Garfield Giff, PhD, Dip Ed

Research Chair - Climate Change Adaptation
Aurora Research Institute (Inuvik)
867-777-3298 ext. 209

Research Statement

Over the last twenty years, I’ve done extensive research and consulting work on the socio-political, socio-economic, and technical issues associated with the implementation and maintenance of Geographic Information Systems (GISs) and Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDIs). My research over the years has made significant contributions to the GIS/SDI body of knowledge in the following areas: economic justification of GISs and SDIs (e.g. cost benefit and cost avoidance analysis); funding models for the implementation and maintenance of GISs and SDIs; access and pricing policies for geospatial information; business models, strategic plans, program designs, and implementation plans to support GIS and SDI implementation and maintenance; quantification of the social and qualitative benefits of GISs and SDIs; frameworks for assessing GIS and SDI performance; and data models to support interoperability.

My current research focuses whether GIS and remote sensing can be used to develop and implement more efficient, effective climate change adaptation strategies in the western Arctic. I’ve been investigating the use of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones) to collect high volumes of data in a cost effective, timely, and reliable manner under the challenging conditions found in the western Canadian Arctic. If UAVs prove to be a reliable source of current, high-quality data, then this technology could be used to collect high volumes of information in a very reliable, consistent, and economical manner. This data would be more readily accessible and useful in developing climate change adaptation strategies in the western Arctic.

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Current Projects

  • Western Arctic Indigenous Mapping Workshops
  • ​Designing a GIS to Support the Development and Implementation of Mineral Strategies in the Arctic
  • Developing Online Digital Hazard Maps of Landslides Along the Caribou Hills, Inuvik, NWT
  • GIS and Remote Sensing Capacity Building in Indigenous Communities

Significant Contributions

  • Giff, G. 2013. Measuring and Monitoring Spatial Data InfrastructuresIn SDI Implementation Manual of the Americas. Chapter 10, (Eds.) GeoConnections; Hickling Arthurs Low Corporation; Giff, G.A. Permanent Committee for Geospatial Data Infrastructure for the Americas publication, UN, New York, pp.129-149.   
  • Giff, G. and Jackson J. 2013. Towards an Online Self-Assessment Methodology for SDIs. In Spatial Enablement in Support of Economic Development and Poverty Reduction. Chapter (Eds.) H. Onsrud and A. Rajabifard. GSDI Association Press, Needham, MA, USA, pp.99-120.
  • Giff, G. 2008. A Framework for Designing Performance Indicators for Spatial Data Infrastructure Assessment.  In A Multi-View Framework to Assess Spatial Data Infrastructures. Chapter Eleven, (Eds.) J. Crompvoets, A. Rajabifard, B. van Loenen, and T. Delgado Fernández. Space for Geo-Information (RGI), Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands, pp.211-228.
  • Giff, G. 2008. Using Performance Indicators to Assess SDIs/GISs. In Assessment and Socio-economic Aspects of Geographic Information Infrastructures. Chapter Two, (Ed.) B. van Loenen. The Netherlands Geodetic Commission, Delft, The Netherlands, pp.13-22.
  • Giff, G. et al., 2008. Designing Performance Indicators to Support Spatial Data Infrastructure Assessment. The Journal of Computers, Environment and Urban Systems Vol. 32, No. 5, pp 365-376.
  • Giff, G. et al., 2008. GI Policies in Norway and England; Are they Within the Spirit of Recent EU Directives? The International Journal of Spatial Data Infrastructure Research Vol. 3, pp 118-145.

Teaching Responsibilities

Teaching is not just lecturing to students, but is inclusive of the different methodologies for conveying theories, concepts, and empirical studies to students in a manner that facilitates the application of this information to solve problems related to their professional and daily activities. That is, teaching is the method of transferring information to students in a manner that will enable them to become critical thinkers. In summary, my teaching goal is to help students develop into highly critical thinkers. Achieving this goal will require the application of a variety of teaching strategies and a learning environment that promotes intellectual diversity.

  • ENRTP 120-116–Geographic Information Systems
  • Career and Technology Studies (CTS), East Three Secondary School—Introduction to CAD