About the CRC Team

Greg Halseth

Greg Halseth is the Canada Research Chair in Rural and Small Town Studies at the University of Northern British Columbia, where he is also a Professor in the Geography Program and the Co-Director of UNBC’s Community Development Institute.  His research examines regional development processes, rural and small town community development, and community strategies for coping with social and economic change, all with a focus upon northern B.C.’s resource-based towns.

Through the CRC research program, Greg has examined many community and economic development topics, including new regionalism and place-based development, social and economic change in rapidly growing towns, the restructuring of rural labour landscapes, aging resource communities, rural poverty, and innovative and voluntary sector organizations.

Currently, Greg is part of a Canada-wide research study on long-distance labour commuting, which examines the impact on individuals, families, and community organizations of having a family member working for long periods outside the community.

He has served on the governing council of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and as a member of several federal and provincial government advisory committees on various rural issues.

Greg’s most recent books include: "Service Provision and Rural Sustainability: Infrastructure and Innovation" (with contributions from Canada, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and Northern Ireland); "Towards a Political Economy of Resource-dependent Regions"; "Doing Community-Based Research"; "Transformation of Resource Towns and Peripheries - Political Economy Perspectives" (with contributions from Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and Finland); "The Integration Imperative" (on cumulative impacts); "Investing in Place: Economic Renewal in Northern British Columbia"; and "The Next Rural Economies" (with contributions from 12 OECD countries).

Laura Ryser

Laura is the Research Manager for Rural and Small Town Studies at UNBC.

She has been engaged in national research teams for the New Rural Economy Project and the On the Move Project, where the BC team examined the impacts of long distance labour commuting on workers, workplace practices, their families, and source and host communities. Laura has also completed complementary work to understand the socio-economic pressures and opportunities for rapidly growing communities through a 5-year tracking study in Kitimat during Rio Tinto’s modernization project; an international study examining best practices guiding industry, work camp, and community relationships for the BC Natural Gas Workforce Strategy Committee; and through a multi-year Resource Royalties Project conducted in the Peace River Region in BC and the Surat Basin in Australia.

She has also completed extensive work on infrastructure and capacity gaps that are affecting the resiliency of the rural non-profit sector. This culminated in a presentation to the Senate Special Committee on the Charitable Sector last fall that examined the impact of provincial and federal policies on rural non-profits. Laura also served on the board of directors for the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation where she was part of the editorial team for the first State of Rural Canada report released in 2015. 

Phone: 250-960-5320
E-mail: laura.ryser@unbc.ca

Sean Markey, Associate Dean

Simon Fraser University

Dr. Sean Markey is a Professor with the School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University. His research concerns issues of local and regional economic development, rural and small-town development, community sustainability, and natural infrastructure. Sean continues to work with municipalities, non-profit organizations, Indigenous communities and the business community to promote and develop sustainable forms of community and regional development. Sean is also an Adjunct Professor with the Department of Geography at the University of Northern British Columbia.

Phone: 778-782-4702
E-mail: spmarkey@sfu.ca
Website: http://www.sfu.ca/cscd/People/sean-markey.html

Don Manson, Former Adjunct Professor

Don Manson is a former adjunct professor in Geography and former coordinator of the Community Development Institute at UNBC.

He spent two decades as a researcher and educator focused on the communities and people of Northern British Columbia. More recently, Don worked for the BC Oil and Gas Commission in Terrace.