Dr. Gerda Kits

Associate Professor, Economics

P: 780-465-3500 Ext. 8056
  • PhD Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Alberta, 2011
  • MDE, Dalhousie University, 2006
  • BA, Environmental Studies, The King`s University College, 2004


Dr. Gerda Kits originally became interested in economics out of a concern for justice and ecological issues. She continues to believe that economics can offer helpful and hopeful perspectives on these issues, in the pursuit of true stewardship.

Dr. Kits’ goal is to help students learn to use economic ideas to gain an understanding of real-life issues. She teaches courses in the Politics, History & Economics program, the Environmental Studies program, and the Commerce program. She uses a variety of interactive teaching methods and case studies to help students apply and act on what they learn. Teaching is her favourite part of being a professor, and she is always excited to hear students connect the concepts they are studying in class with events happening in the world around them.

Gerda Kits research currently focuses on three interrelated areas: the Alberta oilsands, the impact of colonialism on economies and the economics discipline, and economics pedagogy (teaching). In the past, she has also pursued research in development economics, agricultural economics, and behavioral economics. Some of her papers and presentations are listed below.

Dr. Kits has been involved with a number of development, environment, and justice organizations, including World Renew, Keepers of the Athabasca, Citizens for Public Justice, and Kairos.

When not at work, Gerda Kits can often be found hiking with her dog in the river valley, playing board games with family and friends, or curled up on the couch with a good mystery novel.

Selected publications

  • Kits, Gerda J. Why Educating for Shalom Requires Decolonization. International Journal of Christianity and Education. Forthcoming.
  • Kits, Gerda. Economic Impacts of Teck's Frontier Oil Sands Mine. Report prepared for Keepers of the Athabasca, Slave Lake, Alberta. August 22, 2018.
  • Kits, Gerda J. 2018. Educating for Reconciliation in the Economics Classroom. International Journal of Pluralism and Economics Education 9(3): 254-273. https://doi.org/10.1504/IJPEE.2018.093432
  • Kits, Gerda J. 2017. Good for the Economy? An Ecological Economics Approach to Analyzing Alberta’s Bitumen Industry. Ecological Economics 139, 68-74. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2017.04.020
  • Kits, Gerda J., Wiktor L. Adamowicz, and Peter C. Boxall. 2014. Do conservation auctions crowd out voluntary environmentally friendly activity? Ecological Economics 105, 118-123. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2014.05.014
  • Kits, Gerda. 2011. The impact of social context on conservation auctions: Social capital, leadership and crowding out. Unpublished PhD thesis. Edmonton, AB: University of Alberta.
  • Kits, Gerda. 2006. What difference does faith make? Worldviews and non-government development organizations. Unpublished Master’s thesis. Halifax, NS: Dalhousie University.
  • Kits, Gerda. 2003. Just Basics: A handbook for students not too busy to change the world. Burlington, ON: Christian Reformed Office of Social Justice and Hunger Action.

Selected presentations

  • Kits, Gerda. 2017 (October). "Why educating for Shalom requires decolonization." Presented at Christian Teaching and Learning: Pathways and Possibilities (2017 Kuyers Institute Conference), Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan.
  • Kits, Gerda. 2015 (October). “People and the land: Decolonization and ecological economics.” Presented at Canadian and United States Societies for Ecological Economics 2015 Conference, Vancouver, British Colombia.
  • Kits, Gerda. 2015 (May). “Learning about living well in the land: Decolonizing the economics curriculum.” Presented at International Association for the Study of the Commons 2015 Conference, Edmonton, Alberta.
  • Kits, Gerda. 2014 (August). Is Alberta's bitumen industry really "good for the economy"? Paper presented at Wellbeing and Equity within Planetary Boundaries: International Society for Ecological Economics 2014 Conference, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland.
  • Kits, Gerda, Vic Adamowicz, and Peter Boxall. 2011 (June). Do conservation auctions cause crowding out? Paper presented at Canadian Agricultural Economics Society Annual Meeting, The Banff Centre, Banff, Alberta.
  • Kits, Gerda, and Vic Adamowicz. 2009 (May). Complexity and choice experiments with a quasi-public good. Paper presented at Canadian Agricultural Economics Society Annual Meeting, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario.
  • Kits, Gerda. 2006 (March). From worldview to action: What faith means for development agencies’ work and partnerships. Paper presented at Canadian Association for the Study of International Development Atlantic Regional Student Conference, St. Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.