Dr. John Colton

Head of Community Development
Please note: John is not accepting new Master’s degree students under his supervision.
Pronouns: He/him
Phone: (902) 585-1160
Office: CD House, 24 Highland Ave. Room 202
  • Ph.D., University of Alberta (Sustainable Tourism)
  • M.A., University of Alberta (Geography)
  • B.A., University of Washington (Geography)
2023-2024 Courses
  • Dr. Colton is on sabbatical during the Fall term of 2023
  • Senior Seminar, and Community Projects (Winter 2024)
Scholarly Interest & Expertise
  • Sustainable Community Development
  • Community-Based Renewable Energy
  • Tidal Energy Development: Socioeconomic Dimensions
  • Ecotourism/Sustainable Tourism and Indigenous Tourism
Did You Know?
  • I was a member of the Nova Scotia Renewable Energy Steering Committee that developed Nova Scotia’s renewable energy targets in 2009.
  • I am a founding member of the Acadia Tidal Energy Institute and Flourish Community Development Cooperative.
  • I teach a Marine Renewable Energy and an Applied Methods in Community Development courses in Iceland for the University of the Westfjords, Coastal Marine Management and Economic Development graduate programs.
  • I worked with the Halifax Regional Municipality in training their staff on sustainability using the Natural Step as the sustainability framework.
  • I guide northern wilderness river expeditions in Alaska, the Yukon and Northwest Territories and British Columbia.
  • I’ve worked for National Geographic as their sustainable tourism evaluator for eastern Canada.
Highlights of Scholarly and Professional Work
  • Exploring climate change impacts to the Tatshenshini-Alsek watershed in the Yukon Territories, British Columbia, and Alaska (current work).
  • Director of the Atlantic Canada Sustainability Initiative, a multi-year project focused on providing strategic planning and sustainability training/coaching to municipalities and organizations in Atlantic Canada.
  • Chair, Centre for Rural Sustainability and collaborator with the Town of Wolfville on the Wolfville Sustainability Initiative.
  • Co-authored the Bay of Fundy Strategic Environmental Assessment Update for Tidal Energy Development.
  • Co-authored the Community and Business Tidal Energy Toolkit andthe Tidal Energy Community Engagement Handbook.
  • Co-authored Energy Projects, Social Licence, Public Acceptance, and Regulatory Systems in Canada: A White Paper, a report sponsored by the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary to encourage greater transparency and accountability in energy development.
  • Authored several book chapters and scholarly paper on Indigenous Tourism in northern Canada.

Education | Publications | Presentations