You are here:

Sara Jane O’Neill’s area of expertise is environmental planning and sustainability. She has a range of experience in policy analysis, environmental planning and project management, and has worked with municipal, provincial and federal government staff, stakeholders and the public in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario. In her current role as a senior research associate at the Smart Prosperity Institute, a national research network and policy think tank based at the University of Ottawa, she is the lead researcher and project manager for the Cities and Communities policy program. Her current and past work on sustainable community planning has included topics such as municipal natural capital, stormwater user fees, implementing policy change in stormwater management best practices, combatting urban sprawl through pricing signals and incorporating environmental justice issues in municipal sustainability plans. As lead author, co-author or editor, she has produced or contributed to the production of several publications in her field of expertise. She was a board member for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society — Ottawa Valley Chapter, with a particular focus on the Gatineau Park committee. Before moving to Ottawa in 2011, Sara worked as an environmental planner for conservation authorities in Ontario, where she assessed the impact of proposed development on natural hazards and environmentally sensitive areas. In 2015, she was part of a planning team that received the Real Property Management Service Line Achievement Award from Defence Construction Canada. She holds an honours bachelor’s degree in Biology from Queen’s University, a master’s degree in Environmental Design (Planning) from the University of Calgary and a master’s degree in Environmental Sustainability from the University of Ottawa.