From university professor to University Professor

At last week's York University convocation for the Faculty of Science and Lassonde Engineering School, I was made University Professor. That's me with the Dean of Science, Dr. Ray Jawawardhana. But, I'm already a university professor, so what does this mean? University Professor is an honorific title that exists at many North American universities, including University of Toronto […]

Gardening for biodiversity & local food in Carolinian Canada

Two excellent Canadian documentaries, The End of Suburbia (2004) and Escape from Suburbia (2007), discuss the enormous implications of our unsustainable North American car culture, which has spawned sprawling suburbs and gridlock in southwestern Ontario, and the Greater Toronto Area. These films include fascinating conversations with "futurists" about how people will convert their (sub)urban lawns into vegetable patches to grow local […]

YorkU's COP22 delegation will debrief on 11 January 2017

Every November and December, the news fills with reports about the United Nations climate change talks. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, UNFCCC, is one of two main international platforms where climate climate change impacts, mitigation and adaptation are addressed, the other being the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The Kyoto Protocol and […]

Why academics should regularly attend conferences where we don't present our work. Pt 2

Update: in response to Twitter peer review by @JWoodgett, I added a short section for people like him & me (STEM types) at the end, with clear, concise explanations of the concepts I discuss. If I had a penny for every colleague and student at York University who mentions the topics of colonialism, post-colonialism and our need to decolonize, […]

Why academics should regularly attend conferences where we don't present our work. Pt 1

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics), one always presents new research at every conference one attends. (Or at the very least, one must be a co-author on a talk or poster). Growing up as an ecological researcher, I've observed that there are two main reason for this ALWAYS […]

My first MOOC: UQx's Denial101x Making Sense of Climate Science Denial

Update August 4, 2015: Unfortunately, my lower back & hip injury, has taken up ridiculous amounts of my life, and limited me to a max of 7 hours a day work, standing up, since late April. I was very sad that this meant I simply couldn't complete this very worthwhile, beautifully organized MOOC. I watched the first […]

Leadership & management lessons learned directing IRIS: Part 2

When I took over as director of IRIS (the Institute for Research and Innovation in Sustainability), I was very concerned with how to improve my skill set for effective leadership and management. In many ways, my experience as a sustainability researcher from 2006-14 was as much about observing and learning from other senior people's often botched attempts at leadership […]

Updated Evidence-Based Policy in Canada Blog

I've been learning (and writing) about the science-policy-politics nexus since I took on the directorship of IRIS (York's Institute for Research and Innovation in Sustainability) in 2006. Colleagues such as York's Steacie Science Librarian, John Dupuis have done important work, documenting the Harper government's cuts to research in general and organizing the Death of Evidence Funeral […]

Marina Silva's opening speech at 3rd Adaptation Futures conference, Brazil

I'm posting after 15 May because fact-checking was needed! On Monday 12 May 2014, Marina Silva, the former Brazilian Minister of the Environment under President Lula, who is currently running on a Presidential election ticket with Eduardo Campos, as candidate for Vice-President, gave the opening speech, in Portuguese at the 3rd Adaptation Futures Conference in Fortaleza, […]