Listen to the Symposium

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.

 

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:

IrvineMay11

Abstract:

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: https://www.nr.gov.nl.ca/nr/mines/geoscience/aboutus/Irvine.html

 

‘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

Abstract:

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.

Bios:

lrethoret@selkirk.ca

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)

Audio:

Abstract:

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

Abstract:

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.

Bio:

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.

 

Day 3

‘Climate change adaptation planning for NL communities: Conne River, case study’ (Neil Dawe, Tract Consulting)

Audio:

Presentation Slides:

GM Climate Change Adaption

Abstract:

The Municipal Climate Change Assessment and Adaption Planning presentation will demonstrate how climate change adaption and municipal sustainability goals are integrated, to inform municipal decision-making about municipal infrastructure assets and services. The presentation will identify innovative alternatives to climate change adaption through the utilization of local knowledge, integrated land use planning, sustainable “green” engineering design standards, and climate change expertise to effectively respond to local circumstances and the specific needs of individual municipalities. The successful climate change adaption strategy is a community action strategy for that integrates the triad of: climate change adaption, sustainable “green” planning and asset management. To illustrate the Climate Change Adaption Planning process in action we will be presenting the “The Climate Change Assessment and Adaption Plan”, Miawpukek First Nations (April 2013.) prepared by Tract Consulting Inc.

Bio:

Neil Dawe is President of Tract Consulting, which specializes in planning, design, architecture, engineering and the creation of aesthetically and practically purposeful spaces. Neil has given numerous presentations in Newfoundland and Labrador on his and Tract Consulting’s work, and on Green and sustainable community planning. He has dealt extensively with planning problems and solutions in provincial municipalities and brings a wealth of knowledge from the private sector.

 

‘Advancing adaptation in coastal Newfoundland and Labrador’ (Kimberley Olson, The Climate Change Branch of the Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador)

Audio:

Presentation Slides:

GMNP Climate Symposium Climate Change MAE Deck- Kim Olsen

Abstract:

To provide an overview of climate change in Newfoundland and Labrador, and set the context on how local climate change action fits within the broader national context. This will include sharing climate data for Newfoundland and Labrador to demonstrate the impacts of climate change in the province, and highlight the implications for coastal communities in Western Newfoundland, the location of the symposium. The opportunities for municipalities to take action on climate change will be explored, and information on key tools and resources available to support their climate leadership and enhance resilience to the impacts associated with climate change will be provided.

Bio:

Kim Olson works with the Climate Change Office (Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment), as Manager of Planning and Accountability. In this role, Kim is responsible for leading efforts related to climate change adaptation across disciplines and sectors, including with municipalities in Newfoundland and Labrador. Prior to working with the Office, Kim worked as a Regional Engagement Planner with the Provincial Office of Public Engagement (formerly known as the Rural Secretariat), and has over 5 years of experience developing leading public engagement processes, including those related to natural resource conservation and rural development. Kim graduated with a Master’s Degree in Geography from Memorial University, with a focus on conservation and natural resource management. Applying her academic expertise with her experience working with the provincial government, Kim worked as a course instructor in sustainable resources management at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University. In addition to working in Newfoundland and Labrador, Kim has international experience with organizations such as the International Secretariat for Water, Ship for World Youth, and Canada World Youth.

 

‘Resilience on the shore: best practice in municipal climate action’ (Samantha Peverill, QUEST Canada)

Audio:

Presentation Slides:

PCP Presentation to Gros Morne Symposium – SP

Abstract:

In the Atlantic region QUEST is working with municipalities to help them take advantage of the benefits of energy management, such as operational cost savings and economic development opportunities. Through the Municipal Energy Learning Group in Nova Scotia, and as the Regional Climate Advisor for FCM-ICLEI’s Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) Program, QUEST will present success stories and best practices in community energy. Tools that are available to communities and municipal governments such as the FCM Maturity Scales, existing and upcoming funding for both mitigation and adaptation and the benefits of PCP membership will also be discussed. Finally, a there will be sneak peek at the Smart Energy Communities Scorecard, which is being developed to aid communities in benchmarking their progress towards becoming the resilient and future proofed regions that Atlantic Canadians want to live in.

Bio:

Samantha Peverill is the Senior Lead for Atlantic Services at QUEST, which helps develop Smart Energy Communities, with a focus on energy efficiency, enhancing reliability, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, while cutting costs. Her role includes providing research, strategic planning, communications and engagement services. Additionally, she has an MSc from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and B. Com, Environment, Social Context of Business from McGill University.