Chad Walker, Ph.D.

Research - Teaching - Impact

About me

My name is Dr. Chad Walker (he/him) and I'm an Assistant Professor in Climate Change and Planning at Dalhousie University. I hold a faculty position in the School of Planning and am cross-appointed with the School for Resource and Environmental Studies. 

Professionally, I would describe myself as an interdisciplinary environmental social scientist with teaching and research interests around justice, equity, and public support for low-carbon transitions. Recent published research includes studying the impact of environmental justice in shaping support for wind energy, critically investigating the meaning of community energy, and using diverse methodologies to better understand reconciliation, autonomy, and pathways for improved health via Indigenous-led renewable energy development. I've been fortunate to publish in a variety of high-impact journals spanning several disciplinary boundaries, including: Energy Policy, Environment and Planning A, Environmental Policy and Planning, Energy Research and Social Science, Environmental Studies and Sciences, Environmental Reviews, The Canadian Geographer, and Social Science and Medicine.

In terms of my academic background, I earned a PhD (Geography) from Western University (2017) and worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Queen’s University (2017-2019), the University of Exeter (2019-2021), the University of Saskatchewan (2021), and the University of Waterloo (2022). At Queen's I worked with Dr. Heather Castleden on the CIHR-funded Achieving Strength, Health and Autonomy, through Renewable Energy Development for the Future (A SHARED Future) program.  In Saskatchewan, I was part of the SSHRC-funded Community Appropriate Sustainable Energy Security (CASES) initiative with Dr. Greg Poelzer and Dr. Bram Noble. During my time in the United Kingdom, I worked with Dr. Patrick Devine-Wright studying user engagement and public participation through the development of Smart Local Energy Systems.  At Waterloo, I was awarded an AMTD Global Talent Fellowship to work with Dr. Ian Rowlands and study issues of justice and equity through the development of Smart Grid projects in Canada.

Through all of this work, I have used a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches, spurring a keen interest in the ways we think about and practice mixed methods.  

Recent publications

Threats to energy democratization: Examining the structure of decision-making processes and new spheres of procedural (in)justice in energy transitions

Chad Walker, Stacia Ryder, JP Roux, Patrick Devine-Wright, Zoe Chateau

Majia Nadesan, Martin Pasqualetti, Jennifer Keahey, chapter 34, 1st , Elsevier

Do the ends justify the means? Problematizing social acceptance and instrumentally-driven community engagement in proposed energy projects

Stacia Ryder, Chad Walker, Susana Batel, Hannah Devine-Wright, Patrick Devine-Wright

Socio-Ecological Practice Research (SEPR), Advancing scholarship and practice of stakeholder engagement in working landscapes, 2023

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Climate & Local Energy Action Network Lab

Climate Change and City Branding

2022-Present. Exploring local engagement, climate action and participatory place branding in cities within the UK and Canada


2018-2023. UK-based academic consortium aimed at understanding the challenges and opportunities within Smart Local Energy Systems. Supported through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

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Dr. Chad Walker

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School of Planning

Dalhousie University