College of Arts and Science - where great minds meet

Start of a Colloquium Series on Studies of Environmental and Climage Change

There is a considerable community of professors and researchers at the University of Saskatchewan who focus their attention upon the effects of changes in the environment, including the biosphere and atmosphere of planet Earth. This research is carried out within the Colleges of Agriculture, Engineering, and several departments in the Arts and Sciences. However, much of the existing research focuses upon change and some of its effects, with less emphasis upon the fundamental causes of change. The latter includes solar, anthropogenic and \natural" terrestrial forcings. In addition, the various experts tend not to be aware of what others are contributing on this subject, even just here at the University of Saskatchewan.

The immediate goal of the new colloquium series (to be held 4 times a year) will be to foster multidisciplinary discussions/exchanges across campus on the topic of climate change and its impact on the environment. There is hope that such a series could help start a new type of research community in this area on campus. It is even plausible that new groups could start working in this area as a result of the colloquia and the exchanges they will trigger.

This series will not be your regular seminar series. In order to stimulate the exchanges, 2 or 3 speakers from various departments across campus will be asked to discuss a particular aspect of the climate/environmental change theme. While there will be room for questions, the meetings will extend beyond the presentations themselves anyway, through informal discussions around drinks and snacks.

The first colloquium in the series was held on September 26. The theme was “Is climate change real and if so, how are humans contributing?". The speakers for that occasion were Dr. Elaine Wheaton (climatology, Saskatchewan Research Council) who addressed the question from the perspective of a climate modeler; and Prof. George Sofko (Institute of Space and Atmospheric Science) who talked about variations in solar radiation and attendant climate perturbations due to changes in the earth's orbit around the sun. The upcoming November colloquium will be on the consequences of climate change.

Future colloquia in the series are planned for mid-January, and mid-March. Tentative themes for these meetings will be “the Origin of Greenhouse Gases and what can be done about them", and, “Ozone and other changes bound to affect the environment”.

For more information, suggestions for topics or to express interest in getting involved in this program, people can contact Prof. Jean-Pierre St-Maurice at



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