These awards support “high-calibre students engaged in doctoral programs in all academic disciplines. This support allows scholars to fully concentrate on their doctoral studies, to seek out the best research mentors in their chosen fields and contribute to the Canadian research ecosystem during and beyond the tenure of their awards.”
Yesterday, Dr. Ashlee Cunsolo participated in a series of CBC radio morning shows across Canada, in response to the Greenlandic Perspectives on Climate Change Survey. This survey provided “national estimates of residents’ climate change beliefs, experiences, risk-opportunity perceptions and emotional responses, as well as views on recent sea ice changes, glacial changes, climate change impacts, societal adaptation, and climate and environment policy preferences.” Dr. Cunsolo discussed the implications of the study for Canadians.
Here in Edmonton, we listened to the CBC Edmonton AM interview by Mark Connolly.
Send your cover letter and resume to babujee(at)ualberta.ca
Continuing our Award Winning Poster Series, we celebrate Stephanie Masina’s poster prize from the Centre for Public Health and Zoonoses Scientific Symposium in May 2017. At this conference, Steph presented her work on enteric parasites in water conducted in close collaboration with Nunavut Research Institute.
Congratulations to Steven Lam for his new publication….
Climate change is expected to exacerbate existing food security challenges, especially in Indigenous communities worldwide. Community-based monitoring (CBM) is considered a promising strategy to improve monitoring of, and local adaptation to climatic and environmental change. Yet, it is unclear how this approach can be applied in food security or Indigenous contexts. Therefore, this paper examined how community-based monitoring is used to support Indigenous food security in a changing climate. We found that monitoring was either collaborative (51%) or externally-driven (37%), and focused primarily on tracking wildlife (29%), followed by natural resources (16%), environmental change (15%), and fisheries (13%).
Climate change is expected to exacerbate existing food security challenges, especially in Indigenous communities worldwide. Community-based monitoring (CBM) is considered a promising strategy to improve monitoring of, and local adaptation to climatic and environmental change. Yet, it is unclear how this approach can be applied in food security or Indigenous contexts. The objectives of this paper are to: (1) review and synthesize the published literature on CBM of Indigenous food security; and, (2) identify gaps and trends in these monitoring efforts in the context of climate change. Using a systematic search and screening process, we identified 86 published articles. To be included, articles had to be published in a journal, describe a CBM system, describe any aspect of food security, and explicitly mention an Indigenous community. Relevant articles were thematically analyzed to characterize elements of CBM in the context of climate change. Results show that the number of articles published over time was steady and increased more than two-fold within the last five years. The reviewed articles reported on monitoring mainly in North America (37%) and South America (28%). In general, monitoring was either collaborative (51%) or externally-driven (37%), and focused primarily on tracking wildlife (29%), followed by natural resources (16%), environmental change (15%), fisheries (13%), climate change (9%), or some combination of these topics (18%). This review provides an evidence-base on the uses, characteristics, and opportunities of CBM, to guide future food security monitoring efforts in the context of climate change.
Lam, S., Dodd, W., Skinner, K., Papadopoulos, A., Zivot, C., Ford, J., Garcia, P.J., IHACC Research Team, Harper, S.L. (2019). Community-based monitoring of Indigenous food security in a changing climate: Global trends and future directions. Environmental Research Letters. 14: 073002. Click here to access the article (free open-access)
Here is the summary of the report:
“The climate is changing, with temperatures in Canada rising at twice the global average. Over the next 20 years, we can expect to see increasing impacts of climate change, from more frequent and severe hot extremes, to thawing of permafrost, to increases in extreme precipitation. These types of changes put a range of natural and human systems at risk, prompting governments to intensify their efforts to adapt to climate change and reduce greenhouse gases.
While many Canadian governments have studied climate change risks at the sectoral and departmental level, few have current, government-wide assessments that could help prioritize their response to risks across their activities and operations. Seeking a comprehensive examination of climate change risks from a whole-of-government perspective, the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat asked the CCA to examine the top climate risks for Canada and their relative significance.
To address the question, the CCA convened a multidisciplinary panel of seven experts with backgrounds in economics, human health, earth sciences, social sciences, and climate change adaptation and risk assessment. An additional 17 experts contributed their knowledge and insights at an expert workshop. The report’s findings emerged from the judgment, experience, and expertise of the workshop participants and Expert Panel members, informed by published evidence.”
Next in our Award Winning Poster Series, is a poster presented by Carlee Wright at the 2015 ArcticNet Annual Scientific Meeting in Vancouver. Carlee won a poster prize for her work that was conducted in partnership with the community of Rigolet on drinking water and Inuit health.
Next in our series of Award Winning Poster profiles is a poster by Rebecca Wolff. In 2015, Rebecca Wolff presented a poster at the Canadian Conference on Global Health. She won the top poster prize for Best Contribution to Global Health for her work entitled, “Its spirit is strong”: Shawi spirits, healers and diarrhea in the Peruvian Amazon.
To celebrate the summer solstice, the Climate Change and Global Health Research Group would like to officially welcome our summer students! This summer, we have students joining us from Canada, England, and Peru to study the interconnections between health and changing environments.
Alexandra Nunns joins us from England, where she is an undergraduate student in Sustainability and Environmental Management at the University of Leeds.
Etienne de Jongh is a University of Alberta undergraduate student. Etienne was awarded the Undergraduate Research Initiative (URI) under the supervision of Dr Simon Otto, Dr Sherilee Harper, and Dr Shelby Yamamoto.
Andrea Valdivia joins us from Peru, where she is studying nutrition at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (UPCH).
Sherilee Harper was recently awarded a Canada Research Chair. Canada Research Chairs are awarded to “world-class scientists and scholars from diverse backgrounds who are working on new discoveries and innovations that help our environment, health, communities and economy thrive.” The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, recently announced the new Canada Research Chairs, which are funded by the Government of Canada.
As a Canada Research Chair in Climate Change and Health, Dr. Harper will conduct research focusing on “adaptation strategies to protect health in Inuit communities.”
In our series on award winning posters, we are pleased to share another poster created and presented by the talented Dr. Alex Sawatzky. In this poster, Alex presents research that she conducted in collaboration with Rigolet Inuit to examine Inuit-identified metrics for monitoring and responding to climate change in the Circumpolar North.
Alex presented this poster at the 2018 ArcticNet Annual Scientific Meeting, and won the poster prize - for the third year in a row!
About a year ago, and shortly after ITK’s Inuit Research Strategy was released, Jen Jones led the publication of an article that examined environmental health research in the Circumpolar North.
Addressing factors leading to health disparities in the Circumpolar North require approaches that consider and address the social determinants of health including on-going colonization. Today, colonization and related policies and processes, continue to manifest in the marginalization of Indigenous knowledge, particularly its use in research; however, Indigenous populations have moved from being research subjects to leaders and consumers of environmental health research. Given the tensions that exist between how health research is conducted, how the results are mobilized, and who has control and access to the results, we examined how peer-reviewed environment-related Indigenous health research in the Circumpolar North is serving the needs of Indigenous communities, governments, and organizations. Read the full article here.
Citation: Jones, J., Cunsolo, A., & Harper, S. L. (2018). Who is research serving? A systematic realist review of circumpolar environment-related Indigenous health literature. PloS one, 13(5), e0196090.
As part of our series on award winning poster presentations, it is pleasure to share a poster presented by Alex. At the 2017 ArcticNet Annual Scientific Meeting, Dr. Alex Sawatzky presented the results of her literature review about integrated environment and health surveillance in the Circumpolar North. Her poster won a poster prize at the conference, and this work has been published since then (click here to access the free article).
About the Assessment Report
The World Health Organization has identified climate change as the greatest threat to global health and to health systems in the 21st Century. Climate change risks to the health of Canadians are increasing and many impacts are already being observed. Using the latest evidence, and engaging experts from across the country, the Government of Canada is conducting a climate change and health assessment, which is expected to be released in the summer of 2021. The report, Health of Canadians in a Changing Climate: Advancing our Knowledge for Action, will provide an assessment of the risks of climate change to the health of Canadians and the health care system. It will also support actions by health decision makers at local, provincial/ territorial and national levels, as well as those who work in public health, health care, emergency management, research and community organizations.
Sherilee Harper is a Lead Author working on the Food Security and Food Safety Chapter in this report. Additionally, team members Amreen Babujee and Katharine Neale have been providing research support on this Chapter.
Learn more about the Assessment:
Visit the website to learn more https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/environment/impacts-adaptation/21189
Crystal presented her systematic scoping review of the climate change and nutrition literature in the North. Her review aimed to answer the question: how does food security and nutrition research enhance our understanding of climate change impacts and adaptation?
“It was an amazing experience having the opportunity to connect with students studying diverse research topics across the nutritional sciences and listening to talks from the pioneers of maternal nutrition research. Leaving the national meeting for the Canadian Nutrition Society held at the Sheraton in Niagara Falls I felt bright-eyed and hopeful for the future of nutrition.”
We are excited to share our recent publication on the need for community-led, integrated and innovative monitoring programmes when responding to the health impacts of climate change in the Circumpolar North.
As a part of our Award Winning Poster series, we are pleased to share Kate Bishop-Williams’ poster from 2014. Winning the poster prize at the 2014 ArcticNet Annual Scientific Meeting, Kate shared her research on the seasonal prevalence of acute gastrointestinal illness in Rigolet, Nunatsiavut. This work was conducted in partnership with the Rigolet Inuit Community Government.
It's our pleasure to share our new publication, which provides a synthesis of the forthcoming first order draft of the Canadian Government’s National Assessment on Climate Change ‘Rural and Remote’ chapter, highlighting key health concerns from the literature associated with climate change in rural and remote regions, as well as existing and future adaptation strategies.