Day 1

‘Planning for climate change, the community context’ (Kelly Vodden, Environmental Policy Institute and Associate Vice President (Grenfell) Research, and Neil Bose, Vice President (Research), Memorial University)

Audio:

Abstract:

This paper will establish a framework for the presentations and break-out sessions to follow. The presentation will briefly introduce key terms such as vulnerability, adaptation and resilience and provide an overview of how these ideas can be, and have been, translated to Gros Morne, the western region and other Atlantic Canadian coastal communities in the context of climate change. How vulnerability has been assessed and addressed in climate change policies and planning guides for Newfoundland will also be discussed, concluding with a reflection on the role of community-university-government partnerships in our evolving approach to understanding and addressing climate change vulnerability and community resilience in coastal Newfoundland.

Bios:

Kelly Vodden is Associate Vice President of Research and Graduate Studies at Memorial University’s Grenfell Campus where she has also previously taught community development as a member of Memorial’s Environmental Policy Institute. Her research interests include sustainable rural community and regional development, rural resilience, community involvement in resource management, local governance, community adaptation, complex adaptive social-ecological systems, innovation, green economies, and community-corporate relations. Additionally, she was a co-author of “7 Steps to Assess Climate Change Vulnerability in Your Community”, a guide for communities intended to help aid adaptation in the Atlantic Canadian region.

Dr. Neil Bose was appointed Memorial’s Vice-President (Research) on Aug. 9, 2017 and assumed his role on Nov. 1, 2017. Prior to his appointment, Dr. Bose served as principal of the Australian Maritime College (AMC), the national institute for maritime education, training, research and consultancy at the University of Tasmania. Before his move to Tasmania, Dr. Bose was a long-standing and respected member of Memorial University’s research community. He came to Memorial in May 1987 as an assistant professor in the naval architectural engineering program. In his time at Memorial, Dr. Bose served as director of the Ocean Engineering Research Centre, chair of the ocean and naval architectural engineering program and, in 2003, was named a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Offshore and Underwater Vehicles Design in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. As a researcher, Dr. Bose’s interests include marine propulsion, autonomous underwater vehicles, ocean environmental monitoring, ocean renewable energy, ice/propeller interaction and aspects of offshore design.

 

‘Climate change in coastal Canada: What happens when the weather is out of control and ice caps melt?’ (Liette Vasseur, Department of Biological Sciences and UNESCO Chair, Brock University)

Presentation Slides:

Climate Change in Canada Vasseur May 2018 Gros Morne

Abstract:

Coastal rural communities worldwide must face many challenges not only related to climate change but also extreme events, environmental degradation, population growth, and conflict usage of the ecosystem. Historically, the economies of coastal rural communities have been based on the exploitation of natural resources, which has structured its territorial development. Such a development has led to some limitations in the way these communities can now adapt to climate change. In Atlantic Canada, sea level rise, continuous coastal erosion and increasing frequency in storm surges threaten the fragility of the coastal ecosystem. Various approaches have been used to try to reduce risks and improve adaptive capacity of communities. In this talk, I will describe some of the projects that I am involved to examine the potential impacts of climate change in Atlantic Canada, and the actions taken to try to adapt and improve resilience of communities and ecosystems.

Bio:

Liette Vasseur is a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences, and a member of the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at Brock University, as well as a UNESCO Chair in Community Sustainability: From Local to Global and the President of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. She was formally Associate Vice-President of Research at Laurentian University and was the K.C. Irving Research Chair in Sustainable Development at the University of Moncton. Her research program is highly interdisciplinary and links issues such as community-based ecosystem management, climate change adaptation and resilience and sustainable agriculture and rural and coastal communities. In Canada, it includes impacts of extreme events and ecosystem/landscape sustainable development and resilience in rural communities.

 

‘Climate Change modelling data: Global model designs that carry local implications in climate change scenarios’ (Myron King, Environmental Policy Institute, Memorial University)

Presentation Slides:

CC Data Presentation

Abstract:

In this data-enriched session, I will first present global climate change models. For these models, I will outline their purpose, explain why a global scale was chosen, and comment on the variables which play a role in climate change projections. Through the session I will also comment on the methods that have been used to do this, and indicate how elements from the global scale can be downsized to local settings. The main part of the presentation will be an overview of how this local modelling is done, especially how design factors and variables can be translated to a more regional / locally meaningful way. Data review will involve some GIS methodology, and an explanation of how climate change data and measures can be visualized for a public audience. The focus is on making modelling techniques accessible to non-GIS experts.

Bio:

Myron King is a Research Associate at the Environmental Policy Institute, Grenfell Campus. He holds an MSc in Coastal Zone Management (2012) from the University of Ulster, Ireland, and is a PhD Candidate at the University of Hull (UK). Myron has since worked on coastal climate change and fisheries research. He is especially interested in traditional ecological knowledge in outport communities in Newfoundland and has extensive GIS and climate change modelling experience to map coastal resources, geomorphology, and socio-economic factors in relation to coastal communities.

 

‘Assessing climate change in ecological and social systems: A regional integrated assessment of climate change adaptation in Newfoundland forest environments’ (Joseph (Joe) Bowden and Doug Piercey, Natural Resources Canada – Canadian Forest Service)

Audio:

Presentation Slides:

ACCESS_Piercey Bowden

Abstract:

Climate change is a pervasive phenomenon that not only alters environmental and biological systems, but also has implications for social systems. For example, temperature changes and growing season length changes may alter forest structure and composition, which, in turn, affect other forest values such as habitat for wildlife and wood supply. The Canadian Forest Service (CFS-NRCan) recently concluded a course resolution, national scale assessment of predicted climate change impacts on forests and the forest sector across Canada. The results of this assessment ultimately highlighted the need for more focused regional assessments of potential climate change impacts given that decisions are most often made at this finer scale. It should also be noted that the regional issues and values likely impacted by climate change, and the relationships between them, are quite complex. This necessitates a multidisciplinary approach utilizing new technologies in collaboration, analysis and visualization, and emphasizing inclusion of subject-area experts, local/regional stakeholders and decision-makers throughout. CFS-NRCan Corner Brook are developing such an approach through a project entitled ACCESS – Assessing Climate Change in Ecological and Social Systems.

Bios:

Doug Piercey is a GeoInformatics Analyst with Natural Resources Canada – Canadian Forest Service in Corner Brook, NL, Canada. He has worked in the GIS field for over 20 years and has a particular interest in research involving decision support for social-ecological systems, geodesign, geovisual analytics and web-based GIS. Doug holds a BSc (honours) in Geography from Memorial University (Canada) and an MSc in GIS from City University London (UK).

Joseph (Joe) Bowdon is an ecological entomologist. His research focusses on species and community responses to climate change. Bowden has worked for Natural Resources Canada since 2016. He was previously a post-doctoral researcher at the Naturhistorisk Museum Aarhus, Aarhus University, and UC San Diego. He holds a PhD from McGill in Natural Resource Sciences – Entomology and a B.Sc. (hons) in Biology from Saint Mary’s University.

 

‘The Effects of Climate Change on Qalipu First Nation Communities’ (Ian Sullivan, Qalipu First Nation)

Presentation Slides:

ImpactClimateChangeQFN_Slides

Little is known about the potential effect climate change will have on the infrastructure, services and health of Qalipu First Nation communities. Many QFN communities are at risk from flooding and rising sea levels due to their proximity to the ocean and waterways. Using GIS and publicly available data we assessed the potential risk that climate change poses to 9 QFN communities using 5 criteria: Coastal flooding, the proximity of roads to coastline, community connectivity and self sufficiency, water quality, and inland flooding. The results of each analysis were used to score the communities to better understand their vulnerability to climate change. In conjunction with the GIS analysis, interviews were conducted with members of the selected QFN communities to understand how they perceive the present and future effects of climate change on their communities.

Bio:

With prior experience with the Department of Natural Resources and the Nature Conservancy of Canada, Ian opted to study Forestry at CNA in 2011. After graduating in 2013 and spending a summer timber cruising in the Jack Pine forests of Ontario, he returned to complete a post-diploma in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in 2014.

Ian’s career in GIS began when he started working with a small St. John’s firm upon graduation, working for 2 years at photographic interpretation, producing forest inventory maps and creating interim maps for the East Coast Trail Association. He returned to the west coast in 2016 to continue his interpretation and inventory work with Resource Innovations.  In January of 2017 Ian accepted a position as a GIS Technician with the Natural Resources division of Qalipu First Nation. In his time working with Qalipu Natural Resources Ian has worked on a myriad of projects including, but not limited to, an Artic Hare Occurrence study, Wetland Inventory, Traditional Land Use Studies and a Climate Change Risk Assessment.

 

Panel Discussion: ‘Understanding climate change impacts on coastal communities and building adaptation capacity.’

Audio:

Lakshman Galagedara (BERI Labs, Memorial University); Simon Jansen (Climate Watch NL); Brian Eddy (Natural Resources Canada, Atlantic Forestry Centre); Kelly Vodden (Environmental Policy Institute, Memorial University).

Representatives from academic, government and NGO sectors will kick off a wrapup discussion to address the following questions:

  • What are the most important outstanding questions/knowledge gaps about how climate change may affect coastal communities, particularly in western NL?
  • How can we best work together to seek answers to these questions, and to ensure this knowledge is made available for use in community planning?
  • What other steps are needed to assist communities in adapting to current and future climate change? By whom?

All participants will be invited to share their thoughts on these questions as well.

Bios:

Lakshman Galagedara is an associate professor of environmental science and a researcher at boreal ecosystems research facility. He has previously worked at the University of Guelph’s School of Environmental Sciences and University of Peradeniya’s Department of Agricultural Engineering and has a BSc (Peradeniya), M.Agri (Obihiro), and PhD (Guelph). Lakshman’s research focus is on land and water resources development & management leading to sustainable ecosystems, agriculture, and water and food security.

Simon Jansen is a steering committee member of the Climate Watch NL, a network of concerned citizens that envisions a minimal carbon economy for Newfoundland and Labrador by 2050. He was also Chair of the Board of Directors of the Western Environment Centre from 2008 to 2016 and is an advocate of the local and organic food movement. Simon’s main areas of interest are energy efficient building methods, alternative energies and climate change.

Dr. Brian Eddy is a research scientist with the Canadian Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada, at the Atlantic Forestry Center in Corner Brook, NL, and an Adjunct Professor in Sustainable Resource Management and Environmental Policy at Grenfell Campus, MUN. His research focuses on spatial analysis and modelling of human-environment interactions and ecological risk analysis in support of Ecosystems-based Management (EBM) Decision-Making. Most recently, Dr. Eddy served as the scientific co-lead on a national integrated assessment to examine the potential impacts of climate change on Canada’s forests and forest sector and communities.  He can be reached at briang.eddy@canada.ca

Kelly Vodden is Associate Vice President of Research and Graduate Studies at Memorial University’s Grenfell Campus where she has also previously taught community development as a member of Memorial’s Environmental Policy Institute. Her research interests include sustainable rural community and regional development, rural resilience, community involvement in resource management, local governance, community adaptation, complex adaptive social-ecological systems, innovation, green economies, and community-corporate relations. Additionally, she was a co-author of “7 Steps to Assess Climate Change Vulnerability in Your Community”, a guide for communities intended to help aid adaptation in the Atlantic Canadian region.