Simon Fraser University researchers from many faculties and schools are playing a key role in searching for solutions to climate change.
Faculty of Applied Science/School of Resource and Environmental Management
• The Energy and Materials Research Group is one of the world’s leading research units studying the cost of greenhouse gas reduction.
• The Forest Ecology Lab is addressing issues including adaptive silviculture – how to grow forests to meet a broad range of management objectives, such as biodiversity and carbon sequestration.
• Fisheries researchers in the school of resource and environmental management and biological scientists are looking at how freshwater and marine species are responding to climate change.
• Karen Kohfeld, a Canada Research Chair in Climate Resources and Global Change, is studying how climate and land surface conditions influence the production of dust emissions, and how dust affects carbon assimilation through the marine food chain.
Faculty of Science
• Researchers in the Centre for Chemical Ecology, Chemistry and Biological Sciences are using pheromones in their quest to control the mountain pine beetle and other forest pests.
• Biologists are studying the impact of climate change on forestry practices and examining the possible role of carbon sequestration rates of various tree species.
• Biologist Isabelle Côté is studying the impact of climate change on the world’s valued coral reefs.
Faculty of Health Sciences
• SFU’s newest faculty has several researchers focusing on the impact of climate change on human health, which includes investigating climate variability and what affect it has on population and public health and changing patterns of disease.
Faculty of Arts
• Soil scientists in the department of geography are examining links between climate and forest soils and ecology – keys to knowing how to manage our forests and determine sustainable harvesting practices.
• Researchers are measuring sea-level changes over the millennia in the Pacific Northwest and studying climate shifts in B.C.’s coastal mountains.
• Geographer Jeremy Venditti is studying how fall and winter storms have changed and altered the magnitude of annual floods and how they, in turn, have affected the rate of channel erosion and deposition in the Fraser River basin.
• Several centres, groups, and individual researchers are addressing climate impact modelling, including John Clague, a Canada Research Chair in Natural Hazards Research in the Centre for Natural Hazards Research and the department of earth sciences, and earth sciences professor Gwenn Flowers, who holds a Canada Research Chair in glaciology and is studying the rate at which glaciers and icecaps are responding to global warming.
www.sfu.ca/pamr/news_releases/archives/news01200502.htm and www.sfu.ca/~gflowers/research.html.
• The Centre for Sustainable Community Development addresses climate adaptation and governance in a variety of projects that include how to relieve pressure on climate through better construction methods and materials, and devising strategies that value both community sustainability and investment for community infrastructure.
• A new multidisciplinary project, Secondary Effects of Climate Change on Human and Ecosystem Health, is being proposed to examine the indirect impacts of climate change. The team, from the department of earth sciences and faculty of health sciences (researcher Tim Takaro, www.fhs.sfu.ca/portal_memberdata/timt), along with the school of resource and environmental management, will also investigate secondary prevention measures and their costs.
• The Adaptation to Climate Change (ACT) initiative is working to develop policy recommendations for sustainable adaptation to climate change.
• Public Affairs and Media Relations’ list of experts on the environment features a range of individual researchers and their areas of expertise related to the environment and climate change.
Green, Green, We’re Green They Say
SFU achieves “Go Green” status in recognition of more than 20 years of significant energy conservation measures.
Each year we save:
• enough electricity to supply light and energy for 1,069 homes
• enough natural gas to supply heat for 285 homes
Our greenhouse gas emission avoidance totals 1,709 tonnes per year – the equivalent of removing 342 cars from the road.
Each year we recycle:
• 232 tonnes of cardboard and mixed paper
• 25 tonnes of wood
• 200,000 units of plastic and glass
• 36 wrapped pallets per year of electronics
• metal, batteries, food containers, fluorescent tubes, and chemicals including oil, glycol, and solvents
We will soon expand the recycling program to include soft plastics, Styrofoam, and organic materials.
All new construction meets the Canada Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green-building silver standards.
Despite the addition of five major new buildings on the Burnaby campus, energy consumption will be reduced by 10 percent over the next five years.
The newly opened Blusson Hall, home to the fledgling faculty of health sciences, is the greenest building on campus. Named for Vancouver philanthropists Stewart and Marilyn Blusson, it exceeds the LEED silver standards with planet-friendly features, including a green roof, sustainably harvested wood products, limited use of off-gassing construction materials, storm-water collection for irrigation, radiant-floor heating, and abundant natural light.
UniverCity receives kudos for being green. The American Planning Association gives it the National Planning Excellence Award for innovation in green planning. The Verdant townhouse complex, featuring 60 eco-designed suites, wins two recent awards from the Urban Development Institute for innovations in affordable housing and sustainable development. The Cornerstone in the village centre is honoured with three significant awards recognizing its environmental sustainability and eco-friendly features.