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New Expert Panel to advise governments in Atlantic Canada on Climate Change Adaptation

| Research

The Atlantic Climate Adaptation Solutions Association (ACASA) introduced today the nine members of its first Expert Panel on Climate Change Adaptation.

The panel, made up of leading researchers in the physical and social sciences, will promote awareness, understanding, and integration of climate change adaptation research. It will also provide guidance to provincial and local governments in regards to adaptation strategies to address the impacts of climate change in communities and ecosystems.

The panel will provide peer-review of papers, reports and activities, and will produce an annual communiqué to governments and the general public on the state of climate change adaptation science and policy.

'The Atlantic Region is witnessing changes to our climate today that are affecting our fisheries, our agriculture, our tourism and our natural environment. This expert group will be able to guide governments and the general public on how we can grasp the opportunities arising from these climate changes', said Dr. Adam Fenech, Chair of the Expert Panel and Director of UPEI's Climate Research Lab, host of ACASA's RACII. 'It is wonderful to see such esteemed knowledge in one room to address the important question of how society will adapt to climate change.'

The nine members of the expert panel are:

The panel will meet in person at least once a year and will represent the expert knowledge in climate change impacts and adaptation for Atlantic Canada.

The Atlantic Regional Adaptation Collaborative (ACASA) is a collaboration between Natural Resources Canada and the four Atlantic provinces. ACASA is operated with federal support through Natural Resources Canada's Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Program, and support from each of the Atlantic provinces. Learn more at


For Information:

Dave Atkinson, Research Communications, UPEI


Member Biographies
Atlantic Canada Expert Panel on Climate Change Adaptation

Trevor Bell, Ph.D., Professor
Department of Geography
Memorial University of Newfoundland

Dr. Bell is Professor of Geography and Archaeology at Memorial University of Newfoundland. His area of research expertise is landscape history from a variety of perspectives, including geological evolution, climate change impacts and human adaptation. His research approach is strongly interdisciplinary and collaborative, involving a range of disciplines in the earth, life, and social sciences. He has 30 years of field experience in Arctic and Atlantic Canada and for the past decade has worked closely with communities on co-designed research priorities. One such project is the Nunatsiavut Government-led SakKijânginnatuk Nunalik, a broad integrated research program that aims to inform best practices and provide guidance for community sustainability in northern Labrador. Trevor leads the IRIS (Integrated Regional Impact Study) team in the Eastern Canadian Arctic for ArcticNet, a Network of Centres of Excellence in Canada.

David L. Burton, Ph.D., P.Ag., Professor
Department of Environmental Sciences
Faculty of Agriculture, Dalhousie University

Dr. Burton is Soil Scientist and a Professor in the Department of Environmental Sciences in the Faculty of Agriculture, Dalhousie University. Dr. Burton's research examines the role of the soil environment in influencing the nature and extent of microbial metabolism in soil. His current research programs involve an examination of the production and consumption of greenhouse gases in natural and agricultural landscapes, influence of climate on soil biological processes, and the assessment of the quality of the soil biological environment and its influence on overall soil quality. It is the aim of this work to better understand the factors that control microbial metabolism and to use this information to developing sustainable land management systems in a changing climate. Dr. Burton was a member and co-author of the Options Paper for the Agriculture Table in National Climate Change Process and was the Chair of Canadian Agricultural Research Council's Expert Committee on Greenhouse Gas Emissions. He was also a contributing author to the Atlantic Chapter of Environment Canada's From Impacts to Adaptation: Canada in a Changing Climate.

Réal Daigle, Director
R. J. Daigle Enviro

Réal Daigle has previously worked as a Meteorologist and Program Manager with Environment Canada for a combined total of 37 years in various parts of Canada, including Nova Scotia, the Yukon, Newfoundland and Labrador, and New Brunswick. Between 2003 and 2007 he coordinated the research for an important climate change adaptation project entitled Impacts of Sea-Level Rise and Climate Change on the Coastal Zone of southeastern New Brunswick. Following his retirement from Environment Canada in 2007, he has been providing consultation services in meteorology and climate change sciences. In the past three years, he has prepared sea-level rise and storm-surge flooding estimates for many New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick First Nations coastal communities as a tool for climate change adaptation to year 2100. He specializes in the use of GIS software (ArcGIS, Global Mapper) to display flooding scenarios on LiDAR-derived 3-dimensional terrain digital models.

Adam L. Fenech, Ph.D. Director
Climate Research Lab
University of Prince Edward Island

Dr. Fenech has worked extensively in the area of climate change since the IPCC First Assessment Report in 1988. He has edited 7 books on climate change, most recently on Climate Impacts and Adaptation Science. Dr. Fenech has worked for Harvard University researching the history of the science/policy interfaces of climate change. He has represented Canada at international climate negotiating sessions; written climate policy speeches for Canadian Environment Ministers; and authored Canadian reports on climate change to the United Nations. Dr. Fenech has taught at the University of Toronto as well as the Smithsonian Institution for almost 20 years, and lectures regularly at universities across Canada and around the world. He is presently the Director of the University of Prince Edward Island's Climate Research Lab that conducts research on the vulnerability, impacts and adaptation to past and future climate change.

Michael Fox, Ph.D. Professor
Department of Geography and Environment
Mount Allison University

Dr. Fox is a professor in the Department of Geography and Environment at Mount Allison University. He has been actively involved in the Atlantic Canada Adaptations Solutions Association and the New Brunswick Regional Adaptations Collaborative over the past three years. Michael is part of the United Nations/UNESCO Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development for Atlantic Canada where he has been researching and teaching on local municipalities and rural communities and their adaptation strategies as part of their planning processes. Michael's recent research has focused on education, communication and awareness of climate change at the local level. Fox is the former Vice President Academic and Research at Mount Allison University and has held similar positions at the University of Winnipeg and Bishop's University.

Van Lantz, Ph.D. Professor and Acting Dean
Faculty of Forestry & Environmental Management
University of New Brunswick

Dr. Van Lantz received his PhD in economics from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. He joined the University of New Brunswick in 2000. His research is focused on cost-benefit and economic impact analysis of environmental and natural resources. Recent climate-related initiatives include: contributing to a 2011 report by the National Roundtable on Environment and Economy on the economic impacts of climate change and adaptation in Canadian forests; publishing findings of an NRCan-funded project on climate-induced flooding costs along the St. John River in New Brunswick; and publishing findings of an AAFC-funded project on the economic impacts of climate change on agricultural crops in northern New Brunswick. Other projects and publications relate to the analysis of factors affecting national and regional carbon dioxide emission trends, and assessing federal/provincial climate change policies.

Patricia Manuel, Ph.D., Associate Professor
School of Planning, Dalhousie University

Dr. Manuel holds a BA (Carleton) and MSc (McGill) in Physical Geography and PhD (Dalhousie) in Interdisciplinary (Environmental) Studies. She joined Dalhousie University School of Planning in 2001 after teaching Environmental Planning at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design from 1988. She holds a regular appointment as Associate Professor with the School of Planning, where she is also the School Director starting in January 2014. She holds a cross-appointment in the School of Occupational Therapy. She is also a visiting faculty member with the University Centre of the Westfjords, Akureyri University, Iceland. Her teaching, research and practice are in the broad areas of environmental and community planning, more specifically, coastal planning, climate change adaptation planning, community design and health, wetlands interpretation and management, and watershed planning. She is a full member of the Canadian Institute of Planners (MCIP) and the Atlantic Planners Institute (API) and a Licensed Professional Planner (LPP) in Nova Scotia. She has served on advisory committees on planning matters locally and regionally, including the Halifax Harbour Solutions project (sewage management), and management planning for the McNabs and Lawlor Islands Provincial Park (Halifax Harbour). She continues to serve as a member of the Park Advisory Committee. She is currently a member of the Canadian Climate Change and Coastal Risk Assessment Scientific Advisory Committee. She is dedicated to local community service providing expertise on planning and environment issues to watershed groups and ENGOs. She has also served on the board of directors of local community development and environmental organizations including the Captain William Spry Community Centre, the Ecology Action Centre, the MacIntosh Run Watershed Association, and the Williams Lake Conservation Company.

Gordon McBean, CM, O.Ont, PhD, FRSC, Director Research and External Relations
Centre for Environment and Sustainability and Policy Studies, Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction
Western University

Dr. McBean has been involved nationally and internationally in climate change related studies for over 30 years. He was a lead author for the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment and Convening Lead Author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report on Climate Extremes and an author of the 1st, 2nd, and 4th reports. He was Chair of the international Science Committee for the World Climate Research Programme and later for Integrated Research on Disaster Risk. He is Chair, Canadian Climate Forum and Advisory Board for the Ontario Climate Consortium and formerly Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences. Internationally, he is President-elect of the International Council for Science and President of Global Change START International. He was previously Professor of Atmospheric and Oceanographic Sciences at University of British Columbia and Assistant Deputy Minister in Environment Canada responsible for climate, weather and air quality sciences and services (1994-2000). He has been appointed a Member of the Order of Canada (2008), Order of Ontario (2010), Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal and is a Fellow of the: Royal Society of Canada; Royal Canadian Geographical Society; American Meteorological Society; and Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society.

Daniel Scott, Ph.D., Associate Professor
Canada Research Chair (Global Change and Tourism)
University of Waterloo

Dr. Scott is a Canada Research Chair in Global Change and Tourism and the Director of the Interdisciplinary Centre on Climate Change at the University of Waterloo (Canada). He has worked extensively in the area of climate change and tourism, including collaborations with the United Nations World Tourism Organization, United Nations Environment Programme, the World Meteorological Organization, and several tourism organizations and ministries across Canada. Dr. Scott has been a contributing author and expert reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Third, Fourth, and Fifth Assessment Reports and is currently also on the Advisory Committee to the Global Partnership for Sustainable Tourism.


Dave Atkinson
Research Communications
Integrated Communications

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