MPlan Students

Vicki Ascah
Research topic: HRM's Snow Clearing Policies and Transportation Equity
Supervisor: Eric Rapaport
Bio: I come to the School of Planning with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and English from the University of Alberta. During my first degree, I studied post-conflict development in Kosovo. This study abroad program led me to planning as I became interested in how I could take action to shape my own community. My interests in planning include active transportation, sustainable planning, and winter city design.  
Areej Ashraf      
Research topic: Analyzing Canadian Rideshare Policies and Public Discourse
Supervisor: Ahsan Habib  
Bio: I graduated from the University of Toronto in spring 2016 with a Bachelor of Environmental Management and Human Geography. I previously worked for the City of Mississauga as an active transportation intern and until recently, at Halifax Regional Municipality as a transportation student analyst. I came to Dalhousie to be near the ocean and explore the Maritimes. My main interests in planning are transportation, community development and streetscapes.  
Jiajing Chen    
Research topic: A Lighting Assessment of Commercial and Residential Streets at Nighttime Supervisor: Eric Rapaport  
Bio: To learn and experience new cultures, I came to Dalhousie to further my education. I have a background in Landscape Architecture, like cities and enjoy the process of design. I want to help with making cities better for all to live in, have fun, and enjoy the happiness of life. With the aim of engaging the public of what's going on and promoting the public's attention to the importance of planning issues, I chose planning as a profession. I worked as the Neighbourhood Planner Intern at the North End Business Association in Halifax this summer, where I learned not only professional skills, but also gained friendships and life experience.  
Kate Clark    
Research topic: Frederic H. Sexton and Early Town Planning in Halifax Supervisor: Patricia Manuel  
Bio: I graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Arts in fine art, philosophy, and environmental anthropology. I chose to study at Dalhousie's School of Planning to further explore the relationship between human civilization and the natural environment. The MPlan program, as well as my summer work-term with the City of Hamilton, has led me to pursue community planning and urban design interests.  
Matt Conlin    
Bio: I come to the School of Planning with a background in Environmental Science. I first became interested in planning through public engagement sessions and research surrounding developments in the HRM. My main interests within the field of planning are focused in coastal and environmental planning, as well as urban design.  
Dawn Cordeiro    
Research topic: Designing a Framework for Measuring Tactical Urbanism
Supervisor: Eric Rapaport  

Bio: I have a BA from the University of Guelph in International Development. Upon completion of her degree, I worked in international health programming at Plan International Canada, providing my team with assistance on projects in West Africa. My main interests in planning include the relationship between urban design and public health and community planning. I chose to pursue planning because of its relevance to community development. I want to bridge my experience in international development with more technical skills in planning and design.

Craig Dedels  



Research topic: Rental Sector Energy Efficiency in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia Supervisor: Patricia Manuel  
Bio: I studied Geography at the University of Victoria before working as an environmental consultant throughout the BC Interior. I spent my summer working on the Bridgewater Community Energy Initiative and want to pursue a career in sustainable energy planning.  
Dave Espeseth    
Research topic: Equitable TOD in Halifax: Exploring Affordable Rental Housing Strategies and Partnerships in Transit-Oriented Developments Supervisor: Ren Thomas  
Bio: I completed a bachelors in geography from the University of Saskatchewan in 2010. After completing my degree I worked for the Water Security Agency in Saskatchewan for five years as a Watershed Planner. This position was a great learning opportunity and allowed me to work on environmental issues in an integrated manner. However, I eventually realized I was more interested in working on environmental issues and creating change within the urban context and decided to pursue Dalhousie's MPlan program. I completed my work term with TEAL Architects + Planners where I gained a tremendous amount of experience in urban planning and development.
Siobhan Evans    
Research topic: Assessing Halifax's inclusivity and social sustainability via Accessibility plans and policies
Supervisor: Mikiko Terashima  
Bio: I graduated Saint Mary's University in Halifax Nova Scotia with a Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Sociology in 2016. With a growing interest in human geography and social inequalities I decided to choose planning as a profession. Since entering the Masters of Planning program I have focused my interests in planning on social inclusion, equality and equity for all hoping to make a difference as I enter the professional world for those who are disadvantaged by the cities they live in.  
Jason Genée    
Research topic: Sea Level Rise and Access to Public Open Space Supervisor: Eric Rapaport  
Bio: I graduated from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor of Science in Geography in 2014. Following the completion of his degree, I spent a year abroad, becoming fascinated with the relationship between public health and urban form. I want to pursue a career in community planning that facilitates positive health outcomes for the community while strategizing for the implications of climate change.  
Michael Gerrior     
Research topic: The Nova Scotia Intervale Habitat: Conservation Planning & the Roman Valley-Milford Haven River System Supervisor: John Zuck
Bio: After completing the Bachelor of Environmental Design Studies program at Dalhousie, I started my Master of Planning degree with a focus on urban design in mind. I also completed a Bachelors degree in French & Spanish and a Diploma in Massage Therapy, all in the city of Halifax. I am still a practicing massage therapist, but also worked for the HRM Planning & Development office during my work term, as part of the Urban Design team. I also received the Rosetti travel scholarship and attended the International Congress for Conservation Biology in Cartagena, Colombia in July 2017. The conference has greatly informed my research and sparked my interest in conservation planning.  
Julien Lacroix

Research Topic: Evacuation on the Halifax Peninsula: Identifying an Emergency Route and Temporary Traffic Measures
Supervisor: Ahsan Habib  
Bio: I graduated from Carleton University in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Theory of Architecture. I've always had a fascination with the built environment and found the Master of Planning program was a practical way to apply my undergraduate experience and personal interests. I decided to come to Dalhousie to be close to my family in Charlottetown, PEI. My interests in planning include transportation/transit, urban design, and heritage.    
Ben Lemphers    
Research topic: Barriers and Opportunity: A Meta-analysis of Affordable Rental Housing in Canada Supervisor: Ren Thomas  

Bio: Prior to Dal, I worked as a front-line housing worker, a political staffer with the Alberta NDP Caucus, and, long ago, as a photojournalist. I chose planning because of its potential to improve lives. My main areas of interest are community development, social planning, and affordable housing.

Stephen McCarthy    
Research topic: Connection between health, travel behaviour and the built environment Supervisor: Ahsan Habib
Bio: I took a circuitous route to planning, first getting a B.Sc. in Computer Science and Mathematics from UBC, then a B.Ed. from McGill. I spent three years teaching high school math before deciding to make the leap to Halifax. I am currently interested in transportation planning and work at DalTRAC, the Dalhousie transportation research lab.  
Cameron Robertson    
Research topic: Representation and Visualization of Sea Level Rise Supervisor: Eric Rapaport
I started my education in London Ontario, where I received a BAA in Integrated Land Planning Technologies from Fanshawe College. Following this I received an Advanced Diploma in GIS from the Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS) in Lawrencetown Nova Scotia, furthering my Geo-Spatial skill set and focusing in Remote Sensing and LiDAR. After finishing at COGS, I was offered a job with Stantec in the Environmental Planning group as a junior GIS/Planning Technician. Following this, I was offered a position of GIS Specialist for the Transportation Planning group at IBI Group in Toronto Ontario, just in time to begin work on the 2015 PanAm/Para-PanAm games. Since September 2016, I have been working with the Dalhousie GIScience Centre as a GIS Research Assistant and continued to work for them over the summer as my co-op term.  
Adriane Salah    
Closing Gaps and Opening Doors: A Study of the Changing Capacity of the Non-Profit Housing Sector in HRM Ren Thomas  
Bio: I am a Halifax native who came to Dalhousie after living abroad. I spent my summer working with the Affordable Housing Working Group, and developed an interest in affordable housing around the city. My independent project focuses on limitations faced by non-profit housing associations and the impact of government policy.  
Hannah Shirtliff    
Research topic: Monitoring and Evaluation of Alternative Energy Plans in Canadian Municipalities Supervisor: Patricia Manuel  
Bio: I graduated from Queen's University with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Global Development Studies in 2016. I chose to attend the Masters in Planning program at Dalhousie University because the program balances theoretical and historical foundations of planning, practical experience in studio courses, and the opportunity to pursue graduate-level research. I am interested in working with small and mid-sized cities to foster livable, sustainable, and healthy communities. I was a co-op student in the City of Hamilton's Policy Planning and Zoning By-Law department in summer 2017.  
Victoria Willes    
Bio: Always fascinated by the dynamic relationship between space, place, and power, I completed my BA in Political Science at the University of British Columbia. Upon graduation, I was employed by developer, Concert Properties. Headquartered in Vancouver, I enjoyed learning the industry on the ground: I was active within the Urban Development Institute, and identified as a female leader by the Minerva Foundation for BC Women. My primary research interests concern the reevaluation of land in macro-economic transition and challenges of spatial justice. I appreciate the size and scale of Dalhousie and Halifax, and the opportunity to explore planning and development in a new context.  
Hailey B Winder    
Research topic: What types of 'mixed neighbourhoods' have been studied in the past 20 years of Smart Growth? What are the health outcomes associated with each 'mix' type? Supervisor: Mikiko Terashima  
Bio: Growing up in Lethbridge, Alberta, I completed my International Baccalaureate at Lester B. Pearson United World College on Vancouver Island before crossing the country to study Politics and French at Acadia University. After graduation, I spent a year in France immersing myself in the language (and drinking some wine too!). My experiences travelling to, living in, and exploring different cities in Canada, and around the world, has inspired me to pursue urban planning!