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REF NO.: 35

SUBJECT: Environmental Uncertainty: Past, Present and Future

DATE: Oct. 17

Memorial University of Newfoundland presents the next installment of its Canada Research Chair Lecture Series, Environmental Uncertainty: Past, Present and Future, on Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2007 at 8 p.m. in the Inco Innovation Centre Lecture Theatre (IIC-2001), St. John’s Campus. The evening will feature lectures from three of Memorial’s Canada Research Chairs and is part of a special celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).       
Dr. Lev Tarasov, Canada Research Chair in Glacial Dynamics Modelling, will present Addressing Uncertainty: Electronic Lessons from Ice and Climate. The greatest threats from future climate change are those associated with abrupt changes. But such changes are also subject to the greatest uncertainties. For guidance and ground-truthing of our understanding of climate system thresholds, the past offers a diverse mosaic of tantalizing tell-tales: galloping glaciers, torrential floods, rivers of ice, and extreme jumps in temperature and sea level however, this picture is fragmented by time, wear and limited data. Dr. Tarasov will describe ongoing work to penetrate our fuzzy window on the past with a million virtual worlds.
Dr. Murray Rudd, Canada Research Chair in Ecological Economics, will present Who Values Atlantic Canadian Biodiversity? Biodiversity, the “fabric of life,” provides many benefits to Canadians. In the case of some species like the wild Atlantic salmon, the benefits range from food and recreation, to more intangible benefits arising from just knowing the species “is there” and will be available for future generations. Dr. Rudd will explore the issue of who values Atlantic Canadian biodiversity and how we can – and why we should – frame those values in economic terms.
Dr. Ratana Chuenpagdee, Canada Research Chair in Natural Resource Sustainability and Community Development, will present Visualizing Coastal Futures: Preparing for Change. Coastal people worldwide are potentially highly vulnerable to pressures and changes brought about by natural phenomena and human activities. Some of these are predictable, but often there are a lot of unknowns, due partly to the complexity, diversity and dynamic of coastal ecosystems. Preparing for change requires understanding. In this context, Dr. Chuenpagdee will present a simple visualization and participatory tool to enhance our understanding of the connectivity and interactions within coastal zones.
            Free parking is available in Area 18 (between the QE II Library and Prince Philip Parkway). Reception to follow. Open to the general public.

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For more information, contact Deborah Inkpen, communications co-ordinator (research), Memorial University of Newfoundland, at 737-4073, or


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