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Feb 21, 2017

In episode 30 of America Adapts, Doug Parsons talks with Suzanne Perdeaux, Climate Change Researcher at the Ontario Centre for Climate Impacts and Adaptation Resources (OCCIAR).  Doug also talks with Dan Ackerstein about how federal agencies might pivot from emphasizing mitigation of carbon emissions to focus solely on adaptation.

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In the main interview, Doug and Suzanne cover the following topics:

  • What is OCCIAR and its role in adaptation planning across the region and country.
  • What are the unique climate change impacts in Canada.
  • We learn about the different sectors impacted by climate change and how OCCIAR is assisting these sectors in adaptation planning.
  • Suzanne is a multi-year, award winning young professional and we learn how climate change has influenced her career choices.
  • Suzanne discusses how one becomes an adaptation professional, from her undergrad and graduate school experiences.
  • We discuss the first of its kind Climate Change Master’s program at University of Waterloo.
  • We discuss how millennials are inspired to act on climate change and what are some career and school opportunities. 

Suzanne discusses how she wants to make adaptation relatable to a younger generation and her role in mentoring those interested in joining this field.  We finish by discussing the role social media plays in younger professionals communicating science and staying connected with peers. It is a great conversation and inspiring to hear Canada playing such a leadership role in the emerging field of adaptation!

EPA becomes the “Environmental Adaptation Agency”?

In the final segment of the podcast Doug talks with Dan Ackerstein about a recent article that highlights how federal agencies are scrubbing climate change from their web sites. The article also describes how some agencies might pivot from addressing climate change through mitigation of carbon emissions, to focusing solely on adapting to impacts.   We discuss how this approach could split climate change activists into two camps:  mitigation and adaptation.

Doug states, “Unless we deal with mitigation, none of us will be able to control how we adapt to climate change.”


Additional Resources:

Suzanne Perdeaux is a Climate Change Researcher at the Ontario Centre for Climate Impacts and Adaptation Resources (OCCIAR) in Sudbury, Ontario, where she provides communication and research support on climate impacts and adaptation.

Ontario’s Climate Change Strategy:

Climate Change Adaptation Community of Practice:


Masters of Climate Change program:

Mashable article on adaptation at Federal Agencies.


More information on Dan Ackerstein



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