The Octopus's Garden

Planning for Sea Level Rise Series

Who will be tending your vegetable garden when the ocean rises? An octopus? A seastar?

The Octopus's Garden series features experts on sea level rise from a wide variety of backgrounds who will address ways we can adapt and build resilience, with a focus on local to global challenges and solutions.

Grand finale of the series

November 8, 2017 -  7pm,  SFU Centre for Dialogue
Sea Level Rise - The Big Picture

SFU's Adaptation to Climate Change Team (ACT), the Pacific Water Research Centre in Faculty of Environment and Dialogue Programs in partnership with the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, the City of Vancouver, Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation and the Vancouver Aquarium are pleased to invite you to the last talk in the Octopus’s Garden Series featuring John Englander, Oceanographer, Consultant and Leading Expert on Sea Level Rise, Florida, USA and Gil Kelley, Chief Planner and General Manager of Planning, Urban Design and Sustainability, City of Vancouver and Dr. Sybil Seitzinger, Executive director of the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions.

When: November 8, 2017, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Where: SFU Centre for Dialogue
Reservations: This talk is free and open to everyone. Reservations are recommended as seating is limited.



John Englander is an oceanographer, consultant and leading expert on sea level rise. His broad marine science background coupled with explorations to Greenland and Antarctica allow him to see the big picture of sea level rise and its societal impacts. He brings the diverse points of view of an industry scientist, entrepreneur and CEO. For over 30 years, he has been a leader in both the private and non-profit sectors, serving as Chief Executive Officer for the International SeaKeepers and the Coutsteau Society. As founder of Englander and Associates John works with businesses, government agencies and communities to understand the financial risks of increased flooding due to the compounding effects of rising seas, extreme tides, unprecedented rainfall and storm surge, advocating for “intelligent adaptation”. He believes that along with the tremendous risks in the coming decades there will also be enormous economic opportunities that will allow us to thrive if we begin to plan and adapt now.

Gil Kelley is the General Manager of Planning, Urban Design and Sustainability, with the City of Vancouver.
He leads the City’s work on all city planning visioning, policy, urban design, and major development negotiations. He is also responsible for the effective implementation of the Greenest City Action Plan, Renewable City Strategy, and green building initiatives. He is a voting member of the Development Permit Board and a member of the Corporate Management Team. Before joining the City of Vancouver in 2016, Gil was the director of citywide planning for the City of Francisco and also spent ten years as the director of planning for the City of Portland. An alumnus of the prestigious Loeb Fellowship program at Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Gil holds a BA in political economy and is a graduate candidate for a Master of Science degree from MIT.

Sybil Seitzinger is the Executive Director of the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS), and Professor in the School of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria. Dr. Seitzinger joins PICS from her position as executive director of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) based in Stockholm, Sweden. Prior to that, she was director of the Rutgers/NOAA Cooperative Marine Education and Research Program and visiting professor at Rutgers University in the US. She served as president of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography from 2006-2010. Dr. Seitzinger’s work at the IGBP involved facilitating and integrating the work of scientists and researchers across Africa, the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe on global environmental change. As a pioneering scientist, her work at Rutgers centred on land-atmosphere-ocean biogeochemistry, with a focus on changes in the global nitrogen cycle and how humans are affecting it. Dr. Seitzinger holds a PhD in biological oceanography from the University of Rhode Island, is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has been awarded an honorary PhD from Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

Past talks: 

October 19, 2017

Sea Level Rise and Forced Migration - The Challenges for Climate Refugees, featuring Dr. Saleemul Huq, Director, Centre for Climate Change and Development, London, U.K. (via video conference); James Horncastle, Lecturer, Hellenic Studies, Simon Fraser University and Anna Zhuo, Co-founder, Climate Migrants and Refugees Project, Vancouver.

Link to the recording

October 5, 2017

Sea Level Rise and the International Response - Policy Action, featuring Special Envoy on Water for the Kingdom of the Netherlands Henk Ovink and flood consultant Tamsin Lyle (Ebbwater Consulting) and Lawyer Deborah Carlson (West Coast Enviornmental Law).

Link to the recording

September 21, 2017

 "Sea Level Rise in Deep History - First Nations Coastal Flood Stories", with Squamish Chief Ian Campbell and Haida elder Captain Gold who will share stories from their nation’s history followed by discussion. Click here for the poster of the event.

Link to the recording

June 8, 2017
Planning for Sea Level Rise - Local challenges and solutions 

Link to the recording 

About the Octopus’s Garden: Planning for Sea Level Rise Series:

Regions around the world are experiencing climate change impacts such as droughts, floods, wildfires, and heat waves, while planning for the long-term effects of sea level rise and coastal storms. These stressors are driving damages and increased costs for communities, and increasing the risk of mass migration. Building on the success of the Resiliency and YOU talk, this series runs from June-November 2017, and features experts on sea level rise from a variety of backgrounds who will address ways we can adapt and build resilience, with a focus on local to global challenges and solutions. Topics to be addressed include the science and physical challenges to sea level rise, local and provincial and international preparations and initiatives, climate refugees, traditional knowledge and indigenous responses to sea level rise, and finally what to expect globally - and what we can do about it locally.

For the poster of the series click here

Brought to you by the Adaptation to Climate Change Team (ACT), and the Pacific Water Research Centre in the Faculty of Environment at Simon Fraser University, the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions, the City of Vancouver, Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, and  the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre.

November 08, 2017