Dr. Brad Stelfox established Forem Technologies and the ALCES Group in 1995 and is the architect and developer of the ALCES model. He is an adjunct professor at the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, and the Department of Environmental Design, University of Calgary. Brad’s research and teachings focus on the interface between human land uses and regional landscapes. The major development stream of Forem has been ALCES (A Landscape Cumulative Effects Simulator), a program gaining rapid acceptance by governments, industry, the scientific community, and NGO’s to explore issues between landscapes, land uses (agriculture, forestry, oil and gas, mining, human populations, tourism, and transportation sectors), and ecological and economic integrity. Brad has received the Alberta Emerald Foundation Award (2004) and the Alberta Science and Technology Award (2003) for his contributions with the ALCES model in advancing understanding of land use sustainability issues and in seeking solutions that balance economic, social, and ecological indicators.

Brad and his wife Sarah live in Calgary. When Brad is not working on the ALCES model or guest lecturing on land use issues, he is likely on horseback exploring the mountain trails of Alberta’s east slopes.



Is Alberta’s Pathway Sustainable?

Perhaps the best known global standard for sustainability are those articulated by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These performance indicators span a broad diversity of environmental, social and economic goals and provide a comparative goal post for various countries and administrative regions to track their progress (or regress).

Based on GDP/capita, Alberta is inarguably one of the most affluent populations on Earth. But does this economic prosperity translate to equally good performance across the UN’s SDGs. Using the SDGs as a framework, we explore Alberta’s spatial and temporal performance using ALCES Online and wonder out loud if our grandchildren will enjoy the natural capital that current and previous generations have experienced. Based on empirical trends for Alberta, it becomes increasingly clear that we must shift our current mindset from “me/here/now” to one that better reflects “us/regional/future” perspective. The window of opportunity continues to narrow.


Look for this presentation in the Thursday Morning program at 9:00 am. If you haven’t already, get your tickets to the 2019 Environmental Gathering!