UNBC professor appointed climate change and water security research chair

Nearly $1.5 million in research funding for this project has come from NSERC and Rio Tinto

University of Northern British Columbia. (File photo)

Over $1.5 million in research funding to a UNBC professor will help better understand the impacts of climate change and human activity on the long-term security of the Nechako watershed.

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada has named UNBC environmental science professor Dr. Stephen Déry as the first NSERC and Rio Tinto senior industrial research chair in climate change and water security.

An industrial research chair facilitates research collaborations between universities and partners in the private or public sectors, which results in economic, social and/or environmental benefits, stated a Nov. 4 media release.

The $1.5 million in research funding from NSERC and Rio Tinto will allow Déry, an expert on climate variability and climate change, to quantify their roles and the role of water management on the Nechako River basin’s water supply.

“This five-year program of research builds on the capacity my research group has developed over the past 15 years and will make use of the latest technology and state-of-the-art numerical models in advancing our knowledge on the impacts of climate change on water security in the Nechako watershed,” says Déry.

He added that it is important to collaborate with private sector companies such as Rio Tinto, so that their research findings are applied to help manage environmental impacts of industrial activity.

READ MORE: SD91 and UNBC held a workshop where students discussed community stressors

“This partnership will build on Rio Tinto’s long standing support for the UNBC and commitment to managing the Nechako watershed responsibly,” said Rio Tinto BC Works general manager Affonso Bizon.

“We share UNBC’s commitment to advancing education and research in the region, and look forward to seeing the findings from this work to build on our environmental management program for the Nechako,” he said.

This funding from NSERC and Rio Tinto will additionally support 13 students, ranging from doctoral candidates and post-doctoral fellows, to masters students and senior undergraduate researchers, stated the media release.

“Dr. Stephen Déry’s research into the consequences of climate change on the water cycle in the north is of up most importance to Canadians and is an ideal fit for UNBC’s first Industrial Research Chair,” says UNBC President Dr. Daniel Weeks.

Weeks added that the collaboration between NSERC, Rio Tinto and UNBC will create knowledge around the future of the Nechako River and will contribute to the ongoing global conversation around climate.

The three main themes for research are — hydro-meteorological monitoring and data collection; atmospheric and terrestrial rivers; and hydrological and water temperature modeling.

Some specific projects include expanding the number of hydro-meteorological research stations in the Nechako River basin, monitoring the terrestrial impact of atmospheric rivers (a long band of moisture plumes that often result in heavy precipitation events, colloquially known as Pineapple Express storms), and projecting the future hydrology and water temperatures of the Nechako watershed, as stated in the media release.

This project is supported by the Research Support Fund, a tri-agency initiative of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council; Canadian Institutes of Health Research; and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, which assists Canadian post-secondary institutions and their affiliated research hospitals and institutes with the expenses associated with managing the research funded by these three federal research granting agencies.


Aman Parhar
Editor, Vanderhoof Omineca Express

aman.parhar@ominecaexpress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Charges dropped against 100 Mile physician in sexual assault case

Michael Mthandazo entered into a peace bond

Highway 97 closed due to motor vehicle incident involving loaded lumber truck

Incident occurred Monday afternoon about 25 kilometre north of Williams Lake

Williams Lake residents warned of e-mail scam posturing as Canada Post

Customers should delete suspicious e-mails containing a link or a file: Canada Post

Freezing fog, compact snow with slippery sections part of the Monday morning commute

The daytime high for Williams Lake is expected to reach -4C

VIDEO: Kenney lays out key demands for meeting with Trudeau

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney aims for clear signs of federal action on two-day Ottawa trip

First Nations want Big Bar landslide cleared ASAP to allow fish passage

Leadership calling for urgent action and resources to remove obstruction on the Fraser

Assessed value of Lower Mainland homes expected to decrease in 2020

Other areas of province may see modest increases over last year’s values

Chilliwack family’s therapy dog injured in hit and run

Miniature pit bull Fifty’s owner is a single mother facing close to $10,000 in vet bills

Cougar destroyed in Penticton area after mauling dog, killing cat

This is the first reported incident with a cougar this year in the Penticton area

Feds not enforcing standards on Hungarian duck imports, B.C. farmer says

‘You have no way of knowing what’s in the bag’

No reports yet of Canadians affected by New Zealand volcano eruption, feds say

Missing and injured included tourists from the U.S., China, Australia, Britain and Malaysia

Dance cancelled after Alberta teacher’s climate lesson prompts online threats

School district near Red Deer cancelled annual family dance due to Facebook comments

Most Read