Jeff Birchall, PhD, RPP, MCIP
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Science - Earth & Atmospheric Sciences Admin
- (780) 248-5758
3-115 Tory (H.M.) Building
11211 Saskatchewan Drive NWEdmonton ABT6G 2H4
Area of Study / Keywords
Local climate impacts climate adaptation resilience planning local governance
I am an Associate Professor in the School of Urban and Regional Planning, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. I have broad research and teaching experience in climate/ environmental change and planning, and specific expertise in local governance and sustainability. I have a range of academic and public sector experience, with an education that includes study in human geography (BA) and planning (BES), and advanced study in climate change (MES) and sustainability (PhD).
I am a registered professional planner through the Alberta Professional Planners Institute (RPP) and the Canadian Institute of Planners (MCIP).
I am the Director of the Climate Adaptation and Resilience Lab (CARL) and serve as Lead of the UArctic Thematic Network on Local-scale Planning, Climate Change and Resilience (https://www.uarctic.org/organization/thematic-networks/local-scale-planning-climate-change-and-resilience/)
My research program, while grounded in community planning, is interdisciplinary in scope, and explores the broad theme of environmental resilience at the local scale.
My work on environmental resilience primarily examines local scale governance, and decision dynamics around motivational factors and extent of local planning for climate change risk reduction. Specifically, I am interested in localized environmental impacts (eg. weak shore-fast ice, permafrost thaw, erosion, flooding, wildfire) and how they affect critical infrastructure (eg. seawalls, roads, utilities, assets) and the built form (eg. land use, zoning), how this relates to planning decisions, and what this means for community well-being and safety. Research is largely driven by key actor and local stakeholder engagement, and includes site assessments and the examination of strategic planning documents. Ultimately, the aim of my research is the (co-) production of policy relevant knowledge/ outcomes, and translating theory into practice in a useful, locally informed way.
Research - Coastal Community Climate Change Resilience - Arctic Coast
Case studies include communities in Yukon (Haines Junction, Whitehorse, Dawson City), Alaska (Nome, Homer)
Research - Coastal Community Climate Change Resilience - Atlantic Coast
Case studies include communities in New Brunswick (Fredericton), Nova Scotia (Cape Breton Regional Municipality, Halifax), PEI (Charlottetown)
Research - Coastal Community Climate Change Resilience - Pacific Coast
Case studies include communities in British Columbia (Cities: Victoria, Surrey, North Vancouver, Nanaimo; Regional Districts: Comox Valley, Nanaimo, Alberi-Clayoquot, Cowichan Valley)
Research - International Thematic Network Lead - Local-scale Planning, Climate Change and Resilience
Denial and discretion as a governance process: How actor perceptions of risk and responsibility hinder adaptation to climate change
Birchall, SJ, Kehler, S
Environmental Science and Policy. 2023 June; 10.1016/j.envsci.2023.05.017
Kehler, S., Birchall, SJ.
Environmental Science & Policy. 2023 May; 10.1016/j.envsci.2023.05.012
The influence of governance structure on local resilience: Enabling and constraining factors for climate change adaptation in practice
Birchall, SJ., Bonnett, N., Kehler, S.
Urban Climate. 2023 January; 10.1016/j.uclim.2022.101348
Growing resilient: The potential of urban agriculture for increasing food security and improving earthquake recovery
Slater, T., Birchall, SJ.
Cities. 2022 September; 10.1016/j.cities.2022.103930
Fostering resilience and adapting to climate change the Canadian North: Implications for infrastructure in the proposed Canadian Northern Corridor
S Jeff Birchall; Sarah Kehler, Nicole Bonnett
School of Public Policy Publications (University of Calgary). 2022 June; (Canadian Northern Corridor Special Series) 10.11575/sppp.v15i1.74463
Arctic and northern community governance: The need for local planning and design as resilience strategy
Kristof van Assche, S. Jeff Birchall, Monica Gruezmacher
Land Use Policy. 2022 February; 10.1016/j.landusepol.2022.106062
Bonnett, N., Birchall, SJ.
Regional Studies. 2022 February; 10.1080/00343404.2022.2049224
An assessment of systems, agents, and institutions in building community resilience to climate change: A case study of Charlottetown, Canada
Birchall, SJ., MacDonald, S., Baran, N.
Urban Climate. 2022 January; 10.1016/j.uclim.2021.101062
Social vulnerability and climate change adaptation: The critical importance of moving beyond technocratic policy approaches
Kehler, S. Birchall, SJ.
Environmental Science & Policy. 2021 August; 10.1016/j.envsci.2021.07.025
Challenges to climate change adaptation in coastal small towns: Examples from Ghana, Uruguay, Finland, Denmark, and Alaska
Fitton, J., Addo, K.A, Jayson-Quashigah, P-N., Nagy, G., Gutierrez, O., Panario, D., Carro, I., Seijo, L., Segura, C., Verocai, J.E., Luoma, S., Klien, J., Zhang, T-T, Birchall, SJ., Stempel, P.
Ocean and Coastal Management. 2021 June;
Wildfire risk and response in Jasper National Park, Alberta: Application of an adaptation readiness framework
Halabut, R., Birchall, SJ.
Canadian Geographer. 2021 April; 10.1111/cag.12702
Birchall, SJ., MacDonald, S., Slater, T.
Urban Climate. 2021 April;
Birchall, SJ, Bonnett, N
Cities. 2021 January; 108
McDonald-Yale, E., Birchall, SJ
Landscape Research. 2021 January;
Coastal communities in the Circumpolar North and the need for sustainable climate adaptation approaches
Bonnett, N., Birchall, SJ.
Marine Policy. 2020 August;
van Asshe, K., Duineveld, M., Birchall, SJ., Deacon, L., Beunen, R., Gruezmacher, M., Boezeman, D.
Space and Culture. 2020 July;
Marine Policy. 2020 February; 112 (Land and Sea Interaction Special Issue)
Climate change resilience in the Canadian Arctic: The need for collaboration in the face of a changing landscape
MacDonald, S., Birchall, SJ.
Canadian Geographer. 2019 December;
Birchall, SJ., Bonnett, N.
Environmental Hazards. 2019 July; 19 (2):157-170
Birchall, SJ, Bonnett, N.
Environmental Planning and Management. 2018 October; 62 (13):2238-2254
French, EL, Birchall, SJ, Landman, K, Brown, R.
Disaster Risk Reduction. 2018 March;
Birchall, SJ, Murphy, M, Milne, M.
Carbon Management. 2018 January;
Structural challenges that contributed to the decline of the Communities for Climate Protection program
Local Environment. 2017 January; 10.1080/13549839.2014.945404
Mixed methods research: A comprehensive approach for study into the New Zealand voluntary carbon market
Birchall, SJ, Murphy, M, Milne, M
Qualitative Report. 2016 July; 10.46743/2160-3715/2016.2398
Birchall, SJ, Murphy, M, Milne, M
Social and Environmental Accountability. 2015 July; 10.1080/0969160X.2015.1061444