About Us

Community Research Connections is dedicated to building civic literacy and useful knowledge for integrated decision-making around critical social issues, particularly Canadian community development, that is more sustainable. We believe the urgency has never been greater for Canadian society to act now on modern day challenges of climate change adaptation and mitigation and biodiversity conservation. We are deeply committed to making a difference with our research, working in collaboration wherever possible with a diversity of Canadians across the country. We are also faithful to timely research dissemination, sharing our work on the ground, and to creating novel e-communities of commitment, passion, and innovation around sustainable community development.

This page includes information on:

Who We Are A trans-disciplinary team of researchers, practitioners, and artists dedicated to the production of useful knowledge and tools for Canadian communities to transition to more sustainable development paths.

The team’s leader is Ann Dale, Trudeau Fellow Alumna (2004), Canada Research Chair (2004-2014), School of the Environment and Sustainability, Royal Roads University.  Professor Dale, with her extensive background in public policy and government, brings a wealth of practical and theoretical knowledge to the team. Believing that both place-based and virtual communities are essential for solving modern-day problems, she is deeply committed to expanding the public space for critical dialogue and asking the ‘right, hard’ questions. She currently leads and collaborates on several research projects.

Changing the ConversationMeeting the Climate Change Challenge (MC3)Places + Spaces, National Municipal Adaptation Project, Research CurationThe Solutions AgendaCommunity VitalityAgencySocial CapitalSustainable Infrastructure and Sustainable Community Development.

Professor Dale chairs the Canadian Consortium for Sustainable Development Research and is a member of the National Advisory Committee on Energy Efficiency and the World Fisheries Trust. She is a Status Professor of Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. She is also a Fellow of the World Academy of Social Sciences and was the founding research associate in residence for the Council of Canadian Academies, 2010-2011. She is the former Executive in Residence with 1125@Carleton. Professor Dale is a well-known Canadian author of a number of books, including her most recent two collaborations, Urban Sustainability, and Community Vitality: From Adaptation to Transformation. Her book, At the edge, received the 2001 Policy Research Initiative’s Outstanding Research Contribution, for more see the publications section.

Professor Dale has received a number of awards for her scholarship. 

  • She held Royal Roads University's first Canada Research Chair from 2004 to 2014
  • Women's Executive Network (WXN) 2016 Canada's Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner
  • 2014 CUFA Distinguished Academic Career Achievement Award
  • 2013 Canada Council of the Arts Molson Prize for the Social Sciences
  • 2009 Bissett Alumni Award for Distinctive Contributions to the Public Sector
  • Trudeau Fellow, May 2004 to April 2007, Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation
  • Fellow, World Academy of Art and Science, 2003 to present
  • Profiled as one of the top 25 minds in British Columbia, BC Business Magazine, June 2002
  • Nominated for YWCA Women of Distinction Awards, 2001 and 2002
  • Policy Research Initiative Award for Outstanding Research Contribution to Public Policy, 2001
  • Dean’s Honour List, McGill University, 1999

To view her blog, visit:

Other projects of interest include:

Research Team

Rob Newell is a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Environment and Sustainability at Royal Roads University. He is leading the Spaces, Places and Possibilities research project, which explores the use of systems modelling and visualization techniques to capture and convey potential outcomes of social and physical infrastructure decisions to local government and stakeholders. Rob is also involved in community climate action research (MC3), leading projects on decomposition analysis and climate action co-benefits. His previous work has involved exploring different ways of engaging diverse groups in sustainability research and ideas, such as through data visualizations, social media, and animations. Rob has a PhD in Geography, and his doctoral research involved using video game development software to build a realistic interactive visualization of Sidney Spit Park (Sidney Island, BC) as a tool for participatory planning.

Dr. Francois JostDr. François Jost (PhD in field of sustainable development and forest research, Dresden University of Technology) is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the School for Environment and Sustainability at Royal Roads University (RRU). He has conducted transdisciplinary analyses using participatory action research with rural communities to identify sustainable adaptation and mitigation strategies available to them. In his past research, François has developed vulnerability indices and an optimization model that maximizes the efficiency of resource allocation to identify opportunities to enhance sustainably the livelihood assets of rural communities. As a certified E-lecturer, François has developed an E-learning course on landscape rehabilitation and introduced multimedia techniques and e-learning tools in a master program of the faculty of environmental sciences (TU Dresden).


Rebecca YoonRebecca Foon is an urban planner dedicated to integrating a holistic understanding of sustainability in growing healthy communities and the co-founder of Pathways to Paris. She is an accomplished organizer and facilitator, sustainability management systems creator, sustainability assessment leader, and green building consultant. She has extensively researched water-related environmental issues in North America and India in partnership with the Indian Institute of Management. More recently, she worked as a sustainability/creative consultant for Planet Green's urban environment television series Wa$ted (Discovery Channel) and is the LEED coordinator for Prominent Development's new residential development project targeting LEED gold in Montreal.


Yuill HerbertYuill Herbert is a founding director with Sustainability Solutions Group (SSG). Yuill has worked on sustainability consulting projects in the spheres of community planning, sustainability assessments, and green buildings. Major projects include the development of an open source model to evaluate the climate change impacts of municipal plans, the development of a carbon neutral course for Cascadia Green Building Council and a sustainability assessment for Concordia University. Yuill also helped introduce the LEED for Homes rating system in Canada. He has advised municipal, provincial and federal governments on policies related to sustainability and is active in sustainable development.


Chris Strashok holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Calgary and a master’s degree in Environment and Management from Royal Roads University. He is a CRC research associate and an associate Royal Roads University faculty member, teaching the Systems Methods for Environmental Management in the Masters for Environment and Management program. He has a background in computer modeling and simulation, sustainable community development, chemical engineering, and systems theory. He has put his modeling experience to practice when working with whatIf? Technologies developing computer-based simulation models for long-term strategic planning and scenario analysis.

Research Partners

1125@Carleton is an experimental, collaborative virtual and physical space for problem-solving. It provides a space—both virtual and physical—that brings private and public users together, giving them the capacity to rethink and reframe problems, and co-create, prototype and implement solutions.

Mary Herbert-Copley

Executive Director


Canadian Council on Social Development (CCSD) is a not-for-profit organization that partners and collaborates with all sectors and communities to provide an evidence-based “safe space” that facilitates open and honest dialogue. This safe space leads to innovative and active problem solving to address a wide variety of the issues and challenges we face in our society today.

Peggy Taillon

President and CEO


Sustainability Solutions Group (SSG) is a pioneering, federally-incorporated workers cooperative created specifically to develop solutions to societal issues using a holistic sustainability lens. SSG is at the forefront of sustainability in Canada working with leading projects in all sectors.

Yuill Hebert

Director, Halifax


Rebecca Foon

Director, Montreal


whatIf? Technologies specialize in the design and implementation of system models used for scenario analysis, strategic planning, policy analysis, decision support, and education. whatIf? Technologies unique system models offer the capability to test the likely impacts of alternative policies, actions and conditions (ahead of time, in a virtual environment) to ultimately make informed plans and decisions.

Michael Hoffman



Contact Us

Ann Dale and Robert Newell

General inquiries can be sent to crcresearch@royalroads.ca

Royal Roads University

2005 Sooke Road, Victoria, BC, V9B 5Y2

Tel: 250. 391-2600, x 4117, Fax: 250. 391-2587