Jeff Birchall, PhD, RPP, MCIP

Associate Professor + Associate Director (SURP), Faculty of Science - Earth & Atmospheric Sciences Admin

Contact

Associate Professor + Associate Director (SURP), Faculty of Science - Earth & Atmospheric Sciences Admin
Phone
(780) 248-5758
Address
3-115 Tory (H.M.) Building
11211 Saskatchewan Drive NW
EdmontonAB
T6G 2H4

Overview

Area of Study / Keywords

Local climate impacts climate adaptation resilience planning local governance


About

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/


Research

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. 

Courses

PLAN 399 - Research Methods in Planning

Collection and analysis of data for social research in urban and regional planning. Research design and sampling procedures. Both qualitative and quantitative methods are explored. Fieldwork required. Prerequisites: PLAN 210 or HGP 210. Not available for students with credit in HGP 399.. Restricted to Planning Major and Planning Specialization students.

Fall Term 2022

PLAN 598 - Advanced Research Methods and Analysis

Collection and analysis of data for social research in planning in northern and resource communities. Research design and sampling procedures. Both qualitative and quantitative methods are explored. Fieldwork may be required. Sections offered at an increased rate of fee assessment; refer to the Tuition and Fees page in the University Regulations sections of the Calendar.

Fall Term 2022

Browse more courses taught by Jeff Birchall

Scholarly Activities

Research - Coastal Community Climate Change Resilience - Arctic Coast

Started: 201805

Case studies include communities in Yukon (Haines Junction, Whitehorse, Dawson City), Alaska (Nome, Homer)


Research - Coastal Community Climate Change Resilience - Atlantic Coast

Started: 201705

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

Started: 201606

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

New international network on climate change led by UAlberta scientist

Publications

Arctic and northern community governance: The need for local planning and design as resilience strategy

Author(s): Kristof van Assche, S. Jeff Birchall, Monica Gruezmacher
Publication Date: 2/21/2022
Publication: Land Use Policy
External Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2022.106062

The influence of regional strategic policy on municipal climate adaptation planning

Author(s): Bonnett, N., Birchall, SJ.
Publication Date: 2/15/2022
Publication: Regional Studies

An assessment of systems, agents, and institutions in building community resilience to climate change: A case study of Charlottetown, Canada

Author(s): Birchall, SJ., MacDonald, S., Baran, N.
Publication Date: 1/3/2022
Publication: Urban Climate
External Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.uclim.2021.101062

Social vulnerability and climate change adaptation: The critical importance of moving beyond technocratic policy approaches

Author(s): Kehler, S. Birchall, SJ.
Publication Date: 8/1/2021
Publication: Environmental Science & Policy
External Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2021.07.025

Climate change adaptation in coastal small towns

Author(s): 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.
Publication Date: 6/28/2021
Publication: Ocean and Coastal Management
External Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2021.105787

Wildfire risk and response in Jasper National Park, Alberta: Application of an adaptation readiness framework

Author(s): Halabut, R., Birchall, SJ.
Publication Date: 4/25/2021
Publication: Canadian Geographer

Anticipatory Planning: Finding balance in climate change adaptation governance

Author(s): Birchall, SJ., MacDonald, S., Slater, T.
Publication Date: 4/25/2021
Publication: Urban Climate
External Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.uclim.2021.100859

Climate change adaptation policy and planning: The role of agents, institutions and systems

Author(s): Birchall, SJ, Bonnett, N
Publication Date: 1/11/2021
Publication: Cities
Volume: 108
External Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cities.2020.103001

The built environment in a winter climate: Improving university campus design for student wellbeing

Author(s): McDonald-Yale, E., Birchall, SJ
Publication Date: 2021
Publication: Landscape Research
External Link: https://doi.org/10.1080/01426397.2021.1881768

Coastal communities in the Circumpolar North and the need for sustainable climate adaptation approaches

Author(s): Bonnett, N., Birchall, SJ.
Publication Date: 8/15/2020
Publication: Marine Policy
External Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2020.104175

Resilience, reinvention and transition during and after quarantine

Author(s): van Asshe, K., Duineveld, M., Birchall, SJ., Deacon, L., Beunen, R., Gruezmacher, M., Boezeman, D.
Publication Date: 7/16/2020
Publication: Space and Culture
External Link: https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1206331220938628

Coastal climate adaptation planning and evolutionary governance: Insights from Homer, Alaska

Author(s): Birchall
Publication Date: 2/1/2020
Publication: Marine Policy
Volume: 112
Issue: Land and Sea Interaction Special Issue
External Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2018.12.029

Climate change resilience in the Canadian Arctic: The need for collaboration in the face of a changing landscape

Author(s): MacDonald, S., Birchall, SJ.
Publication Date: 12/17/2019
Publication: Canadian Geographer
External Link: https://doi.org/10.1111/cag.12591

Thinning sea ice and thawing permafrost: Climate change adaptation planning in Nome, Alaska

Author(s): Birchall, SJ., Bonnett, N.
Publication Date: 7/2/2019
Publication: Environmental Hazards
Volume: 19
Issue: 2
Page Numbers: 157-170
External Link: https://doi.org/10.1080/17477891.2019.1637331

Local-scale climate change stressors and policy response: The case of Homer, Alaska

Author(s): Birchall, SJ, Bonnett, N.
Publication Date: 10/15/2018
Publication: Environmental Planning and Management
Volume: 62
Issue: 13
Page Numbers: 2238-2254
External Link: https://doi.org/10.1080/09640568.2018.1537975

Designing open space for seismic resilience

Author(s): French, EL, Birchall, SJ, Landman, K, Brown, R.
Publication Date: 3/1/2018
Publication: Disaster Risk Reduction
External Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2018.11.001

An Investigation into the early stages of New Zealand’s Voluntary Carbon Market

Author(s): Birchall, SJ, Murphy, M, Milne, M.
Publication Date: 1/4/2018
Publication: Carbon Management
External Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17583004.2017.1418596