This page will list projects for which I can supervise a graduate student.  There may be scope for honors projects that would build on some of these topics.

I will endeavor to keep this list of opportunities up to date.  However, I do not guarantee that an opportunity listed remains active.  Contact me to be sure that it does remain active, and if it is, then we can have a conversation to assure that you are a suitable candidate.

Currently Seeking Applicants

  • Costs and Benefits of Irrigation Investments for Climate Change Adaptation in the Okanagan: A Participatory Approach. (Postdoc)
    British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley receives between 250 and 350 millimeters of precipitation per year.  Without irrigation, it would not be possible to grow many of the high value horticultural crops for which the valley is well known.  Climate change promises to increase the extent over which these crops can be grown, and create opportunities for new crops.  However, that same climate change promises to increase crop water needs.
    Agricultural producers in the Okanagan are making investments in anticipation of the changing climate.  This ad hoc adaptation threatens to lock in patterns of water use that are inconsistent with maximizing the overall value that could be realized.  We seek a postdoctoral fellow to undertake a cost benefit analysis of a small number of feasible water infrastructure investments, relative to the likely evolution of water rights acquisitions without such coordination.
    Decisions about water are contentious almost everywhere, and the Okanagan is no exception.  Engaging affected and affecting communities of interest with the development of the cost benefit analysis – a participatory cost benefit analysis – will be essential.  From the initial identification of the projects through to validating the cost and benefit values and the components of the sensitivity analysis, regular interaction with local communities of interest will be central to the success of this project.
    The approved MITACS research proposal that will support this position is here.
    For further details and application information see link above.

September 2024 Intake (Applications due 2024-01-15)

  • Valuing Ecosystem Services in Fire Affected Landscapes (MA/MSc).
    Fire is a natural part of many landscapes around the world, with the interior of the Canadian province of British Columbia being but one example. European settlers did not understand the role of fire, and for much of the past century have aggressively suppressed fire. The result is a forest landscape that in many places has high fuel loads and a potential for severe wildfire.
    A team of researchers at UBC Okanagan is developing forecasts of the ecosystem services provided by the landscape under different management regimes. We are seeking a master’s student who can use benefit transfer methods to determine a monetary representation of the changes in ecosystem service levels provided by the different management regimes. Ecosystem services and their valuation will require attention to the spatial distribution of those services, and of the users of those services.
    For further details and application information see link above.

  • The Economics of Climate Friendly Practices in British Columbia Agriculture (MA/MSc).
    Agriculture is both a major contributor to climate change and one of the sectors most impacted by climate change.  There is tremendous scope for agricultural producers both to reduce the contributions their farms make to climate change, and to increase the resilience of their farms to the impacts of climate change.
    This project is part of the British Columbia Living Lab, one of a number of living labs established as part of the Agricultural Climate Solutions initiative.  For a selection of commodity groups, the successful applicant will work with producers to identify the operational changes between conventional practices and a set of BMPs being investigated in the living lab.  Visiting farms and spending time consulting with producers to document their experience with the BMPs will be required.  The purpose of these visits is to collect quantitative data measuring the changes from the conventional practice that have direct financial consequences, such as addition inputs that need to be purchased, and indirect impacts, such as additional time required to learn about the BMP and to implement it.
    For further details and application information see link above.