Posts Tagged ‘York’
On March 1st, York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit and the Climate Consortium for Research Action Integration (CC-RAI) co-hosted the York University Climate Change Policy & Research Day. This was the biggest event held so far as part of the Knowledge Mobilization for Climate Change project. The event demonstrated the value of seeking far greater research collaboration between researchers and policy makers to tackle climate change with the urgency it deserves.
We were fortunate to have as our chair Karen Kraft Sloan, Special Advisor on the Environment to the Vice President Research and Innovation, Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies and Canada’s former Ambassador on the Environment.
This event brought together 3 distinct groups:
- policy staff from local and regional governments and community organizations from City of Toronto, the Region of Durham, the Region of Peel, Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), the Association for Canadian Education Resources (ACER); and York Region;
- researchers from York’s Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES) Peter Victor, Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LAPS) Ali Asgary, Richard Bello, David Etkin, as well as Science & Engineering (FSE) Huaiping Zhu;
- graduate students from across various academic disciplines
In the morning, an audience of York graduate students and faculty as well as other invited policy staff observed an open forum between policy staff and researchers. The policy makers presented on climate change issues they face, shared adaptation strategies, and identified areas where they need expert opinions and more research. York’s professors responded with their ideas and presented their latest research on climate change impacts and adaptation.
Researchers and policy makers came together to address research gaps and explore potential research collaborations. For instance, the City of Toronto sought opinions on the best way to build a business case for adaptation to climate change while the Region of Peel was interested in working with York’s professors to develop a regional database of environmental statistics and economic data to help them in their decision making. The researchers, many of whom advise national governments on best practices for mitigating and adapting to climate change, were excited by the prospect of working with local policy makers towards home-grown solutions.
“It was really good for me personally to know the people who are working in this area and [I] would welcome any opportunity to collaborate with them in this very important line of research” said Ali Asgary, who is the Graduate Program Director of the York MA program in Disaster & Emergency Management.
Collaborations like this are key to getting Canada as a whole to achieve fair, ambitious, and binding carbon emissions reductions. “I enjoyed the panel discussions … the interaction between the academic/research perspective and the policy participants’ viewpoint was very interesting” said Nancy Rutherford who is the Principal Planner in the Policy Planning Branch at the Region of Durham.
York graduate students greatly enjoyed the lively panel. “I very much enjoyed the presentation. I gained a lot of valuable information” said Maryum Sherazi, a Masters of Environmental Studies (MES) student at York University. “I also enjoyed getting insights on the relationship between the policy makers and the researchers”.
Students and policy makers mingled in the afternoon session, which emphasized career pathing. “It was a valuable chance to meet senior policy makers who are doing such important work on climate change,” said Erica Stahl, a candidate in the joint MES/JD program at York University studying climate change and social justice. “Sometimes you forget that you can turn your passion into a career, and that your job can help make the world a better place. This event got me inspired again.” Everyone involved expressed their desire to build on the relationships forged at this event. “[It was] inspiring to meet [a] group working together towards greatest impact [on this issue]” wrote one participant in their evaluation form for the event.
The Knowledge Mobilization Unit worked with the organizations represented on the panel to profile a competition for five paid summer internships at the City of Toronto, the Region of Durham, Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), the Association for Canadian Education Resources (ACER); and York Region.
CC-RAI would like to thanks our policy partners for taking part as well as York faculty.
In the fall of 2011, the Knowledge Mobilization for Climate Change Project will host its Research Forum. This event will build on the successes of the Policy and Research Day and profile the student interns who will have completed their placements with our policy partners. March 1st was just the beginning.
This event also had a social media presence. It was live tweeted by a number of our participants with the hashtag #KMbCC. For a full transcript of the tweets, please see here. Gary Myers, Digital Researcher at York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit also wrote about the event on his blog, KMbeing. You may read Gary’s post by clicking here.
On March 1st, 2011 from 8:30am-3:00pm in the Harry Crowe Room (109 Atkinson) York University and Knowledge Mobilization (KMb) will be hosting the York University Climate Change and Policy Research Day.
Join faculty, researchers and policy makers from the City of Toronto, the Regions of York, Durham, and Peel, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, and the Weather Water Gateway project for a panel discussion on climate change work being done at the regional and municipal level, as well as existing research gaps and opportunities for collaboration.
Karen Kraft Sloan, former Canadian Ambassador for the Environment and adjunct faculty at the Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES) will chair a series of panel discussions on current climate change research gaps and opportunities for collaboration with project partners with policy partners, faculty and graduate students.
This event will also allow graduate students to hear from policymakers about potential career paths and to speak to them directly about the Climate Change summer internships being offered by York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit.
Watch this spot for details on upcoming internship details next week!
This event is generously supported by funds from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).
While the temperature was dropping outside on a chilly December day, the British High Commissioner Anthony Cary and Consul-General Jonathon Dart were given a warm greeting by York’s Vice-President for Research and Innovation, Stan Shapson and CCRAI as they arrived for a special visit to York. The visit organized by VPRI and CCRAI consisted of lunchtime exchange with York faculty and CCRAI’s founding partner TRCA. The lunchtime conversation provided the opportunity for a discussion on climate change, renewable energy as well as tour of the CRESS laboratories. Included in the York hosting committee was Stewart Dutfield, CCRAI Program and Communications Manager and Karen Kraft Sloan, former Canadian Ambassador for the Environment and FES adjunct faculty.
Along with the High Commissioner and the Consul-General, the British delegation included Euan Wallace (Head of the Global Issues Group) and Claire Hastings (Policy, Projects, and Communications Associate).
The luncheon provided an opportunity to highlight the incredible range of research projects and initiatives currently underway at York University. Dean of the Faculty of Environmental Studies, Barbara Rahder, highlighted the many FES faculty with a direct and indirect interests in climate change research and outlined a new faculty project, the Sustainable Energy Initiative. Dean Rahder was joined by colleagues Peter Victor, Mark Winfield, and Jose Etcheverry.
Prof Victor had recently returned from the United Kingdom and a presentation to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Wellbeing Economics for a discussion on how wellbeing economics might help the world deal with climate change. Prof Winfield, a former director of the Pembina Institute and leading policy expert pointed to work the province has done in providing leadership in energy policy. Prof Etcheverry, an active proponent for the development of renewable energy in Canada and internationally provided additional comments on Ontario initiatives and examples of action in other jurisdictions.
The Facultyof Science and Engineering was represented by Robert McLaren, Peter Taylor and Jack McConnell. Prof McLaren (Director of the Centre for Atmospheric Chemistry) discussed a number of projects related to the analysis of atmospheric chemistry and pollution. Peter Taylor, talked about his work researching dust storms on Mars as well as the dynamics of wind energy development on planet Earth.
Douglas Cumming of the Schulich of School of Business and Ontario Research Chair in Economics and Cross Cultural Studies highlighted a number issues related to venture capital, law and policy with respect to the development of a greener economy. Also participating was Rick Bello, an Arctic researcher and co-chair of the CC-RAI Research Group. Rick is a collaborator in a TRCA research project focused on understanding evapotranspiration from urban and natural areas in the Humber Watershed.
Lorna Wright, Associate Vice-President International, highlighted a number the existing partnerships between York University and universities in the UK, with a view to strengthening that relationship. David Phipps, Director, Office of Research Services & Knowledge Exchange (KMb) at York University addressed the role that his office plays in supporting research at York and facilitating technology transfer and commercialization.
Chandra Sharma, Senior Manager Climate Programs at TRCA was also able to attend the luncheon and highlight current TRCA projects including Partners in Project Green, STEP and the continuing development of the Kortright Centre.
Following lunch the UK delegation was hosted on a tour of the CRESS laboratories by Dr. Brian Solheim and Mike Daly. The UK High Commissioner was very interested in the instrumentation used in the Mars Phoenix Lander as well the other devices designed to measure atmospheric gases such as carbon dioxide and methane, two key drivers linked to a changing climate.
The UK High Commissioner, Consul-General and other members of the delegation had an impressive technical understanding and a keen interest in promoting dialogue around climate change, and a shift to a less-carbon intensive society. The visit highlighted the value gained in sharing knowledge and the potential for collaboration to address the challenges associated with a changing climate.