PhD Candidate, School of Resource and Environmental Management, SFU
Research Fellow, Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions
Friday, Oct. 24th, 2014
3:00 – 4:00 pm
MCML 154, 2357 Main Mall, UBC
In 2010, the BC government proposed several new water policies options for managing regional watersheds. Two of these included the formation of an agricultural water reserve and to give regions more flexibility in developing their own drought response plans. In 2013 a new approach for engaging an often elusive group was used to measure farmer preferences and acceptance of drought response options, including water trading, reductions in water allotments, and new allocation methods. Results suggests that farmers are more tolerant toward policy changes than previously assumed, and may in fact prove an important partner for managing drought.
Steve is a research fellow with Simon Fraser University and chairs the water research group in the school of Resource and Environmental Management. With degrees in management, psychology and engineering, Steve explores the intersection between technology, people and policy. Steve has written broadly on decision-making, participatory policy making, science communications, coupled social-ecological modelling, the water-energy nexus, water governance, and human dimensions.
Prior to his academic career he was a managing partner with a major US/Canada environmental consulting firm with close to 20 years experience working with water managers and decisions makers on numerous water management issues. Steve also chairs the BC Water and Waste Association climate change committee, chairs the REM water research working group and chairs the water-energy subcommittee of the IWA Water Reuse specialist group.
Jointly hosted by the Master of Land and Water Systems Program and the Soil Seminar Series
Rebecca Harbut, PhD
Faculty, Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems Program
Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Richmond, BC
Friday, Oct. 31st, 2014
3:00 – 4:00 pm
MCML 260, 2357 Main Mall, UBC
North American agriculture has gone through a monumental shift over the last century fostered by the introduction of new technologies, crop management strategies and production systems. At the heart of many of these changes was the work of agricultural scientists at universities and Agricultural Research Stations generating knowledge disseminated through extension networks for field application. The transformation of agriculture is a testament to the power of a coordinated effort to connect research results with farmers who applied it in the field.
As technologies have become more advanced and scientists spend more time in the lab, the prevalence of applied scientists has been on the decline. With challenges such as climate change, increasing food insecurity, and declining resources, the need for ‘boots on the ground’ agricultural scientists with a comprehensive understanding of agroecosystems is more critical than ever. Despite the rich agricultural history of BC and high production potential in the region, the resilience of BC’s agricultural sector in the face of growing challenges is in question. It is imperative that researchers and the broader community re-engage and reinvest in applied agricultural research and extension programs in order to ensure the sustainability of our food system.
Rebecca Harbut is the coordinator and faculty member in the Sustainable Agriculture program at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and a researcher in KPU’s Institute for Sustainable Food Systems. Trained as an agricultural scientist (PhD, Cornell University, MS, U of Guelph) her work has focused on horticultural crop production systems with a focus on nutrient management, water use efficiency and low input production systems. As an extension professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Rebecca worked closely with the agriculture industry and focused on developmental physiology of fruit crops, water use efficiency in cropping systems and low-input season extension for temperate production systems. Since joining the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems group at KPU, Rebecca’s efforts have been focused on the advancement of low-input, regional food systems through educational programing and research on peat-based cranberry production systems.