Playing in the KMb Climate Change Sandbox

Here are some fresh updates about the ‘KMb for Climate Change’ project. We have discovered that, when you build a sandbox for researchers and policymakers to work together, chances are, they will come and play!

November has been an exciting month for the SSHRC sponsored ‘KMb for Climate Change’ project, as we are now half a year old!  We are very excited about the level of enthusiasm and engagement from all project participants. The past two weeks demonstrate just how much the project has started to pick up momentum.

Last week, we held a project update meeting with our policy partners. The meeting included Karen Kraft Sloan, who is the Principal Investigator for the research project, along with David Phipps, the co Principal Investigator. We were also happy to be joined by Stewart Dutfield, our climate change colleague who is the Communications Manager for the Climate Consortium for Research Action and Integration (CCRAI). The meeting gave us a chance to profile some of the work already done on the project. Three of the highlights include:

  • Running a successful competition to hire a recent York Masters graduate for a Researcher position with the Region of Peel to study the economic opportunities and threats posed by climate change.
  • The completion of 15 ResearchSnapshots based on climate change related publications by York faculty members.
  • Organizing a KM in the AM in partnership with The Gateway Project and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA).

We were also able to speak in more detail about developments on the horizon for the project. Some great ideas were exchanged, including the plan to develop policy relevant case studies and organizing panel discussions on climate related topics most relevant to a given policy partner.

This week on Nov 9th, we held our first KM in the AM for the project. The event focused on the topic of: Climate Change Risks to Storm Water Management. It proved to be an exciting and well-attended event. Held in the Archetype Sustainable House at the Kortright Centre, this KM in the AM was co-led by the Gateway Project, York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit, and TRCA. The KM in the AM featured presentations by the Dr. Quentin Chiotti (Gateway), Ryan Ness (TRCA), and Dr. Kaz Higuchi (York University/Environment Canada). The event was attended by municipal stormwater engineers as well as staff from our project’s partner municipalities.

“It is important for those of us in the physical sciences to understand the scientific needs of the stakeholders, particularly in such a socio-economically important field as climate change” said Dr. Kaz Higuchi, who did a presentation on climate modelling at the event. Dr. Higuchi is an Environment Canada Scientist and an Adjunct Professor at York (see his faculty profile here). You may see slides from Dr. Higuchi’s presentation here: Kortright Centre Presentation (Nov 2010).

Our goal has been to develop a space where ideas may be exchanged and research collaboration may happen between York researchers and municipal policymakers in the area of climate change. We informally call this space the ‘Climate Change KMb sandbox’. We are really excited that our partners are starting to come and play in this sandbox and want to continue its growth and development.

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