Stelfox, Dr. Brad

2002 Winner: Al-Pac Integrated Landscaping Management

Dr. Brad Stelfox has developed an innovative way to evaluate how the environment will be affected by human land uses and natural activities. This simulation model is on its way to becoming the gold standard for cumulative effects assessment and, more importantly, for planning and managing natural resources. Specifically, Dr. Stelfox is concerned with how land uses – such as oil and gas exploration and forestry – interact with natural disturbances – such as forest fires – to reduce the amount of remaining viable forests.

Seeing a need for a tool capable of tracking multiple land uses, their interactive effects and ecological implications, he developed ALCES — A Landscape Cumulative Effects Simulator. Dr. Stelfox’s management tool identifies issues and ways to reduce the adverse cumulative effects of human activities on the environment. It interacts with geographical information system (GIS) platforms and then projects the composition of Alberta’s land base into the future — based on information provided by industrial sectors. ALCES lets the user explore the interactions between Alberta’s land use practices and appreciate the consequences in terms of landscape composition, timber and oil supply, water quality and quantity, and quality and quantity of wildlife habitat and populations.

Dr. Stelfox’s research has raised awareness of the need to more effectively manage cumulative effects in Alberta. He has shown considerable leadership in integrated landscape management issues. His home-grown Alberta technology has no equal in the international marketplace.