Cedar Morton

Sr. Systems Ecologist

Key skills: ecological modelling, economic valuation, multi-criteria optimization, water management & governance, climate change, participatory process design, GIS, social network analysis, land use planning.

Cedar’s work focuses on optimizing environmental decisions across multiple objectives in freshwater systems.

He has an interdisciplinary skillset that spans ecology, geographic information systems, public policy, social sciences, and economics. This expertise provides Cedar with a simultaneously broad and deep set of thinking and communication tools that enable him to approach challenging environmental problems through a unique lens. His interdisciplinary background promotes a multi-faceted analytic capability as well as an eye for minimizing the ‘silo’ effect by bridging across project components and people. Cedar has over seven years of professional experience and has applied his skills to a wide range of topics including First Nations land use planning, collaborative land use planning, Official Community Planning, river basin planning, natural range of variability modelling (forestry), climate change monitoring and adaptation, catch monitoring (fisheries), transboundary water governance, bio-economic modelling of trade-offs among freshwater uses (fisheries, recreation, agriculture, hydropower, flood control), economic valuation of ecosystem services, salmon ecology, and stream temperature modelling.

Most recently, Cedar played a key role in an economic assessment of US ecosystem benefits from the Columbia River Treaty for the British Columbia Ministry of Energy and Mines in support of upcoming Treaty negotiations. He led the bio-economic modelling of salmon conservation benefits and also made substantive contributions to assessments of flood control, water supply, greenhouse gas emissions and navigation benefits. Building on his Columbia Basin experience, Cedar led a research project for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization evaluating salmon production benefits provided by the Columbia River. Other recent projects include stream-temperature modelling for the Pacific Salmon Foundation in the Nicola River Basin, development of a catch monitoring decision-making tool for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and updating the Southern British Columbia Chinook Salmon status report for the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.

Cedar is currently completing a Ph.D. in Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University (SFU) where he focuses on the integration of species conservation into international freshwater treaties using methods from the social sciences, economics, ecological modelling and public policy analysis. He also holds a B.A. in Geography (SFU), where he focused on freshwater governance and geospatial analysis, and an M.Sc. in Resource and Environmental Management (SFU) with a specialization in participatory land use planning. Two Diplomas, one in Peace and Conflict Studies (Langara College) and another in Tourism Management (Vancouver Island University) complement Cedar’s environmental management education.

Outside of work and academic pursuits, Cedar has volunteered for a number of organizations but is currently acting co-chair (and co-founder) of the SFU Water Research Group. He spends as much time as possible near the ocean kayaking, windsurfing and cycling or absconding with friends’ canine companions for some quality beach time.

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