Dr. Gerda Kits

Assistant Professor, Economics P: 780-465-3500 Ext. 8056 F: 780-465-3534
  • PhD Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Alberta, 2011
  • MDE, Dalhousie University, 2006
  • BA, Environmental Studies, The King`s University College, 2004

Dr. Kits originally became interested in economics out of a concern for issues of social justice and the environment. 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 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.

Dr. Kits' research currently focuses on how economic ideas can inform policy decisions in two areas: agriculture and the Alberta oilsands. These research projects use methods and ideas from “non-standard” fields including behavioural, experimental, and ecological economics. Recently, she has also been pursuing research on Indigenous perspectives into the economics curriculum.

Dr. Kits has been involved with a number of development and social justice organizations, including World Renew, Citizens for Public Justice, Kairos, and the Christian Reformed Office of Social Justice.

When not at work, Dr. 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. 2017. Good for the Economy? An Ecological Economics Approach to Analyzing Alberta’s Bitumen Industry. Ecological Economics 139, 68-74.

  • 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.
  • 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 Unpublished Master’s thesis.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. 2015. “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, May 25-29

  • Kits, Gerda. 2015. “People and the land: Decolonization and ecological economics.” Presented at Canadian and United States Societies for Ecological Economics 2015 Conference, Vancouver, British Colombia, October 1-4.

  • 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. 2014 (May). Steps towards better economic analysis of Alberta’s oilsands. Paper presented at Are We There Yet? Economic Justice and the Common Good conference, The King's University College, Edmonton, Alberta.
  • 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.