January 26, 2017

Everything Under the Sun: York University’s Engagement in Vital Environment and Climate Change Issues

In November 2016 and January 2017, York University hosted a two part research symposium called “Everything Under the Sun: York’s Engagement in Vital Environment and Climate Change Issues.” These events were co-hosted by Professor Sushanta Mitra (Associate Vice-President Research) and Professor Celia Haig-Brown (Associate Vice-President Research). Both these symposia explored a number of environmental issues from a variety of perspectives, including climate change. The hope coming out of these events is that the proceedings from the symposia will translate into larger research initiatives that create a lasting impact.

Over the two symposia, there were a number of speakers that touched on topics and issues related to climate change. Each speaker had an opportunity to give a 15 minute presentation which was followed by a question and answer period. Below, we have included some of the speakers that attendees heard from over the two events.

  • Mark Winfield (Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies) spoke about what the prospects would be for an effective national climate change strategy in Canada along with barriers to its development (e.g. the implications of a Trump administration).
  • Usman Khan (Assistant Professor, Lassonde School of Engineering) whose research interests include urban hydrology, sustainable water resource management and infrastructure, and the impacts of climate change on these systems.
  • Christina Hoicka (Assistant Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies) spoke about women researchers who have undertaken research related to energy and their areas of interest.
  • Sapna Sharma (Assistant Professor, Department of Biology) presented on her research related to the increased rate of warming in lakes that has been linked to climate change (click here for a link to a CBC article that speaks about this research).
  • Rod MacRae (Associate Professor, Faculty of Environmental Studies) spoke about the role that the food system plays in contributing to global greenhouse gas emissions. This is something that is often overlooked by decision makers so he also spoke about how the food system can contribute to greenhouse gas reduction goals.

Overall, both these events achieved the goals that were set out for them. They were attended by about 90 individuals combined who provided great feedback to the event organizers. Following the first symposium, Professor Sushanta Mitra had the following to say: “It is our firm belief that this symposium broke down silos, and definitely led to a deepened understanding of these critical issues facing our planet today and in the foreseeable future.” Professor Celia Haig-Brown added that “this symposium was a success that harks back to its origins: the interdisciplinary mandate to foster greater understanding of these key environmental and climate change issues.”

For more information:

  • Click here to access the agenda for the part one of the symposium that took place in November 2016.
  • Click here to access the agenda for the part two of the symposium that took place in January 2017.
  • If you would like to see some photos and access some key snippets from the presentations, search “#EverythingUnderTheSun” on Twitter to access the feed which was very active during the events.

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