Murray Rutherford

Associate Professor Emeritus


  • BSc, Geology, University of British Columbia
  • LLB, University of British Columbia
  • MRM, Simon Fraser University
  • MPhil, PhD, Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University
  • MCIP, (Member of the Canadian Institute of Planners) and RPP (Registered Professional Planner)


Dr. Murray Rutherford is a policy scientist whose research focuses on the human dimensions of environmental policy and planning, and particularly on the values, perspectives, and institutions that shape and govern our relationships with the environment. He uses qualitative and quantitative methods to examine conservation problems and evaluate policy-making processes and outcomes. He has studied ecosystem-based management, conservation policy, water planning, environmental impact assessment, and human values and attitudes toward nature and the conservation of biological diversity.

Examples of recent publications:

Dr. Rutherford is currently involved in research projects examining cumulative effects assessment, conservation policy for species and ecosystems at risk, and water management policy.

Prior to undertaking his graduate studies in environmental policy, Dr. Rutherford was a partner with a major law firm in Vancouver. He has served on the Executive Council of the Society of Policy Scientists and is on the international advisory board for the journal Operant Subjectivity. He is a Registered Professional Planner with the Planning Institute of British Columbia and the Canadian Institute of Planners, and is also a member of the Law Society of British Columbia (currently non-practicing).

Dr. Rutherford is not accepting any new graduate students.


Dr. Rutherford teaches Environmental and Planning Law (REM 641), Public Policy Analysis and Administration (REM 644), Water Planning and Management (REM 655), and Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (REM 646).