McGill establishes research chair to address climate change in the North

Published: 18 October 2023

As Canadians experience a year of record-breaking wildfires, floods, and extreme heat, experts are warning that these conditions will persist and likely intensify over the coming decades as we experience the escalating effects of climate change and global warming. These impacts are being felt even more acutely in northern regions of the planet, where temperatures are rising at four times the global rate.

McGill University is responding to these threats with the establishment of a new research chair in Northern Climate Change and Sustainability, thanks to a philanthropic gift from McGill graduates Marc and Marie Bieler, longtime stewards and supporters of McGill and its efforts to better understand climate change and environmental degradation through focused research and enhanced teaching programs.

The Bieler Chair in Northern Climate Change and Sustainability, to be housed jointly in the Bieler School of Environment and the Department of Natural Resource Sciences of McGill’s Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, will spearhead research efforts aimed at identifying solutions to the climate crisis in Canada’s northern regions, where sea-ice deterioration and changes in permafrost are expected to put livelihoods, Indigenous culture, food security and community health at risk.

“Complex environmental challenges require interdisciplinary solutions,” said Anja Geitmann, Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.  “The Bieler Chair will work closely with researchers and students at McGill’s Centre for Indigenous Peoples’ Nutrition and the Environment, the Lyman Entomological Museum, the McGill Herbarium, the Brace Water Centre, and other departments and centres with strong ties to climate change, sustainability, and northern research.”


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