Seminar Abstract

Ian Walker

Thursday, November 13, 2008 (special day)
Marine Sciences Building 123 (special location)

Climate change impacts & adaptations in British Columbia: Results from a recent Canadian National Assessment

This talk presents an overview of findings from the British Columbia Chapter of Natural Resource Canada's recent national assessment entitled, From Impacts to Adaptation: Canada in a Changing Climate 2007. The BC chapter presents both regional and sectoral impacts and ongoing adaptations as well as new downscaled climatology assessments and future scenarios.  A case study of two very different coastal communities (Graham Island, Haida Gwaii/Queen Charlotte Islands and the Corporation of Delta in Greater Vancouver) is presented to highlight community-based research approaches and the resulting intricacies of assessing climate change impacts with communities toward developing relevant and appropriate adaptation strategies. The presentation concludes with a discussion of policy-relevant findings that could apply to many regions of the Pacific Northwest.

Speaker bio:

Ian J. Walker is an Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Victoria, British Columbia.  He obtained his BSc from the University of Toronto in 1995 and his PhD from the University of Guelph in 2000.  His research expertise includes beach-dune geomorphology, sedimentary processes, and assessing the signals and coastal impacts of climate variability and sea-level rise.  In 2007 he was awarded the Canadian Geomorphology Research Group's distinguished J.R. Mackay award for significant research by an emerging geomorphologist.  Dr. Walker's work in climate change impacts and adaptations includes: i) lead researcher on a multi-disciplinary team that examined environmental and community vulnerabilities on one of Canada's most sensitive coastlines to sea-level rise - Graham Island, Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands), BC, ii) co-lead of the British Columbia Chapter in the recent Natural Resources Canada Report entitled, "From Impacts to Adaptation: Canada in a Changing Climate 2007", and ii) lead of a coast-wide climate change and coastal erosion monitoring network with Parks Canada in BC's three coastal National Parks (Gwaii Haanas, Gulf Islands, and Pacific Rim).  His research is supported by funding and partnerships with NSERC, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, Natural Resources Canada, Geological Survey of Canada, and Parks Canada.  He also works closely with the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium (PCIC) at UVic.