Research Team

Professor Ann Dale

Professor Ann Dale, Principal Investigator, held her university's first Canada Research Chair in Sustainable Community Development at Royal Roads University, School of Environment and Sustainability from 2004-2014. A former Trudeau Fellow Alumna (2004), she is a Fellow of the World Academy of Arts and Science, chairs the Canadian Consortium for Sustainable Development Research (CCSDR), a Board Member of the World Fisheries Trust. and the founder of the National Environmental Treasure (the NET). Current research interests include governance, social capital and agency, biodiversity conservation, place-based and virtual sustainable communities. She is a recipient of the 2001 Policy Research Initiative Award for Outstanding Contribution to Public Policy for her book, At the edge: sustainable development in the 21st century. Professor Dale is actively experimenting with research dissemination and social media, and has recently launched HEADTalks.


Dr. Mary Bernard

Mary Bernard, Collaborator, is a faculty member of in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at Royal Roads University. She was the first associate vice president of research from 2000 to 2017, and led the building of its research capacity since its establishment as a public university in 1995. Formerly, Mary Bernard was with the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University, Ontario, as well as the York Centre for applied sustainability, the Native/Canadian Relations Theme Area, and by Eric Trist. Mary Bernard holds a PhD in Sociology from York University, a Master in Environmental Studies (MES) also from York University, and a BA in English from the University of New Brunswick, Canada.



Dr. Jaigris HodsonJaigris Hodson, Co-Applicant, is an Assistant Professor and Program Head of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at Royal Roads Universi. Her research specializes in using computer-assisted discourse and content analysis of large multimodal online and digital texts. She has published research in a wide range of academic publications including the Canadian Journal of CommunicationCultural Studies, Critical Methodologies and Loading… Journal of the Canadian Game Studies Association. She has also published in non-academic publications such as TheEvolllution and spoke at TEDX Victoria 2012. Hodson recently spent a year in the role of director of digital insights and research with leading public relations firm, GCI Canada. Prior to GCI, Hodson worked at Ryerson University’s office of the vice president, research, studying innovative approaches to technology use in higher education. Hodson graduated from Royal Roads with a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Communication (2006). She also holds a Master of Arts in Communication and Culture from York University (2008) and a PhD in Communication and Culture York University (2013).


Dr. Hilary LeightonDr. Hilary Leighton, Collaborator, is an assistant professor and acting program head for the Master of Arts in Environmental Education and Communication program, and program head for the Graduate Certificate in Sustainable Community Development program. Formerly the director of individualized studies for the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies program, Leighton worked with students to co-create pathways to degree completion. Her current research focuses on eco-pedagogy—recovering wildness in teaching and place-responsive education; wild ethics; nature-based play as an essential medicine for human health and development; and tracing qualitative methods to ancient myths and etymological roots. Leighton is an educator and eco-psychotherapist. She is also a registered clinical counsellor in B.C., a member of the Canadian Network of Environmental Education and Communication and a founding director of the Child Nature Alliance. Leighton holds a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Victoria (2014) as well as a Master of Education in Curriculum and Education from Simon Fraser University (2004). She is a recipient of the University of Victoria Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowship Award (2013).


Jaime CliftonJaime Clifton, Research Curator, manages online research communications for CRC Research, Changing the Conversation, and MC3 2.0. She is passionate about digital storytelling and knowledge mobilization via blogs and social media. She was a volunteer curatorial assistant at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, was the founding Editor-in-Chief of the University of Toronto blog, Musings, and worked as a web intern at the Royal Ontario Museum. She co-curated Regarding Wealth, at the UVic Legacy Gallery, Marie Dressler: From Cobourg to Hollywood, at the Marie Dressler Museum, and is currently guest curating Edging Forward: Reconnection, Reconciliation, Regeneration, at the Robert Bateman Centre. She holds a Bachelor of Arts, specializing in Art History, from the University of Victoria and a Master of Museum Studies from the University of Toronto. She previously worked in social media and administration for the Myseum of Toronto and curated book displays for the Gerstein Science Information Centre.