Academic Sources/Researchers

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Study Highlights:

15 out of 20 journalists clearly specified they want academic sources to have extensive field knowledge, have peer-reviewed article in appropriate journals, to easily accessible and to articulate about their expertise.

David Schindler was the only academic mentioned specifically by name, with one respondent not citing his work as “neutral” while another found him to be “pretty bang on” and a good source.

Another cited the 2010 Royal Society report as “an honest attempt by leading academics to sort out the issues.”

Andrew Leach

University of Alberta associate professor in marketing, business economics and law.

David Schindler*

Schindler’s key oil sands research:

Oil sands development contributes elements toxic at low concentrations to the Athabasca River and its tributaries
Oil sands mining and reclamation cause massive loss of peatland and stored carbon


*mentioned by one journalist in our study as a good source, although another thought his work was suspect as Schindler doesn’t appear “neutral.”

• Laura Way

A doctoral student who examined business press coverage of the oil sands. Her PhD thesis, as well as a PowerPoint of key results for download below.

Study: Canadian newspaper coverage of the Alberta oil sands: The intractability of neoliberalism
PowerPoint of key results

Robyn Allan

Economist and former president and CEO of the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia who conducts independent research on economic impact of the oil sands.

One report by Allan, “An Analysis of Canadian Oil Expansion Economics.”

Stan Boutin

Knowledgeable on woodland caribou

Steve Hrudey*

Chair of the expert panel that authored the 2010 Royal Society of Canada report.

*said report mentioned by one journalist in our study as a “useful tool,“ as it is an “honest attempt by leading academics to sort out the issues. There are extreme claims on either side of the oil sands debate.”


Vivian Krause

Researcher/blogger who follows the money behind national environmental campaigns, including apparent foreign funds. Her work has appeared in the Financial Post.

Read a profile of her from the Vancouver Province here.

Wenran Jiang

University of Alberta political science professor, senior fellow of the Asia Pacific Foundation and organizer of the Canada-China Energy and Environment Forum. Research interests include Canada-China relations, including energy relations.