Joel Finnis

Department of Geography
Memorial University of Newfoundland
St. John's, NL
A1B 3X9

Office: SN 1043
Tel: (709) 864-8987
Fax: (709) 864-3119
E mail:


Climate & Environmental Change

Society, Knowledge & Values

Originally trained in the atmospheric sciences, my research interests have gradually expanded from a strict natural science focus to include aspects of risk communication and climate adaptation planning.

General goals include:
1) Merging observations and model output to validate model data, quantify uncertainty in climate projections, and understand climate processes.
2) Quantifying and exploiting predictability in the climate system.
3) Improving the communication of climate projections to non-specialists.

Current research efforts include analyses of marine weather hazards, interpreting climate projections for the purposes of adaptation planning, and exploring green infrastructure climate change solutions in coastal communities. With co-leads Amber Silver (SUNY-Albany) and Ron Pelot (Dalhousie), I also run the Coast & Ocean Risk Communication Community of Practice (, an online network of practitioners, academics, and stakeholders with a shared interest in mitigating the impact of marine & coastal hazards.

Selected Publications:

B. Neis, J. Finnis, R. Pelot, & J. Shewmake. In Press. Insights from the history of fishing safety: Preparing for increased fisheries and shipping in the Canadian Arctic. In E.E. Editors A. Chircop, F. Goerlandt, R. Pelot, & C. Aporta. Governance of Arctic Shipping: Rethinking Risk, Human Impacts, and Regulation. Springer.

Finnis, J., J., Shewmake, B. Neis, D. Telford. 2019. Marine forecasting and fishing safety: Improving the fit between forecasts and harvester needs. Journal of Agromedicine, 11, 1-9. doi: 10.1080/1059924X.2019.1639576

Reid, H., J. Finnis. 2019. Summarizing metocean conditions as a climatology of hazards. Theoretical & Applied Climatology, 135, 1387-1397.

Rezaee, S., R. Pelot, J. Finnis. 2016. The Effect of Extratropical Cyclone Weather Conditions on Fishing Vessel Incidents’ Severity Level in Atlantic Canada”. Safety Science, 85, 33-40.

Finnis, J., A. Sarkar, M. Stoddart. 2015. Bridging science and community knowledge? The complicating role of natural variability in perceptions of climate change. Global Environmental Change, 32, 1-10. doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2014.12.011

Finnis, J., T. Bell. 2015. An analysis of recent observed climate trends and variability in Labrador. Canadian Geographer, 59, 151-166. doi: 10.1111/cag.12155