I have been a professor in the School for Resource and Environmental Studies at Dalhousie University since 1998. Before that, I was a professor at the Faculty of Forestry at Lakehead University, 1988-1998. I teach and research a wide range of themes, most of which deal with forests and environmental assessment. I got involved in urban-forest issues when, following Hurricane Juan, Halifax put together its Point Pleasant Park Restoration Task Force in fall 2003. I then joined the team preparing the Point Pleasant Park Comprehensive Plan to help with the forest sections. With my students and research assistants, city staff and I prepared Halifax’s first Urban Forest Master Plan in 2012. I continue my collaboration with the city by providing ongoing monitoring and research in support of plan implementation. My investigations on urban forests, with my students, address diverse topics including citizens’ values, planning, conservation of urban old-growth, naturalization of urban forests, effects of sub-division development on urban-forest biodiversity, establishment of urban orchards, canopy development in urban greenspaces such as cemeteries and golf courses, and others.
At my home in downtown Halifax, I am slowly removing the Norway-maple canopy and replacing it with native species associated with Acadian old-growth forests. I share the home with my wife Maggie and, when not chasing academic pursuits, I enjoy home-brewing, choral-singing, cycle-touring, home-renovating, high-score-golfing, and tree-hugging.
With my daughter Kate Turner, I run a small consulting firm called Sylveritas Ltd. We undertake a range of environmental and resource policy- and management-oriented projects. Kate is a specialist in water policy. https://sylveritas.wordpress.com