PICS Fellowships Awarded to Faculty of Environment Students
Congratulations to the Faculty of Environment’s Heather Munro, Michael Ton and Freya Kristensen for being awarded Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions fellowships!
The School of Resource and Environmental Management’s Heather Munro and Geography’s Michael Ton are both pursuing Master’s degrees and will benefit from two years of funding from these fellowships, while Freya Kristensen, working on her PhD in Geography, has earned three years worth of funding.
The Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) is a dynamic knowledge network that brings together leading researchers from British Columbia and around the world to study the impacts of climate change and to develop positive approaches to mitigation and adaptation. We’re pleased to have our students join this prestigious group.
Heather Munro’s ambitious new project is titled “Trade-offs between carbon offsets and timber harvest revenue opportunities in the central coast of BC: a decision analysis approach”, in which she will be forming a working partnership with the Heiltsuk First Nation to aid in the design of forest management strategies that will provide a slew of benefits for their community; including alternative management scenarios involving timber harvest, carbon management and conservation options. Heather will also be adopting a decision analysis framework, which will address the inherent uncertainty in forest management and climate change arising from carbon markets; this application will be used as a tool for communities to help realistically assess the economic opportunities and trade-offs of forest and carbon management. She is pursuing a Master of Resource Management.
Michael Ton was awarded the PICS fellowship for his research titled “Ecological resilience to disturbance interactions in pine forests of central interior British Columbia”. The research for his Master of Science will focus on the mountain pine beetle (MPB) epidemic that has to potential to dramatically alter the dynamics of lodgepole pine forest ecosystems, as well as other disturbances such as fires that are likely to burn through MPB-affected areas over the next few decades, which has the potential to compound the stress on these environments. The level of resilience displayed by these forests will have important implications for the management of MPB-afflicted ecosystems and communities.
Freya Kristensen’s research project is titled “Meeting the Climate change Challenge (MC3): dynamics of community responses to climate change in British Columbia”, and she is examining how international municipal sustainability networks influence policy in their member cities. Focusing mostly on the social dimension of sustainability, which tends to be less understood than the economic and environmental dimensions, this research investigates if and how sustainability networks make a difference in policy generated by network members.
PICS was created in 2008 with a major endowment from the BC Ministry of the Environment; PICS is a collaboration between Simon Fraser University, the University of British Columbia, the University of Northern British Columbia and the University of Victoria.