Human activity can have complex and far-reaching effects on our fragile environment, creating a need for insightful environmental research and stewardship. In the 21st century, identifying environmental problems and developing and implementing sensible and practical solutions will increasingly depend upon research innovation and collaboration between industry, government, academics and communities. To this end, Western has created the Centre for Environment and Sustainability (CES), an interdisciplinary initiative supported by the Faculty of Science (host faculty), Faculty of Engineering and Faculty of Social Science, and other contributing faculties. The CES is home to the Undergraduate Environmental Science program, the Masters in Environment and Sustainability program and the Collaborative Environment and Sustainability program
The Centre for Environment and Sustainability welcomes Dr. Patricia Corcoran as Director of the Centre from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2017. Dr. Corcoran is an Associate Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences. Dr. Corcoran brings important interdisciplinary knowledge to the CES with her extensive field and laboratory experience related to sedimentology, paleoclimate, geochemistry, and environmental science. Dr. Corcoran's research focuses on natural and anthropogenic sedimentary deposits in order to gain an understanding of Earth's changing surface and atmospheric processes through time. One significant element of her research concerns the distribution, accumulation and degradation of plastic debris in shoreline and lake bottom sediments of the Great Lakes. Dr. Corcoran and her research group are investigating the potential for this plastic debris to become part of the future rock record, thereby representing a symbol of humankind's global effect on Earth's environment. Dr. Corcoran's plastics research has resulted in extensive international coverage, including features in National Geographic Magazine, Science Magazine, Science et Vie, the New York Times and CBC's The National.
As Director of the Centre for Environment and Sustainability over the next 2 years, Dr. Corcoran's principal goal is to lead the Centre through a review process, as required by Western's new policies for Centres.This review process will set the stage for defining the operation of the activities of the Centre in the future.
The Centre for Environment and Sustainability and the Chair of Environmental Science Dr. Greg Thorn extends congratulations to Ms. Andrea Boyer, a graduate student in the Department of Biology, for exemplary work as a Teaching Assistant with the Undergraduate Environmental Science program this past year. Teaching Assistants in the Faculty of Science were presented with their awards at a ceremony in June. Photo
"D.O. Sustainability" is a weekly newsletter produced by Master's in Environment and Sustainability (M.E.S.) candidate John Drahushchak, as part of his four-month internship with the Faculty of Science. The newsletter is part of an awareness and participation campaign designed for faculty and staff that offers useful information on a variety of topics ranging from Western's sustainability initiatives to practices that can be adopted in the office or at home. Newsletters will be posted here for the duration of the term. The Zero Hero Healthy Commute
Purple Pride turned a bit ‘green’ as Western was named among only nine recipients of the Minister’s Award for Environmental Excellence, an honour announced earlier this year by the provincial Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. Full Western News Article by Adela Talbot
TSSS Contributor, March 26, 2015
"I believe we can do better. Better means challenging the status quo until sustainability is the cornerstone to how we run our communities, businesses and governments. These changes inevitably encounter resistence. As sustainability leaders, our job is to embrace that resistance and propel positive change." - Andrea March, MES'11
The Toronto Sustainability Speaker Series (TSSS) and Corporate Knights, with sponsorship support from paper-products manufacturer Kruger Products, decided it was time to shine a light on Canadian youth who have demonstrated themselves as leaders of sustainable development by selecting the "Top 30 Under 30" entrepreneurs, activists, corporate professionals and students from a pool of 90 millenial nominees.
Making this list of impressive individuals is Western Alumna Andrea March who earned her Masters in Environment and Sustainability (M.E.S.) in 2011. While at Western, Andrea was a founding member of the Environment and Sustainability Society (E.S.S.), a group of graduate students interested in initiatives that engaged and encouraged the community outside the classroom in thinking about sustainability issues locally and taking action on a personal level. The first event was a public panel discussion on local and global sustainability, with a focus on food. Panelists included experts in microfinance, sustainable food production, sustainable development research as well as human and ecosystem health, food security and a sustainable living leader from the London community.
In the three years since graduating with the M.E.S. degree, Andrea has continued to contribute and "build her young career around supporting socially and environmentally responsible business practices. While working at the consultancy Innovolve Group, she brought together business and government leaders for the 2011 and 2012 Canadian Water Summit, which examines water risks across the country. While at Green Living Enterprises, she helped organize the annual Green Living Show. Today, she is manager of research and partnerships at RBC, where through the RBC Social Finance initiative she’s supporting the growth of social entrepreneurship, impact investing and social finance in Canada."