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REM student ignites interdisciplinary collaboration to implement climate solutions

March 12, 2021
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Brennan Strandberg-Salmon always knew he wanted to pursue a career in environment. Growing up in a household of devoted environmentalists, he was never ignorant about the wicked problem of climate change. Now a third year REM student, Brennan is a force to be reckoned with, making the most of his undergraduate years and leaving his mark by empowering environmental solutions. 

Seeing climate change as the greatest environmental threat, he began seizing every related hands-on learning opportunity. For example, last summer Brennan enrolled in the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions Internship Program and worked as a Climate Emergency Policy Analyst at the British Columbia Council for International Cooperation. In this role he developed a Climate Change Guide for industry and professional associations, providing resources and concrete steps on how these groups may integrate climate solutions in their practices and standards.

Brennan has also completed two co-op work placements, numerous volunteer activities, and a Semester in Dialogue, where he worked with CityStudio and the City of Vancouver. Through these experiences, Brennan saw the need for all-hands-on-deck in order to see tangible change; and the importance of Generation Z’s involvement in these initiatives.

Brennan has made it his mission to advocate for youth climate action. When Brennan notices flaws in the system, he takes matters into his own hands, using available resources to communicate to the public. Brennan has had 2 articles recently published in the National Observer—both arguing the need for government support in youth climate efforts. While there is a need for youth climate action and green jobs for youth, there also seems to be a shortage of opportunities. Brennan noticed this and promptly began a national conversation on the topic. Similarly, Brennan’s most recent article argues for the lowering of the minimum age of voting in Canada to better represent the next generation.

So, what is the greatest lesson Brennan has learned during his undergrad so far? “Addressing climate change requires interdisciplinary collaboration.” The problems are complex and so they need people from diverse experiences and perspectives to co-develop solutions.  “And we all need to implement these solutions, not just environment students.”