Natural scientist to shed light on BC’s changing landscape and climate

Have we reached the environmental “Tipping Point”?  Possibly

Is there anything we can do to ameliorate the effects? Probably

Should we prepare?                                                         Definitely!!!!

Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels continue to climb and temperatures are likely to follow.
Arctic sea ice extent and character is changing and extreme weather events appear to be increasing.  These observations are being related to changes in major atmospheric processes such as the behavior of the jet stream.  According to Dr. Richard Hebda, curator of Botany and Earth History at the Royal British Columbia Museum and provincial paleontologist for BC, we may already be committed to crossing the tipping point or threshold of irreversible change.

Dr. Hebda will draw upon his extensive research with plant fossils and their distribution over time and place to shed light on the condition, history and evolution of BC’s landscape and climate, in a public talk, entitled “What can we do to adapt to a changing planet?”  This talk is the first of the 2015/16 season for the Science in Society Speaker Series and will be presented on Tuesday, October 13 at 7:30 pm at the Okanagan College’s Vernon campus.

“Ever-evolving impact models clearly reveal that ecological transformation on a continental scale is on its way”, says Hebda.  “It is vital that we strive to understand what defines the ecological integrity of our ecosystems and embed those characteristics in their management”.  In this talk, examples will be used to show how to explicitly define ecological integrity and develop adaptation strategies.  Further, recent discoveries concerning BC’s alpine flora will be used to contemplate appropriate large scale adaptation approaches.

Dr. Hebda is also a faculty member at the University of Victoria where he teaches in the Restoration of Natural Systems Program, which he was instrumental in establishing. His tireless field research has resulted in over 125 refereed scientific papers and 12 major reports and books. As an avid gardener, he also has over 400 popular articles to his credit. With his boots in the field and his hands in the soil, Dr. Hebda is uniquely qualified to acquaint a Vernon audience with some of the local challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in our changing world.

The Science in Society Speaker Series (a joint project by Okanagan Science Centre and the Okanagan College) is sponsored by the Best Western Vernon Lodge, Starbucks Coffee, Cooper’s Food, and the Vernon Morning Star.

Admission is $7 in advance or $10 at the door. For advanced tickets call the Okanagan Science Centre at (250) 545-3644.

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