Archive for the ‘Funding’ Category
CC-RAI is proud to share our report on the acitvities of two climate change working groups, one focused on climate change literacy and the other on interdisciplinary collaboration and capacity building for research and action on climate change. CC-RAI would like to acknowledge the support of the office for Research and Innovation as well as the many faculty and students who participated as members of our climate change working groups.
Despite existing commitments, a broad array of faculty and students chose to take part in this pilot project. They have included faculty and students from the Faculty of Science and Engineering (Atmospheric Sciences and Chemistry), the Faculty of Environmental Studies, the Department of Geography, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Laboratory of Mathematical and Parallel Systems (LAMPS), the School of Information Technology, and the School of Administrative Studies. We would also like to thank members from Learning for Sustainable Futures (LSF) and Institute for Research and Innovation in Sustainability (IRIS) for taking part in this initiative.
One of the working groups focused on developing a draft climate change literacy toolkit which addresses a broad range of topics – from an overview of climate change and extreme weather to a discussion of climate change adaptation and the perception of climate change in the media. The current draft of the toolkit represents a working compilation of submissions by the working group. The next revision of the toolkit will focus on harmonizing the various voices of the authors and cohesively improving the overall quality and readability of the material presented. At a recent meeting of the working group the decision was also made to revise the current draft as a resource for teachers wishing to discuss climate change with their students. Subsequent versions for parents and students would be another option. Additional details on this discussion are provided in the workshop report section of the report. Moreover, the revised sections of the text will be incorporated into the online component of the project – a dedicated Tumblr blog entitled Collaborating for Climate Change Literacy.
With respect to the interdiscplinary collaboration project, between December and mid-February, an on-line survey was distributed to faculty and graduate students engaged in climate change research. Research Officers and Associate Deans of Research helped to publicize the questionnaire and encourage responses from their faculty. At the same time, CC-RAI contacted researchers from its existing database to complete the survey. Once the data were collected and analyzed, computer programs have been developed to identify connections among participants and summary reports were prepared pertaining to the project. A preliminary network of researchers with interests in climate change research was created to determine the connections and potential for collaboration between researchers. The next interation of the project will focus on bringing faculty and researchers together to work on joint climate change research initiatives in both the social and natural sciences.
If you would like to know more about these projects or take part in one of the working groups we would be glad to hear from you. The current phase of the project has led to a range of potential follow-up projects, CC-RAI will keep you posted. Once again we would like to thanks those individuals who took part in the project to date.
Interdisciplinary Collaboration Working Group: Marina Erechtchoukova (Co-chair, School of Information Technology, LAPS), Rachel Hirsch (Co-chair, Faculty of Environmental Studies, Post-Doctoral Fellow), Susan Chalmers (Faculty of Environmental Studies, CC-RAI Graduate Assistant), Jessica Notwell (Faculty of Environmental Studies, CC-RAI Graduate Assistant), Osama Askoura (International Work Study Student)
Climate Literacy Working Group: Rick Bello (LAPS – Geography), Shishir Handa (Co-chair, LAPS – Geography), Monica Vaswani (Co-chair, LAPS – Geography), Georges Monette (Math & Stats), Walter Whiteley (Math & Stats, Education), Hassan Qudrat-Ullah (LAPS – School of Administrative Studies), Masao Ashtine (Faculty of Environmental Studies), Kristina Delidjakova (LAPS – Geography), Bernhard Isopp (Science and Technology Studies), Matthew MacLean (Faculty of Environmental Studies), Jennet Poffenroth (Faculty of Environmental Studies), Aaron Saad (Faculty of Environmental Studies), Diego Alejandro Sotomayor (LAPS – Geography), Janine Baijnath (University of Waterloo), Amit Lahiri (Centennial College, MES Alumni), Christina Wong (University of Toronto).
Extreme wind, public health, the Ontario wine industry, renewable energy, polar bears, land cover changes, South American ecology, the Clean Development Mechanism, West Nile Virus, art and design. What do all of these research topics have in common? Climate change. On November 24th, CC-RAI hosted it first annual 7&7 Graduate Climate Change Research Symposium and Mixer at York University.
As one of the final events of a SSHRC public outreach grant, CC-RAI and Knowledge Mobilization brought together students from universities across the province, including Brock University, the University of Toronto, the University of McMaster, the University of Waterloo, and York University among others. In total, 16 graduate researchers from across the province presented their research to other students, academics and members of the private and public sector. This diverse array of students highlighted an incredible range of research with direct relevance to Ontario’s socioeconomic and environmental future, not to mention a range of global issues. Whether it was the issue of extreme weather, the complexities of the clean development mechanism, the minutia of renewable energy regulation or climate changes impact on Ontario’s 1 billion dollar wine industry – the message was clear – there is no shortage of problems to study and a lot of unanswered questions to address.
Supporting the development of highly qualified personnel (HQP) in the sciences and social sciences with a focus on climate change is critical to maintaining, retaining and developing Ontario’s next generation of talented scientists, researchers and professionals. Another important aspect to this work involves building a network of climate savvy professionals to support such development. We look forward to hosting a second 7&7 Symposium next fall. A complete list of presenters and their research interests can be found online. A complete listing of presentation slides will also be made available shortly.
CC-RAI would also like to thank Green Venture and Green Air Hamilton for allowing us to showcase posters designed by high school students aimed at highlighting some of the challenges posed by a changing climate. We would also like to thank Kobo for generously donating Kobo e-readers as prizes for graduate student presenters and audience members. This one-day event was made possible with the generous funding of SSHRC, the Knowledge Mobilization Unit and CC-RAI. Other activities associated with this project have included the placement of six SSHRC interns in policy partner organizations across the GTA.
As part of the Public Outreach Grant SSHRC interns had the opportunity to work with policy partners on profiling some of their current projects. Over the next few weeks CC-RAI will be highlighting that work as part of series of climate change related case studies. The case studies were developed by all of the SSHRC interns in partnership with Knowledge Mobilization and their respective hosts, including the City of Toronto’s Environment Office, Region of Peel, York Region, Durham Region, ACER and the TRCA.
SSHRC intern and Schulich MBA candidate Sarah Applebaum continues our case study series with a look at Toronto Public Health’s Hot Weather Response Plan. The initiative that aims to safeguard populations affected by extreme heat now and into the future – a future in which Toronto is expected to experience an increasing number of extreme heat events.
SSHRC Internships: Sarah Applebaum developing the business case for climate change adaptation at Toronto Environment Office
As an MBA student specializing in Sustainability at the Schulich School of Business at York University I jumped at the chance to work with the Toronto Environment Office (TEO) for the summer. The initial draw of the position was the opportunity to develop a business case for climate change adaptation activities at the City. As my internship progressed, priorities within the office have shifted and new projects arose.
Through a partnership with The Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance, we convened a multi-stakeholder meeting involving infrastructure providers, utilities, the private sector, academics, and representatives from the three orders of government. The aim of this meeting was to gauge interest in the formation of a Toronto Region Action Group to discuss resilience to extreme weather. This is an initiative that is moving forward, with the first meeting of the action group scheduled for late September.
It is an extremely interesting time to be working for the municipal government, and Toronto Environment Office. Last week, the Core Service Review, conducted by KPMG, recommended that the City undertake a number of changes and reductions in its environmental protection and improvement activities to help the city realize cost savings and close the deficit gap.
Political leanings and ideology aside, this is a great example of how our government works and the democratic process. On Thursday July 21, the public is invited to provide deputations (in person or written) expressing their opinion about these proposed reductions.
With a focus in both sustainability and organizational change, I am very interested in the outcomes of this process. How will the vision, mission, and activities of the Toronto Environment Office evolve? How will these changes be communicated not only to TEO staff, but within city hall and to the general public? How will the key decision makers obtain buy in from key stakeholders?
About the Graduate Student: Sarah is an MBA Candidate (2012) at the Schulich School of Business with a focus on Sustainability and Organizational Change. She holds a Bachelor degree in Environmental Science and International Development Studies from Dalhousie University. Sarah is an active student leader within the Schulich Community. She is President of the Schulich Chapter of Net Impact (an international organization focused on socially responsible business issues), executive member of the planning committee for the Inaugural Schulich International Case Competition, and is a consultant with the York Sustainable Enterprise Consultants. After completion of the MBA, Sarah plans to work with organizations to embed sustainability principles into their business models and strategic plans.
The Climate Consortium for Research Action and Integration (CC-RAI) is developing two working groups, with York University faculty expertise in the areas of Climate Change Literacy and Strengthening Climate Change Interdisciplinary Collaborations. The formation of these two working groups follows from the recommendations of the CC-RAI report Climate is No Small Talk: Climate Change Research at York and Beyond from the meeting of climate-change practitioners on December 6, 2010. The Office of the Vice-President of Research and Innovation is providing $7500.00 in funding for each of these two initiatives for the period April 1, 2011 to March 31, 2012.
A report of working group initiatives will be submitted to the VPRI and Management Committee of CC-RAI by March 31, 2012 and will be used to support the CC-RAI mandate of fostering enhanced climate change related research at York University.
Faculty or graduate students interested in participating in the working groups should contact, the Co-Chair of the CC-RAI Research Committee, Richard Bello, email@example.com.
For additional details please refer to the link.
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