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Work and Climate Change Report: Issue 21, Oct 2013

The Work and Climate Change Report is a monthly online publication which alerts and informs academics, practitioners and students about important new research and legislation from Canada and around the world. WCR is published by the Work in a Warming World Research Programme, York University. 

To view this months report, click here

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York University releases its first annual sustainability report

This report published in YFile 05.11.2013

The first annual York University Sustainability Report was released today. The report is a newly amalgamated report consisting of the President’s Sustainability Council (PSC) Annual Report, which has been compiled yearly since 2010, and a new Environmental Sustainability Report from York’s Campus Services & Business Operations (CSBO) Department.

Covering the period from May 2012 to April 2013, the report summarizes progress on recommendations the PSC has made to the University’s president over the past three years, including several new recommendations advanced by the working groups of the council over the past year. For the first time this year, CSBO’s annual Environmental Sustainability Report is also included.  The Environmental Sustainability Report covers operational sustainability indicators such as energy usage, waste diversion and several other indicators of sustainability that are tracked by CSBO on an ongoing basis.

“I am very pleased to share this report with the University community,” said York University President and Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri. “York University is committed to being one of the leading institutions in Canada on sustainability, and the new annual report highlights the significant progress we have made, including being named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers for 2013.”

The report also highlights a number of new recommendations that form the core of the University’s sustainability plans, including new proposed initiatives in energy conservation, woodlot management, waste management, community engagement, and a farmers’ market piloted on the Keele campus this fall.

“We are very encouraged by the positive results we are seeing on sustainability here at York,” said Professor Ilan Kapoor, chair of the PSC. “The new annual report will help us communicate this progress to the broader York community, and we also hope it will encourage others to get involved in sustainability initiatives on our campuses.”

Consisting of students, faculty and staff, the PSC is an advisory body to the president with responsibility for providing input and recommendations on how to advance York University’s sustainability initiatives, projects, and practices and to provide oversight of the required actions from approved recommendations. CSBO oversees a variety of sustainability programs on both campuses, including energy conservation, transportation, and waste management initiatives.

To view the full report and executive summary, and to find more information on the PSC and sustainability initiatives underway at York University, visit the Sustainability website and theCSBO website

John Bousfield Distinguished Visitorship In Planning

The Graduate Planning Program at the University of Toronto invites applications from accomplished practitioners and scholars who wish to contribute to the teaching and research activities of the Program. Applications are sought for Winter term, 2014 (which begins January 6) for visitors interested in teaching a graduate level course on some aspect of Environmental Planning.   We are particularly interested in visitors who have expertise in Planning for Climate Change, Cities the Environment and Resilience, or Environmental Impact Assessment. The Visitorship also supports research activities and visitors typically give at least one lecture or talk open to the public as well as members of the department. Specific activities will be negotiated with the successful application.


The John Bousfield Distinguished Visitorship in Planning was established through a major donation to and a matching grant by the University of Toronto. The Visitorship honours John Bousfield, a distinguished Canadian urban planner now in his 60th year of professional practice, and enables the Planning Program to bring to the University accomplished individuals who can teach, give public lectures and participate in collaborative research projects on issues important to the field of planning.

The Bousfield position is intended to offer the visitors an opportunity for research, writing and reflection, while also enhancing the learning experience of students in the Program in Planning, providing diverse and innovative perspectives on contemporary planning issues and enhancing the relations between the Planning Program and the community at large.

Located in one of the most diverse cities in North America, the Planning Program offers its students a dynamic, interdisciplinary blend of practical knowledge and critically engaged theory. Information on the Program in Planning can be obtained from its website (


The Planning Program is seeking applications from practitioners and scholars who have substantial planning experience in public, private, non-profit or community organizations, in local, national or international venues. The program especially encourages applications from those whose experiences and viewpoints are underrepresented within planning.

The Planning Program can support a one semester visitorship with a stipend of up to CDN $12,000, depending on the duration and intensity of the period in residence at the University.

Applications consisting of a curriculum vitae and a two-page plan of the individual’s proposed activities (including a requested stipend) should be sent by email attachment to Professor Virginia Maclaren, Chair, Department of Geography and Program in Planning ( by November 14, 2013. Please direct any inquiries about the position to Professor Paul Hess, Associate Chair and Director, Graduate Programs in Planning, (

<Bousfield 2013-14 env.docx>

 Paul Hess | Associate Professor | Associate Chair | Director, Graduate Programs in Planning | Dept of Geography and Planning | University of Toronto

Room 5067,  Sidney Smith Hall,  100 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 3G3

Inclusion Day Conference

Inclusion Day Conference 
  EVERY_BODY: Rethinking the Bodies that Belong 
January 23, 2014, York University - Keele Campus

York University’s Centre for Human Rights is hosting its 5th annual Inclusion Day Conference. This one-day conference will include sessions where participants will have the opportunity to explore the concepts of inclusion and belonging through a human rights lens. 

Keynote speakers, session presenters and workshop facilitators will have the opportunity to engage attendees in critically analyzing notions of space and the bodies that are/are not included. We are inviting submissions that focus on human rights related areas, including but not limited to: 

·        Indigenous knowledge 
·        Intersectional identities 
·        Race and racialization 
·        Gender expression/expectations/performance 
·        (dis)Abilities
·        Religion/Spirituality 
·        Knowledge production and pedagogy 
·        Athletics as a culture 
·        Politics of Space 
·        Sexual orientation


Presenters may submit proposals for a 60 minute session in one of the following formats:  

·        Roundtable discussion 
·        Do-it-Yourself  (DIY) workshop 
·        Individual or panel presentation 
·        Interactive workshop 
·        Dialogue process 
·        Artistic/Creative presentation & discussion 

Proposals must be submitted no later than Thursday, November 29, 2013, either by: 
online submission: or email submission to: or  as a .doc or .pdf 

For more information or to request the proposal in an alternate format contact: 

Josephine Tcheng ( Advisor, Education & Communications, Centre for Human Rights | S327 Ross Building | York University | T: 416-736-5682 | TTY: 


Please see file below for registration. 

Call for Proposals 2014

Call for Papers: Environmental Conservation Themed Issue on Tradable Rights in Conservation

Call for Papers

Environmental Conservation Themed Issue on

Tradable Rights in Conservation

Market-based mechanisms such as biodiversity credits, offsets, tradable harvest quotas and environmental water traders, are increasingly being applied in conservation policy. Designing, implementing and evaluating such markets requires insights from across a range of disciplines, such as ecology, geography, economics and the social sciences. There is a clear need for interdisciplinary research to support such markets, but most of the academic literature remains within disciplinary boundaries. There are also opportunities to share insights between domains, such as between terrestrial biodiversity offset schemes and tradable fishery quotas.

The aim of this thematic issue is to provide a forum for papers which can inform the design of conservation trading policy mechanisms. The focus is on markets in which conservation-related rights (e.g. harvest quotas, biodiversity offsets, etc., but not carbon, pollution, etc.) are traded among different users, rather than purchased by a single buyer (as is the case in most “payment for ecosystem service”-type schemes). Papers drawing lessons from past and present schemes which are relevant to other issues and regions are of particular interest, as are papers which cross disciplinary boundaries.

Potential topics include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • What evidence is there on the effectiveness of offset schemes – do they conserve biodiversity or simply streamline development?
  • How can equivalence be established in offset schemes? How to deal with time lags, uncertainty and spatial interdependencies? How is the baseline, above which offsets are awarded, determined?
  • How can multiple species be incorporated? What are the pros and cons of broad vs narrow coverage?
  • How can conservation requirements be addressed in existing markets? For example, how effective are ‘environmental water’ traders within irrigation water markets?
  • How can harvest quota markets work across jurisdictional boundaries? Can other environmental impacts be incorporated?
  • What evidence is there of the applicability of tradable quotas beyond fisheries?
  • How do resource users view tradable rights? What proves necessary to secure the support of users? What are the similarities, and differences, between users of different resources?
  • How can conservation markets incorporate new scientific information or social preferences, and respond to environmental disturbances?

Priority for the special issue will be given to empirical papers, but theoretical work will also be considered. Environmental Conservation always welcomes the submission of novel and rigorous science relevant to environmental policy issues, so any submissions which do not fit within the special issue will (with the authors’ permission) be considered for publication in a regular issue.

Managing Editor: Andrew Reeson, CSIRO, Australia ( )


Submission Guidelines

Only original and unpublished high-quality papers are considered and manuscripts must be in English. Instructions for Authors can be found at and papers must be submitted via the journal web submission route ( You must provide a cover letter to indicate that the submission is for the “Tradable Rights in Conservation” theme. If this is not supplied, the submission is late, or if too many/insufficient papers are accepted for a particular theme, they may be published by the journal as regular submissions. All papers will be submitted to a rigorous peer-review process and the fact that they submitted to a themed issue (solicited or not) does not guarantee acceptance.


Important Dates

Manuscript submission deadline: 31st January 2014, Publication of themed issue: Late 2014 (TBC)

Students help inform design of eight sustainable housing models

The following appeared in the July 22nd, 2013 edition of YFile. IRIS was one of the partners that created the course back in 2009.

What will the highly sustainable features of eight prototype homes at the Kortright Centre’s Living City Campus look like? That’s what about 41 students, mostly from York’s Faculty of Environmental Studies, were exploring during a recent Design for Sustainability Workshop course.

The three-week intensive course wrapped up with a one-day Building Research Establishment (BRE) Innovation Park Design Charrette in which students worked with experts to develop recommendations based on five themes: First Nations housing, affordable sustainability, assisted living and health and the aging population, passive house and sustainable retrofits.DesignCharretteGroup

Students and experts come together to discuss recommendations

“We’re training the champions and decision makers of sustainability,” says Arlene Gould, who has taught the course for the past five years and is a part-time faculty member. “The charrette is a great teaching tool. The students love it and often tell me they found it transformative.”

About 20 experts – architects, landscape designers, Toronto & Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) staff – joined the charrette. Toronto is an important design hub, one of the biggest next to New York and Boston. “We’re also a hub for green building, but we’re ArleneGouldnot really using the talents of designers at a high level,” says Gould. She hopes to change that by helping students to become more aware of the sustainable design possibilities.

Arlene Gould

Each year, the design charrette looks at something different. It’s one of the design tools explored in the course to get students thinking about sustainable solutions and opportunities that will change people’s lives.

This year, it was the BRE Innovation Park Canada. BRE, a U.K. organization that does research on the built environment, joined with the TRCA to create the park to promote sustainable construction, bridge trial concepts to large-scale implementation, field test new and advanced technologies and get industry involved in more sustainability research.

DesignCharretteGroup2The park will test and showcase best practices, new methods and materials suited to the Canadian built environment.

The various groups discussed five themes to inform the future design briefs for the housing prototypes

Participants had a first glimpse at the site plan and engaged in a series of breakout sessions. It was in those sessions that the students helped to develop the themes and outline the performance standards and targets that will inform the future design briefs. BRE has done similar projects in other parts of the world, including China and Scotland.

Industry will be asked to step forward and build the houses to showcase what’s new in design sustainability and green innovations. The park will then be open to industry and the public to see what’s possible.

In another course project, the students worked in groups to conduct a design audit of the Keele campus construction sites. They developed ideas for how to improve the currentDesignCharretteIdeawalking experience on campus and how to tell stories in public space about the transformation that each construction project will bring about.

A model by environmental studies student Jonathan Tavone illustrating one student group’s idea for telling the construction story on campus, part of the course design audit

The hands-on course takes students on several field trips. This year, those included a trip to the Kortright Centre to see first-hand where the eight houses for the BRE Innovation Park would be built and a guided tour and talk by the architect at St. Gabriel’s Passionist Parish – the first church in Canada to be awarded a gold certification from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

York University wins provincial award for environmental excellence

The following appeared in the July 31st, 2013 edition of Y-File: 

As part of Ontario’s plan to build a stronger economy, create new jobs and promote innovative ways to protect the environment, the province has honoured six organizations  – including York University – with the 2012 Minister’s Award for Environmental Excellence, for making outstanding contributions to the environmental stewardship of the Great Lakes.

“Today we celebrate just a few of the most outstanding efforts of individuals, groups and companies in protecting the environment,” said Ontario Minister of the Environment Jim Bradley at the awards presentation Tuesday at Queen’s Park. “I hope the examples we see today will inspire others to be innovators in protecting the environment.”

EnvironmentAwardBack row, from left: Bryan Gilvesy, Y U Ranch; Mamdouh Shoukri and Pavel Graymason, York University. Middle row: Cathy Gilvesy, Y U Ranch; Cynthia Lee, Toronto Zoo; Geoff Peach and Pamela Scharfe, Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation. Front row: Elizabeth Simpson and Adrienne Mason, Pine River Watershed Initiative Network; Minister Jim Bradley; Kim Timmer and Brian Friesen, CleanFARMS

York was recognized for its Res Race to Zero competition, in which students and faculty reduced their energy use in several student residence buildings by 30 per cent in the past three years. The program uses a number of approaches for getting students to participate, including social media, and a weekly web posting that charts energy use. What started as a friendly competition between the Keele and Glendon campus residences is now a way of life for students and faculty across the university – and it’s all part of the school’s five-year plan to reduce energy use across the board. The program raised awareness, saved money, reduced demand on Ontario’s power grid and helped reduce air pollution.


Mamdouh Shoukri and Pavel Graymason accepting the award from Minister Jim Bradley

“We at York are very proud to receive this award for environmental excellence from the Minister, which recognizes the University as a leader in sustainability,” said York University President and Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri. “I would like to acknowledge our dedicated community of environmental ambassadors and innovators – the many York staff, students, faculty and alumni who are leading by example and driving our greening efforts across campus. The Res Race to Zero is an outstanding program that takes a community-driven approach to sustainability and exemplifies York’s mission to create local solutions with a global impact.”

The other recipients of this year’s award included CleanFARMS (Toronto), Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation (Goderich), Pine River Watershed Initiative Network (Ripley), Toronto Zoo and Y U Ranch (Tillsonburg).

To see more of York’s environmental initiatives, click here.

With files from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment.

Graduate funding opportunities for research in the North!

Northern Scientific Training Program

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Northern Scientific Training Program’s (NSTP) partnership with Canadian universities, encouraging the next generation of northern research specialists and scientists. The NSTP is administered by the Canadian Polar Commission as part of its mandate to foster science and technology in the Canadian North. The Program's aim is to promote interest in northern studies, and provide opportunities for advanced and graduate students to obtain experience and professional training in the North.

Additional Information

Call for Papers: Polar Geography and Cryosphere


The Polar Geography and Cryosphere Specialty Groups of the Association of
American Geographers call for papers for the 2014 Annual Meeting of the AAG under the following areas: Polar Geography Sessions: Sustainable Development in the Arctic Issues pertaining to sustainable Arctic environments, cultures and
economies amid climate change and globalization Urbanization and Transportation in the Arctic Examinations of development trends in and between Arctic communities Impacts of Climate Change on Arctic Communities and the Environment Observed and anticipated impacts of a warming climate on natural and human systems in high latitude regions Northern Resource Geographies and Extractive Industries Exploring the past, present and future of resource extraction in the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions and its role in local and global economies Polar Geopolitics Recent developments in the political landscape and governance of polar regions Send abstract and PIN to ** * * Cryosphere Sessions: Advances in Cryosphere Research Recent developments in remote sensing and modeling methodologies for any aspect of the cryosphere High Latitude Environments in a Changing Climate Impacts of climate change on high latitude hydrologic, atmospheric, and terrestrial systems, including polar ice sheets Mountain Ice and Snow Glacier environmental change and impacts on water resources Send abstract and PIN to ** Other sessions will be considered if there are sufficient submissions. Graduate students and young scholars are encouraged to apply. Please contact the organizers if you have any questions. If you wish to be included in one of these sessions, please register on the AAG website, and then submit your abstract and PIN to Scott Stephenson (**) or Vena Chu (**) The deadline for submitting abstracts with a discounted registration fee is October 23, 2013. An extended deadline will be available through December 3. Poster Session: R.S. Tarr Award for Student Research The Polar Geography and Cryosphere Specialty Groups are pleased to sponsor the annual R.S. Tarr Award for student research on any aspect of cryospheric science. The R.S. Tarr award is given to the undergraduate or graduate student presenting the illustrated paper judged best in the special R.S. Tarr Illustrated Paper Session held during the 2014 Annual Meeting. The recipient of the R.S. Tarr award will receive a cash prize. The illustrated paper must be completed and presented by the student; however, the paper can be coauthored by the student's advisor. Illustrated papers will be judged on their originality and contribution to cryospheric science. This competition is in honor of Ralph Stockman Tarr who was an accomplished glacial geologist and geographer. He studied under W.M. Davis at Harvard. While teaching at Cornell he led numerous scientific expeditions to Greenland and Alaska. To participate in the R.S. Tarr session please submit your abstract for an illustrated paper through and send your PIN to