Cumulative Effects Assessment | 2 days (6-7 May)




This course summarizes the state of professional practice regarding CEA within IA processes; demonstrates fundamental requirements for cumulative effects assessment for a selected project in the British Columbia region; illustrates determination of significance of cumulative effects; discusses adaptive management (and monitoring) as follow-up activities for large-scale proposals (specifically for cumulative effects); and summarizes policy choices and collaboration approaches for the development of cumulative effects mitigation and management initiatives. The basic premise is that CEA should be an integral part of, and not separate from, both in-country and international IA processes. The fundamental requirements are focused on stepwise procedures with international best practice principles.

These procedures and related principles identify key valued components (VCs), focusing on those for which CEA is appropriate; delineating spatial and temporal boundaries for each of the VCs; describing historical baseline and future conditions and trends; establishing cause-effect linkages between past, present, and future actions and VCs; determining the significance of cumulative effects; and development of adaptive management and project mitigation and regional management programs, as appropriate to deal with cumulative effects. Practical processes for both preparing and reviewing CEA-related documents will be emphasized, along with presentations on selected international case studies and workshop sessions involving interactive groups. Practical discussions will be incorporated by the professional participants and presented to the entire class.

Level: Intermediate to Advanced

Prerequisites: Foundation training on IA (impact assessment) or CEA (cumulative effects assessment) (professional-level short course or University-level specific course or program); and/or minimum of 2 years in professional experience in planning and conducting IA or CEA for environmental impact studies. Note: these prerequisites do not apply to student participants.

Language: English

Duration: 2 days (6-7 May)

Min/Max: 10-50

Price: US$480

Instructors: Bill Ross, Emeritus Professor of Environmental Design, University of Calgary (Canada); Miles Scott-Brown, Consultant (Canada); Michael D. Smith, Director, Environmental Process and Policy, WSP USA (USA)


Bill Ross

Dr. Ross is an emeritus Professor of Environmental Design in the Faculty of Environmental Design, University of Calgary (since January 2009). He has a BSc degree from the University of Manitoba, and a PhD degree in physics from Stanford University. His main academic interests are in IA and CEA. He has been a member of eight Canadian Environmental Assessment panels, and he has been a member and chair of the Independent Environmental Monitoring Agency for the Ekati Diamond Mine, Northwest Territories, Canada.

Dr. Ross is also the author or co-author of numerous peer-reviewed articles, including several related to CEA. Further, he was a co-author of the highly respected “Cumulative Effects Assessment Practitioners Guide” (Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, 1999). In addition, he was the Founding President of the Western and Northern Canada Affiliate of IAIA. Dr. Ross also received IAIA’s Rose-Hulman Award at the 2009 annual conference held in Accra.  In 2018, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Western and Northern Canada Affiliate of IAIA.

Miles Scott-Brown

Mr. Scott-Brown has over 30 years’ experience in the assessment and management of infrastructure project risks and impacts around the globe. His focus is on energy and linear development projects including renewables such as hydropower, geothermal, wind and solar, oil and gas development and pipelines, electrical transmission lines, refineries, ports, roads and railways. He is a Certified Assessor of the sustainability protocol and gap analysis tools for hydroelectric projects (IHA September 2018), a certified auditor and a professional biologist.

Miles is very familiar with World Bank Group (IBRD OPs and ESF and IFC Performance Standards), IDB, EBRD, ADB and other International Lenders safeguard standards and has worked on both sides of the project spectrum - developing ESIAs and approval strategies for clients while assessing and monitoring project compliance with Lender Standards. Miles also specializes in cumulative impact (effects) assessment on international projects. He is both and experienced practitioner and trainer in environmental assessment and has delivered courses in Vina del Mar, Durban and Brisbane.

Michael D. Smith

Dr. Smith is a leading IA practitioner with over 29 years of experience in environmental impact assessment, social impact assessment; cumulative effects assessment; project and program management, technical analysis, policy development, and training/education for a wide range of public and private sector clients. He is currently the National Practice Leader for WSP USA's Environmental Policy and Process Group. WSP USA is an arm of one of the world's leading professional services firms with over 55,000 strategic advisors, environmental specialists, engineers, scientists, technicians, architects, and planners located globally in more than 550 offices in 40 countries. He has managed and provided compliance support for IA reviews for dozens of large, highly-complex and highly-controversial projects both in North America and internationally, including major energy, water, and transportation infrastructure projects, military facilities and operations, regulation of genetically engineered plants, commercial space transportation operations, and approval of new fuel economy standards for all vehicles operated in the U.S.

He has taught over two hundred IA workshops including cumulative effects assessment for professional associations and universities and was a co-instructor for the Cumulative Effects Workshop at the IAIA 2022 Conference in Vancouver and the 2019 Conference in Brisbane. Technical areas of expertise include cumulative impact analysis; GHG emissions and climate change analysis; socioeconomics and environmental justice analysis; and designing strategies for streamlining IA processes and reviews. He holds a Ph.D. in Environmental and Natural Resources Sociology from Utah State University, an M.A. in Geography from the University of Wyoming, and a B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz.