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Athabasca University

Dr. Denis Kirchhoff

Individualized Study Tutor



  • Ph.D. (University of Waterloo)
  • M.A. (University of Sao Paulo, Brazil)
  • B.Eng. (Federal University of Sao Carlos, Brazil)


Denis Kirchhoff is the Individualized Study Tutor for ENVS 305 (Environmental Impact Assessment) at Athabasca University and Lecturer in the Department of Environment and Resource Studies at the University of Waterloo. His research broadly focuses on Environmental Assessment (EA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) situated in both urban contexts (e.g., southern Ontario urban growth management, transportation and water and wastewater master planning) and in the context of remote areas (e.g., northern Ontario hydro and mining development and implications to Indigenous peoples) - and have spanned a range of concerns from applied 'on-the-ground' research to policy-level research.

Areas of Scholarly Interest

  • Environmental assessment and strategic environmental assessment
  • Sustainability-centred planning and decision making
  • Indigenous peoples and resource development
  • Environmental planning and governance


Refereed Journals Articles

Gardner, H. L., Kirchhoff, D. and Tsuji, L. J. S. (in press). The Streamlining of the Kabinakagami River Hydroelectric Project Environmental Assessment: What is the ‘duty to consult’ with other impacted Aboriginal communities when the co-proponent of the project is an Aboriginal community? "The International Indigenous Policy Journal."

Kirchhoff, D. and Tsuji, L.J.S. (2014). Reading between the lines of the 'Responsible Resource Development' rhetoric: the use of Omnibus Bills to change Canadian environmental legislation. "Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal", 32(2): 108-120.

Kirchhoff, D., Gardner, H. L., and Tsuji, L. J. S. (2013). The Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012, and Associated Policy:  Implications for Aboriginal Peoples. "The International Indigenous Policy Journal", 4(3): 1-15. Retrieved from:

Kirchhoff, D., McCarthy, D., Crandall, D. D, and Whitelaw, G. (2011). Strategic Environmental Assessment and Regional Infrastructure Planning: the case of York Region, Ontario. "Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal". 29(1): 11-26.

Gibson, R. B., Benevides, H., Doelle, M., and Kirchhoff, D. (2010). Strengthening Strategic Environmental Assessment in Canada: an evaluation of three basic options. "Journal of Environmental Law and Practice". 20(3): 175-211.

Kirchhoff, D., McCarthy, D., Crandall, D. D., McDowell, L., and Whitelaw, G. (2010). A Policy Windows Opens: Strategic Environmental Assessment in York Region, Ontario, Canada. "Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management". 12(3): 333-354.

Kirchhoff, D., Montaño, M., Ranieri, V.E.L., Oliveira, I.S.D., Doberstein, B. and Souza, M.P. (2007). Limitations and drawbacks of using Preliminary Environmental Reports (PERs) as an input to Environmental Licensing in São Paulo State: a case study on natural gas pipeline routing. "Environmental Impact Assessment Review". 27(4): 301-318.

Kirchhoff, D. (2006). Capacity Building for EIA in Brazil: Preliminary Considerations and Problems to be Overcome. "Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management". 8(1):1-18.

Kirchhoff, D. and Doberstein, B. (2006). Pipeline Risk Assessment and Risk Acceptance Criteria in the State of Sao Paulo, Brazil. "Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal". 24(3): 221-234.

Research Reports

Kirchhoff, D., Isogai, A., Tsuji, L. J. S., McCarthy, D. and Whitelaw, G. (2012). "Kabinakagami River Project – Review of the Draft Environmental Report". A critical review report prepared for the Fort Albany First Nation. May, 2012. Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

McCarthy, D., Kirchhoff, D., Crandall, D., Levin, D. and Whitelaw, G. (2010). "Exploring Strategic Environmental Assessment in the Context of a Rapidly Urbanizing Municipality: A Case Study of the Regional Municipality of York, Ontario, Canada". A synthesis report prepared for a Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency-Funded, Collaborative Research Initiative between York Region, STORM Coalition and the University of Waterloo. March, 2010. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Benevides, H., Kirchhoff, D., Gibson, R. and Doelle, M. (2009).  "Law and Policy Options for Strategic Environmental Assessment in Canada". Report prepared for the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. October, 2009. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Kirchhoff, D., Benevides, H., Gibson, R. and Doelle, M. (2008).  "Research on Law and Policy Options for Strategic Environmental Assessment in Canada: a Literature Review". Report prepared for the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Kirchhoff, D. and McCarthy, D. (2008). "Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Scan of the E85 Infrastructure Pilot Program". Report prepared for the Office of Energy Efficiency, Natural Resources Canada. Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

Updated November 26 2014 by Students & Academic Services

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