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Geography

Department of Geography

Dr. Dan Johnson is a Professor in Environmental Sciences. His research promotes responsible management of grassland ecosystems. By seeking to understand the components of the ecosystems within the contexts of landscape, management and weather, Johnson is trying to utilize the grassland without compromising valuable biodiversity, economic returns and ecosystem health. Through understanding grassland organisms and processes, he hopes to help to ensure sustainable land use and water quality on the Prairies. Johnson researches the ecology, ecotoxicology, biodiversity and sustainability of insects, plants and wildlife of grassland ecosystems and agro-ecosystems. His research impacts Albertans as it is extremely relevant to our geographic area and it is being highly regarded internationally.

Current research topics in this lab:
- alternatives to pesticides, to protect soil and water, and provide alternatives for agriculture
- ecologically sustainable agriculture
- development of healthy ecosystems in coalmine pit lakes, and other water bodies
- aquatic insects and factors that affect them
- wastewater and environmentally sustainable applications
- sustainable grasslands (dry mixed grass, fescue, & montane environments)
- climate and future conditions in Alberta ecosystems
- threatened and invasive species
- statistical methods and ecological modeling

Dr. Stefan Kienzle is an expert in hydrology and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). GIS involves the capturing, storing and analyzing of data related positions on the earth's surface.

Kienzle has run many watershed studies, including watersheds in South Africa and Alberta's Oldman, Bow, Battle, Athabasca and Peace Rivers. He is currently setting up a physical-deterministic watershed model for the Beaver Creek in the Porcupine Hills to investigate effects of climate change and land use changes.

Kienzle has been involved in dozens of GIS development projects for companies in Western Canada, China, Europe and Africa. He has traveled and worked extensively in Canada, Egypt, Germany, Lesotho, Mozambique, Peru, South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and the United States.

He has lead the development of the Rural Infrastructure Digital Elevation Model (RIDEM), a GIS tool that maps manmade terrain features, such as roads, ditches and irrigation canals. RIDEM significantly improves watershed mapping in flat areas with rural infrastructure. The technology will be used to simulate water models and the prediction of soil moisture, erosion, sedimentation rates and soil salinization.

Kienzle is a member of a number of scientific organizations, including the American Geophysical Union and the International Association of Hydrological Sciences.

Dr. Ian MacLachlan is a Professor in Geography. He researches the historical and modern developments of the meat packing industry in Canada and beyond. He studies the economic and historical geography of public abattoirs in Canada and Europe, including the slaughterhouse reform movement in nineteenth century Britain and the development of humane slaughter practices. In nineteenth century London, slaughterhouses were often crudely equipped, cavernous rooms below butcher shops. They offered little room for storage of by-products or the humane treatment of animals. The Industrial Revolution brought sweeping reform to the English abattoirs. As in England, industrialization in Canada swallowed up these small butcher firms by companies seeking international markets for meat export.

MacLachlan is particularly interested in the restructuring of Canada's beef and cattle industry. His wider research interests include industrial restructuring with particular emphasis on employment and labour, the measures of income distribution and shift and share models of regional employment growth.