
Page Numbers: 1286-1287

The double diversion of national energy in a globalized era: Offshore oil, coal, and oil sands leases
Author(s): Shearer, Christine, Debra Davidson and Robert Gramling
Publication Date: 2013
Publication: Research in Social Problems and Public Policy, Special Edition: William Freudenburg, A Life in Social Research
Volume: 21
Page Numbers: 57-72

We still have a long way to go, and a short time to get there: A response to Fikret Berkes and Helen Ross
Author(s): Davidson, Debra J.
Publication Date: 2013
Publication: Society and Natural Resources
Volume: 26
Issue: 1
Page Numbers: 21-24

Analyzing Social Responses to Climate Change through the Lens of Reflexivity: An In-Depth Look at ‘Climate Change Meta-Reflexives
Author(s): Davidson, Debra J
Publication Date: 2012
Publication: British Journal of Sociology,
Volume: 63
Issue: 4
Page Numbers: 616-640

Introduction: Building on the legacy contributions of William R. Freudenburg in environmental studies and sociology
Author(s): Davidson, Debra J. and Riley E. Dunlap.
Publication Date: 2012
Publication: Journal for Environmental Studies and Sciences
Volume: 2
Issue: 1
Page Numbers: 1-6

The Double Diversion: Mapping Its Roots and Projecting Its Future in Environmental Studies
Author(s): Davidson, Debra J. and Don Grant
Publication Date: 2012
Publication: Journal for Environmental Studies and Sciences
Volume: 2
Issue: 1
Page Numbers: 69-77

Challenging Legitimacy at the Precipice of Energy Calamity
Author(s): Davidson, Debra J. and Michael Gismondi
Publication Date: 2011

Gender, political ideology, and climate change beliefs in an extractive industry community
Author(s): Davidson, Debra J. and Michael Haan
Publication Date: 2011
Publication: Population and Environment
Volume: 34
Issue: 2
Page Numbers: 217-234

Constructing the public sphere in compromised settings: Environmental governance in the Alberta forest sector
Author(s): Parkins, John and Debra J. Davidson
Publication Date: 2008
Publication: Canadian Review of Sociology
Volume: 45
Issue: 2
Page Numbers: 177-196

Scientific Uncertainty Argumentation Methods (SCAMs): Science and the politics of doubt
Author(s): Freudenburg, William R., Robert Gramling, and Debra J. Davidson
Publication Date: 2008
Publication: Sociological Inquiry
Volume: 78
Issue: 1
Page Numbers: 2-38

The environment and a globalizing sociology
Author(s): Haluza-Delay, Randolph and Debra J. Davidson
Publication Date: 2008
Publication: Canadian Journal of Sociology
Volume: 33
Issue: 3
Page Numbers: 631-656

Trapper Attitudes and Industrial Development on Registered Traplines in West-Central Alberta
Author(s): Webb, Shevenell M., Davidson, Debra J. and Boyce, Mark S
Publication Date: 2008
Publication: Human Dimensions of Wildlife,
Volume: 13
Issue: 2
Page Numbers: 115–126

Nuclear families and nuclear risks: The effects of gender, geography, and progeny on attitudes toward a nuclear waste facility
Author(s): Freudenburg, William R. and Debra J. Davidson
Publication Date: 2007
Publication: Rural Sociology,
Volume: 72
Issue: 2
Page Numbers: 215-243

Power and the politics of sustainability
Author(s): Gismondi, Michael, Debra Davidson, Satoshi Ikeda, Ineke Locke, and Jeji Varghese
Publication Date: 2007
Publication: Power and Resistance: Critical Thinking about Canadian Social Issues
Volume: 4th Ed
Page Numbers: 357-379

Private property wrongs: Uncovering the contradictory articulations of an hegemonic ideology
Author(s): Davidson, Debra J
Publication Date: 2007
Publication: Sociological Inquiry,
Volume: 77
Issue: 1
Page Numbers: 104-125

State-capital relations in voluntary environmental improvement
Author(s): MacKendrick, Norah and Debra J. Davidson
Publication Date: 2007
Publication: Current Sociology,
Volume: 55
Issue: 5
Page Numbers: 674-695

The Prairies
Author(s): Davidson, Debra. 2007. Section 4.4 in Sauchyn, D., and Kulshreshtha, S
Publication Date: 2007
Publication: From Impacts to Adaptation: Canada in a Changing Climate 2007

Assessing approaches to climate change-related policy formation in British Columbia: The case of the mountain pine beetle epidemic
Author(s): Wellstead, A.M., D.J. Davidson, and R.C. Stedman
Publication Date: 2006
Publication: Journal of Ecosystems and Management
Volume: 7
Issue: 3
Page Numbers: 1-9

Chapter 3, "Assessing Responses."
Author(s): Fisher, Dana R., R. David Simpson, Bhaskar Vira, W. Bradnee Chambers, Debra J. Davidson
Publication Date: 2005

Consuming Sustainability: Critical Social Analyses of Ecological Change
Author(s): Davidson, Debra J. and Kierstin Hatt, Editors
Publication Date: 2005

All Dressed up with Nowhere to Go: The Discourse of Ecological Modernization in Alberta
Author(s): Davidson, Debra J. and Norah MacKendrick
Publication Date: 2004
Publication: Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology
Volume: 41
Issue: 1
Page Numbers: 47-65

Building Environmental States: Legitimacy and Rationalization in Sustainability Governance
Author(s): Frickel, Scott, and Debra J. Davidson
Publication Date: 2004
Publication: International Sociology
Volume: 19
Issue: 1
Page Numbers: 89-110

Risk and Climate Change: Perceptions of Key Policy Actors in Canada
Author(s): Stedman, Richard C., Debra J. Davidson, and Adam M. Wellstead
Publication Date: 2004
Publication: Risk Analysis
Volume: 24
Issue: 5
Page Numbers: 1393-1404

Understanding Environmental Governance: A Critical Review
Author(s): Davidson, Debra J. and Scott Frickel
Publication Date: 2004
Publication: Organization and Environment
Volume: 17
Issue: 4
Page Numbers: 471-492

Power and the Politics of Sustainability
Author(s): Davidson, Debra J., Michael Gismondi, Satoshi Ikeda, Michelle Lee, Ineke Lock, Jeji Varghese, Angela Wilson
Publication Date: 2003
Publication: Power and Resistance: Critical Thinking about Canadian Social Issues
Volume: 3rd Ed
Page Numbers: 337-356

Risk in the Redwoods: Contending for Normalcy in Timber Country
Author(s): Davidson, Debra J
Publication Date: 2003
Publication: Journal of Risk Research,
Volume: 6
Issue: 3
Page Numbers: 253-266

Understanding Climate Change Risk and Vulnerability in Northern Forest-based Communities
Author(s): Davidson, Debra J., Tim Williamson and John Parkins
Publication Date: 2003
Publication: Canadian Journal of Forest Research
Volume: 33
Issue: 11
Page Numbers: 2252-2261

NAFTA in the New Millenium: Environmental Challenges to International Trade
Author(s): Debra J. Davidson and Ross E. Mitchell
Publication Date: 2002
Publication: NAFTA in the New Millennium

Federal Policy in Local Context: State-Societal Relations and the Endangered Species Act
Author(s): Davidson, Debra J
Publication Date: 2001
Publication: Policy Studies Review
Volume: 17
Issue: 3
Page Numbers: 212-240

Gender and Environmental Risk Concerns: A Review and Analysis of Available Research
Author(s): Davidson, Debra J. and William R. Freudenburg
Publication Date: 1996
Publication: Environment and Behavior
Volume: 28
Issue: 3
Page Numbers: 302-339

Calling forth the change-makers: Reflexivity theory and climate change attitudes and behaviors
Author(s): Debra J. Davidson, Richard C. Stedman
Publication: Acta Sociologica
Volume: 61
Issue: 1
Page Numbers: 79-94
External Link: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0001699317693065
Evaluating the Effects of Living with Contamination from the Lens of Trauma: A case study of fracking development in Alberta, Canada
Author(s): Debra J. Davidson
Publication: Environmental Sociology
Volume: 4
Issue: 2
Page Numbers: 196-209
External Link: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/23251042.2017.1349638
Is urban agriculture and game changer or window dressing? A critical analysis of its potential to disrupt conventional agri-food systems.
Author(s): Debra J. Davidson
Publication: International Journal of the Sociology of Agriculture and Food
Volume: 23
Issue: 2
Page Numbers: 63-76

The Food, Energy and Water Nexus and Urban Complexity
Author(s): Lankao, Patricia Romero, Timon McPhearson, and Debra J. Davidson
Publication: Nature Climate Change
Volume: 7
Issue: 4
Page Numbers: 233-235
External Link: https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate3260