Welcome to the April 2023 edition of the EUC Research Update - bringing you highlights from research activities at York's Faculty of Environmental & Urban Change. We invite you to view our past updates on our Research News page.
Danielle Legault on animals, welfare & Canadian international development.
Jennifer Foster's new book on post-industrial urban green space: ecology, aesthetics and justice.
Farida Rady on "public” space for whom? Encampment evictions, spatio-legal exclusion, and differentiated urban citizenships.
Accolades and Awards
At York's annual Research Awards Celebration on April 12th, several EUC faculty members were recognized for their accomplishments.
Linda Peake was awarded the prestigious President’s Research Excellence Award (PREA) for her distinguished scholarly achievements and notable impact in the field of urban geography. Peake is the Director of the CITY Institute and a feminist geographer with research interests in the co-construction of subjectivities and urban places, particularly pertaining to marginalized communities in the urban global south.
Dayna Scott and Joseph Mensah were recognized for leading and co-leading major grants. Scott has been awarded a SSHRC Partnership Grant for her project, “Infrastructure Beyond Extractivism: Material Approaches to Restoring Indigenous Jurisdiction”. Mensah is co-director in an IDRC Women RISE project and in a SSHRC Partnership project titled "I am because we are: Amplifying Sub-Saharan African immigrants’ resilience and ability to thrive" based at the University of Alberta.
Ellie Perkins was recognized for her important contributions as a lead author of a chapter in the 2022 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment report, which tackles the social aspects of climate change mitigation.
On April 26th, Dean Alice Hovorka also announced the Dean's Awards to EUC faculty and staff members in recognition of their research, teaching and service excellence. The 2023 awardees are:
Ilan Kapoor and Nashwa Lina Khan for their innovative pedagogy and curricular practice that inspires and motivates students and enhances the quality of learning;
Joanne Huy (Alumni Engagement and Events Officer) for her commitment to excellence in her service to EUC and for exhibiting professionalism, creativity and innovation;
Nicki Hemmings (People Partner) for her collaborative, collegial and strategic service to the Faculty.
PhD Candidate in the Geography program, Amanda Little, has been awarded the 2023 Jennifer Robinson Memorial Scholarship from the Arctic Institute of North America for her study “Seasons of change: investigating the influence of seasonality and climate change on mining-related arsenic toxicity to plankton communities in lakes from the Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada region.” Her project will be showcased in an upcoming issue of the scientific journal Arctic.
EUC also awarded four Undergraduate Research Awards (EUCURA) that provide opportunities for selected students to tackle a focused research project this summer under the mentorship of a faculty member.
Mariam Alam will work with Lina Brand Correa on the project ‘Developing a Green Bonds Database’ to collect environmental data to assess potential impacts of projects financed by green or sustainable bonds. Jesse Hughes will work with Gail Fraser on the project ‘Quantifying predator type and abundance of nesting common terns at Tommy Thompson Park’. Altrisha Rodrigues will work with Jennifer Korosi on the project ‘Bioindicators of legacy arsenic ecotoxicity in Yellowknife (Northwest Territories) lakes impacted by historic gold mining operations’. Jasper Wong will work with Adeyemi Olusola on the project ‘Land use/Land cover dynamics and land surface temperature within the Humber River Catchment using remote sensing and GIS’.
Two EUC students have been awarded NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards to work with EUC faculty members.
Summer Solmes will work with Sheila Colla on the project "Protected areas and biodiversity conservation: Are insects declining?" to learn how to identify bees and butterflies in the field using field guides as well as conduct various insect collection methods.
Asli Yusuf will work with Jennifer Korosi on a project titled "Investigating a possible critical ecological transition in a subarctic lake" to analyze diatoms and macroscopic charcoal in a dated sediment core collected from a lake in the Dehcho that experienced browning between 1950 and 2018.
Cara Clairman, CEO & President of Plug n’ Drive and MES alumna, is in Maclean’s Power List: Top 10 EV Entrepreneurs. Plug n’ Drive is a non-profit that is accelerating the deployment of EVs to maximize their environmental and economic benefits. Clairman has taken Plug’n Drive from an idea to a thriving non-profit organization that is recognized as a leader in the electric vehicle (EV) space. She has more than 20 years of experience working in the environmental and sustainability fields, including 12 years working at Ontario Power Generation, initially as OPG’s environmental lawyer and later in the role Vice President of Sustainable Development. Listen to her recent ANC podcast on ZEV inventory, price wars and more.
Publications and Reports
EUC has released its first Impact Report demonstrating the substantive and meaningful impact the Faculty has achieved in its first three years. The report describes EUC's impact through: academic programs that enhance student experiences; collaborations and partnerships that advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals; research excellence and engagement activities; and, championing equity and Black inclusion. Do take time to read our inaugural EUC Impact Report 2022-2023.
Birch, K. and Ward, C. (2023). Introduction: Critical approaches to rentiership. Environment and Planning A. Economy and Space. March.
Das, R. (2023). Capital, Capitalism and Health. Critical Sociology. Volume 49, Issue 3.
Hyndman, J. (2023). Filling a Critical Gap: Refuge at 40. Refuge: Canada’s Journal on Refugees / Refuge : revue canadienne sur les réfugiés, Vol. 39, No. 1, 1–4.
Meherali, S., Munro, S. Puinean, G., Salami, B., Pui-Hing Wong, J., Vandermorris, A., Benoit, J.R.A., Flicker, S., Okeke-Ihejirika, P., Eleni Stroulia, E., Norman, W.V., and Scott, S.D. (2023). Co-designing a Sexual Health App With Immigrant Adolescents: Protocol for a Qualitative Community-Based Participatory Action Research Study. JMIR Publications: Advancing Digital Health and Open Science. March.
Olusola, A., Ogunjo, S. and Olusegun, C. (2023). The role of teleconnections and solar activity on the discharge of tropical river systems within the Niger basin. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. March. 195, 476.
Perkins, P.E. (2023). Education for Regeneration. In The Future of Sustainability Education in North American Universities edited by Naomi Krogman. University of Alberta Press.
Robin, T., Rotz, S., and Xavier, A. (2023). Indigenous Food Sovereignty in Ontario: A Study of Exclusion at the Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs. Yellowhead Institute.
Sotomayor, L. and Zheng, C. (2023). Who Drinks Bubble Tea? Coethnic Studentification in Toronto’s Chinatown. Housing Policy Debate, March.
Wu, Fulong and Keil, R. (2023, Eds). Changing Asian Urban Geographies: Urbanism and Peripheral Areas. Routledge. June.
Events and Media Coverage
On April 4, Kean Birch, Director of the Institute for Technoscience & Society, presented a talk on Rethinking Canada’s competition policy in a digital economy. Birch examines the implications of digital data for markets, and the policy frameworks that underpin those markets . Birch has recently published a new policy briefing on Personal Data Governance in the Big Tech Era and a policy report on Rethinking Canada’s Competition Policy in the Digital Economy.
On April 12, Peter Victor launched his new book Escape from Overshoot: Economics for a Planet in Peril (2023). In the book, Peter gives a concise review of economic ideas including neoclassical, Keynesian, Marxist, ecological economics, and steady state economics with an eye to the current crisis. He also provides an analysis of the limitations and possibilities of alternative scenarios such as green growth, doughnut economics, regenerative economics, degrowth, and more. The event included commentaries from The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, and David Miller, Managing Director, C40 Centre for City Climate Policy and Economy, and former Mayor of Toronto.
On April 14, the Sustainable Energy Initiative (SEI) co-chaired by Mark Winfield, held a webinar on Stakeholder Engaged Modelling for Net Zero Electricity. Madeleine McPherson, Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Victoria, and a founding Executive Member of the Energy Modelling Hub discussed stakeholder engaged modelling as a policy development tool. The “Shifting Power: Zero-Emissions Electricity Across Canada by 2035” study published in 2022 by the David Suzuki Foundation was discussed as a case study, along with a number of other initiatives.
On April 18, the Ecological Footprint Initiative (EFI) hosted a national footprint and biocapacity data launch releasing the Ecological Footprint for Canada and 200 other countries from 1961 to 2022.
The 2023 edition was produced using data from global statistics on consumption, production, population, and economic parameters. York’s new Chief Sustainability Officer and MES alumnus Mike Layton kicked off the event, followed by updates on the 2023 accounts from EFI Director Eric Miller and Development Officer, Katie Kish, along with EFI data analysts Sila Basturk Agiroglu and Peri Dworatzek. The final word came from Global Footprint Network President, Mathis Wackernagel. For more info on the launch, see YFile News.
On April 21, Scholars' Hub @ Home featured Anna Zalik discussing "Ecological futures and energy infrastructure across continental North America." Zalik noted that investment in North American energy infrastructure will have a major impact on our ability to protect the global ecosystem for decades to come. As such, North American pipeline projects have become particularly controversial among climate justice advocates given their implications for carbon emissions, Indigenous land use and the way they lock in particular ecological futures. In her presentation, Zalik examined the disputes over Canadian pipelines delivering natural gas. The webinar will be made publicly available in May.
On April 22, Earth Day, the Climate Solutions Park (CSP) project, with Codrina Ibanescu, CSP researcher and president of the Rural Urban Learning Association( RULA) and Jose Etcheverry, CSP Director, organized an Ecopreneurship Conference at the World Urban Pavilion in Regent Park featuring MES alumna Jacqueline Dwyer and Noel Livingston (co-founders of Toronto Black Farmers), plant-based chef and wellness Coach Mike Murdoch, as well as MES student Kathy Shultz, director of "A Sea Turtle Story".
The event included musical performances, eco plant based catering and a training on eco-entrepreneurship and wellness.
The project partners also celebrated Earth Day at the Toronto Black Farmers and Growers Collective at Downsview Park.
On May 1, join us for discussion and celebration of a new book -- Unstable Properties: Aboriginal Title and the Claim of British Columbia -- by Patricia Wood, and York Geography alumnus David Rossiter.
The event will take place on Monday, May 1st from 10:30 AM to 12:00 PM in HNES 138. Wood will be joined by Martha Stiegman (Assistant Professor, Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change) and Matthew Farish from the University of Toronto’s Department of Geography and Planning, who will discuss the books arguments and contributions. Leora Gansworth, York Geography PhD alumna and Provost’s Postdoctoral Fellow at Osgoode Hall Law School will be moderating the event. The event will be broadcast on zoom – for a zoom link please contact Denise McLeod: firstname.lastname@example.org. For a preview of the event, see the story in Yfile.
On Tuesday May 16, the Centre for Bee Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation (BEEc), in partnership with EUC, invites everyone (students, staff, faculty, community members) to join them for a Garden Party from 2:30-5pm outside the HNES building. In celebration of World Bee Day on the following Saturday, an outreach table will provide information on native plants and pollinators. No RSVPs are required, just come along anytime between 2:30pm and 5pm: if the weather is poor the table will be just inside HNES.
On Friday May 19th, Jennifer Foster will launch her latest book -- Post-Industrial Urban Greenspace: Ecology, Aesthetics and Justice. All are welcome to attend the event at 1PM in HNES 142. Dr. Foster will be joined by a panel of discussants: Sean Kheraj, environmental historian, Vice-Provost at Toronto Metropolitan University, and host of the Nature’s Past podcast, Loren March, PhD candidate at the University of Toronto, and David Miller, former Mayor of Toronto, and Managing Director of the C40 Centre for City Climate Policy and Economy. The event will also be broadcast on zoom – for a zoom link please contact Denise McLeod: email@example.com.
On May 31 at Congress @ York 2023, EUC in collaboration with the Environmental Studies Association of Canada and UBC's Centre for Climate Justice, will host a panel discussion on Indigenous Knowing and Climate Futures. The panel brings Candis Callison and Deborah McGregor, two distinguished Indigenous researchers and communicators, into conversation about our planet’s future and how Indigenous knowledge and ways of knowing can make the threat from climate change, and ways of confronting it, matter to broader publics both inside and outside the university. Award-winning author Naomi Klein will respond.
The panel is presented by York’s Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change, UBC’s Centre for Climate Justice, and the Environmental Studies Association of Canada. The event will take place at the Tribute Communities Recital Hall, Accolade East Building, York University, starting at 3pm. It will be followed by a reception in the same location.
The EUC Research Update is compiled by the Research Office at EUC: Associate Dean Research, Graduate & Global Affairs Philip Kelly, Research Officer Rhoda Reyes, and Research Assistants Danielle Legault and Igor Lutay. Thanks to Paul Tran for the web design and development.
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