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SUBJECT: Grenfell: Grenfell campus contingent hosts Humber River Basin session at global warming conference
DATE: July 9, 2009

           Seven representatives of the Humber River Basin project hosted a special session this week at the international Global Conference on Global Warming, July 5-9, in Istanbul, Turkey.
           The conference has brought together experts and scientists in the study of global warming and climate change. The basin project, which is under the auspices of the Grenfell College Research Office, was invited by conference organizers to host a special session on river basin ecology. Members of the basin project currently in Istanbul include Wade Bowers, ecologist and former associate vice-principal (research); Dean Strickland, project manager for the basin project; Rainer Baehre, professor, historical studies, Nick Novakowski, associate professor, environmental studies and geography; and Joan Luther, research scientist, remote sensing, and Doug Piercey, geoinformatics analyst, both of Natural Resources Canada (NRCan).
            The Humber River Basin project was initiated by the Corner Brook campus of Memorial University and its partners to heighten research collaboration in response to critical issues facing decision makers concerning the sustainability of the Humber River Basin and surroundings.
             “The basin and its watersheds represent an excellent platform from which to develop and integrate science and policy,” said Dr. Bowers, who chaired the special session. “The research we’ve identified is considered an important prerequisite to developing a more scientifically sound and ecosystem-based strategy for management of the basin ecosystems.”
             Newfoundland scientists and policy makers in Newfoundland and Labrador have recognized that our most vital natural resources are directly or indirectly linked to water in marine, fresh, and estuarine systems, he said. 
              “We are interested in collaborating at local and international levels to build a stronger network of researchers with an interest in basin ecology, integrated land management and related fields,” said Ms. Luther, Canadian Forest Service/NRCan. “Here in this international setting we hope to forge new partnerships so that we might all learn from each other best practices in the study of our local and global environments.”
             Mr. Strickland and Dr. Bowers presented an overview of the basin project, followed by focused presentations on various components under the project. Dr. Baehre delivered a talk on his research, which documents the history of the area, specifically the changes effected by human interaction with the natural environment. Ms. Luther presented her research on monitoring changes in land cover and forest types using satellite imagery and GIS. Mr. Piercey shared his work on methods to manage and deliver geospatial data with respect to integrated land management within the basin. Finally, Dr. Novakowski discussed his research concerning environmental planning in the area.
           “One of the great aspects of the Humber River Basin project is the interdisciplinary nature of our collaborations,” said Dr. Bowers. “We’re pleased to be able to partner with organizations like NRCan, as well as scientists and experts outside of Canada.”

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