2013 Edition


The 3rd McGill Sustainability Research Symposium took place on March 14, 2013 in the Thompson House ballroom. The event comprised of invited speakers (see below), student presentations, a poster competition, and a discussion session.

In addition to the student associations of McGill Geography (GGS and MUGS), academic partners included McGill’s Sustainability, Science, and Society Program and School of Environment. Other partners include GEC3, PGSS, SSMU, and the Sustainability Office.

Below is a summary of the two invited speakers, as well as a schedule of the day’s events.

David W. Wolfe — Professor, Cornell University:

“Climate-Smart Farming for Healthy People and a Healthy Planet”

Wolfe_web_08-croppedDr. David W. Wolfe is Professor of Plant and Soil Ecology in the Department of Horticulture at Cornell University, and a leading authority on climate change impacts on natural ecosystems and food security. He played a leadership role in the Northeast Climate Change Impacts Assessment released by the Union of Concerned Scientists in July 2007, was co-author of the agriculture chapter for the 2008 national assessment sponsored by the U.S. Global Change Research Program, and lead author of both the ecosystems and agriculture chapters of the 2011 “ClimAID” report (www.nyserda.ny.gov/climaid), which focuses on vulnerabilities and adaptation strategies for New York.

He currently leads a $5 million project focused on new tools for farm management of carbon, nitrogen, and greenhouse gases, and contributes to several projects attempting to build agricultural resilience to climate change in the U.S., Canada, Zambia, Ethiopia, and Indonesia.  At Cornell he teaches courses on “Climate Change and the Future of Food” and “Nature Writing”. In addition to his work on climate change he co-chairs Cornell’s “Soil Health Program Work Team” focused on ecological approaches to soil management, and is author of the award-winning popular science book on soil ecology, Tales From the Underground: A Natural History of Subterranean Life, published in 2002.

For more information: www.hort.cornell.edu/wolfe; and www.climatechange.cornell.edu

Monica E. Mulrennan – Associate Professor, Concordia University


Dr. Monica Mulrennan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography, Planning and Environment at Concordia University. Her research focuses on indigenous knowledge, resource management and environmental change in coastal and marine settings. Her recent work is concerned with the contribution of indigenous-led protected areas to environmental and cultural heritage protection as well as enhanced local autonomy.

She is the current Chair of the Indigenous Peoples’ Working Group, a specialty group of the Canadian Association of Geographers and a member of the McGill-based Wemindji Protected Areas Project and Quebec Centre for Biodiversity Science.