Day 2

‘Assessing the risk to coastal erosion, landscapes and flooding under changing climate conditions in Newfoundland and Labrador’ (Melanie Irvine, Geological Survey of Newfoundland and Labrador, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador)

Presentation Slides:



The coastline along Gros Morne National Park and surrounding area includes coastal cliffs composed of loose sediments which are vulnerable to rapid slope movement and continuous erosion, as well as low-lying areas susceptible to coastal flooding. These landscape hazards will continue to occur due to rising sea level and changes in the climate. Since 2011, the Geological Survey of Newfoundland and Labrador has been conducting a systematic, long-term coastal monitoring program; there are over 100 sites across the Province including sites within GMNP. Through field studies, multi-date imagery is being collected with a drone, also known as an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, to measure changes in the landscape, to quantify rates of cliff erosion and changes in beaches, and to delineate hazard-prone areas that could be affected by coastal flooding, erosion and landslides.

For more on Melanie’s research please see:


‘Co-constructing Adaptation: rural capacity and addressing climate change,’ Sarah-Patricia Breen (School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Saskatchewan & the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation) & Lauren Rethoret (Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute, Selkirk College) 

Presentation Slides:

Co-constructing Adaptation-v3-SB


The contribution of the average small, rural community to the global climate crisis is relatively small. But the changes climate change brings – the shrinking glaciers, the changing precipitation and water patterns, the storms, the sea level rise – those will all be   felt in rural places. And the related challenges -to infrastructure, to emergency planning, to community development – are something all rural residents and communities must face, meaning adapting to climate change is critical for rural places. But what does adaptation look like in reality? We know that rural places face capacity challenges. Finding data, expertise, and funds can be a barrier. Examples coming out of places like Vancouver don’t really resonate in rural places. So how do we tackle adaptation in rural places? By working together and building processes and tools that makes sense for rural places.

This presentation discusses these questions and uses the example of the State of Climate Adaptation Project from the Columbia Basin-Boundary region of British Columbia to demonstrate how a collaborative, rural made approach can work, and what lessons can be learned by other places.


Lauren Rethoret works as a researcher with Selkirk College’s Applied Research and Innovation Centre focussing on economics and the environment. Her own research focusses on landscape level planning, public policy in rural areas, community-based resource management, and sustainable infrastructure management. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Geography from Carleton University and a Master’s degree in Resource and Environmental Management from Simon Fraser University.

Sarah-Patricia has a PhD in Resource and Environmental Management from Simon Fraser University. She joined the Δs lab at the University of Saskatchewan as a post-doctoral fellow in the winter of 2018. Originally from Thunder Bay, ON, Sarah-Patricia has worked and studied her way across the country, from Ontario to Newfoundland, Alberta, British Columbia, and now Saskatchewan. She has a passion for rural places and is the current president of the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation. When she’s not working, Sarah-Patricia can be found snowboarding, skiing, mountain biking, running, or hiking with her partner Ben and her dog Watson.


‘BAM! NL – Building Asset Management Here’ (Kathleen Parewick, Municipalities Newfoundland & Labrador)



Canada’s latest Gas Tax Agreement calls on municipalities across the country to implement asset management planning (AMP), an evidence-based approach to decision-making for communities’ tangible assets. Only a quarter of Newfoundland and Labrador’s 276 municipalities have more than a single staff member, and levels of service here generally lag behind those of most Canadian jurisdictions. Supported by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ (FCM) Municipal Asset Management Program (MAMP), Municipalities Newfoundland and Labrador and its partners have launched an asset management awareness and capacity-building campaign.

This presentation provides an overview of the BAM! NL (Building Asset Management in Newfoundland and Labrador) program, including MNL’s on-line version of the FCM’s Asset Management Readiness Self-Assessment – the best place to start your town’s asset management planning process.

For more on Kathleen Parewick’s research please click here.


‘Supporting adaptation decision-making in small coastal communities: an introduction to the Coastal Community Adaptation Toolkit’ (Patricia Manuel, School of Planning, Dalhousie University)

Patricia Manuel Background Information


From 2013 to 2015 the Atlantic Coastal Adaptation Solutions Association, in partnership with universities, industry, and municipalities, developed a guidance resource to help decision makers in coastal communities of the Atlantic Provinces select appropriate adaptation strategies and tools to manage climate change coastal impacts. The products of this work are a web-based decision support tool for coastal climate change adaptation planning and a compendium of engineering and land use planning best-practice tools for addressing coastal flooding and erosion. This presentation will outline the policy translation mechanisms imbedded in this decision making toolkit, contextualize the adaptation pathways to Gros Morne, and create a framework for applying the knowledge outlined in the preceding sessions to local municipal and community decision making.


Patricia Manuel is a Professor and Director of the School of Planning at Dalhousie University. Her research focusses on environmental planning, coastal planning, climate change adaptation, watershed planning and management, and wetlands interpretation and management. She has an M.Sc. in geography from McGill University, and an Interdisciplinary PhD from Dalhousie. She serves on national and regional committees on climate change adaptation and is active is community organizations promoting environmentally responsible development. As a community researcher and planner, she was a co-author of the Glenburnie-Birchy Head-Shoal Brook (GBS) Climate Change Adaptation Plan, a unique document developed for the Town of GBS in the Gros Morne Region.


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