Dr. Gerda Kits

Associate Professor, Economics

P: 825-901-0476
  • 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 social justice and ecological issues. She continues to believe that economics can offer helpful and hopeful insights that can help us pursue true stewardship, in service to our neighbours and the land.

As a teacher, Dr. Kits’ goal is to help students use economic ideas to understand real-life issues. She teaches courses in the Politics, History & Economics program, the Environmental Studies program, and the Commerce program. She emphasizes a pluralist approach to economics, and uses active learning methods and case studies to help students apply and act on what they learn. Her favourite part of being a professor is hearing students connect the concepts they are studying in class with events happening in the world around them.

Dr. Kits' research currently focuses on three interrelated areas: decolonizing the economics curriculum, the ongoing economic legacy of settler-colonialism, and the Alberta oilsands. 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; others (including some full-text versions) are available through King's research database.

As a volunteer and in her professional capacity, 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.

If not at work, Gerda is probably outdoors: working in her vegetable garden, hiking in the river valley, camping, or canoeing.

Selected publications

Selected presentations

  • Kits, Gerda. 2021 (May). The Treaty Context: A Teaching Tool for Reconciliation. Presentation at CANSEE 2021: Pathways for Inclusive and Sustainable Recoveries conference, online.
  • Kits, Gerda. 2019 (May). "Educating for Reconciliation in the Economics Classroom." Presented at Engaging Economies of Change: Canadian Society for Ecological Economics 12th Biennial Conference, Waterloo, Ontario.
  • Kits, Gerda. 2018 (September). “Are the Oil Sands Good for the Economy?” Workshop presented at Green Energy Intensive, Sustainability Network, Calgary, Alberta.
  • 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.