image of D ConnellProfessor
University of Northern British Columbia
Room 10-3060 (Teaching and Learning Building)

UNBC Award of Excellence in Research (2017)
UNBC Award of Excellence in Teaching (2014)

Research interests
Topics of particular interest include agricultural planning and farmland protection, local food systems, and the quest for community. These areas are closely related. I see producing and consuming one’s own food as a foundation for community – and the first step toward creating a more sustainable society. I also study the conservation of the Ancient Cedars of BC’s inland rainforest in the Robson Valley.

Since 2012, my primary research focus has been agricultural land use planning to protect farmland.  This is a national research program at all levels of government (local, regional, metropolitan, provincial, federal).  My unique contribution to this field centres on policy analysis:  measuring the strength of policy focus in legislative frameworks.  A legislative framework for agricultural land use planning includes laws, regulations, statutory plans, implementing bylaws, enforceable policies, and aspirational policies and strategies.

Other recent research projects include estimating the socio-economic benefits of farmers markets; strengthening farmers markets through strategic business planning; developing a regional food hub in central interior BC; evaluation of agricultural area plans in BC; socio-economic benefits of non-timber uses of the inland rainforest of the upper Fraser River valley.