Dr. Kieran Findlater
Kieran Findlater studies the interplay of human judgment and decision-making, global environmental change and natural resources management. He is currently appointed as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Forest Resources Management in the University of British Columbia. As a member of the Social-Ecological Systems Research Group, led by Dr. Shannon Hagerman, he is attached to the GE3LS component of the CoAdapTree project. In this role, he is studying stakeholder perceptions of risk and uncertainty associated with the climate-adaptive practice of assisted migration in BC’s forestry sector. He completed his PhD at the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability at the University of British Columbia. His doctoral work investigated the relationship between climate change risk perceptions and climate-adaptive behaviour among commercial grain farmers in South Africa – a uniquely informative group of relatively independent and climate-exposed decision-makers. His earlier work spanned energy policy, biofuels, land use change and water resource governance.
Dr. Wim Carton
My overarching academic interest is in society-nature relations, and how these are changed and articulated through various sustainability challenges, particularly around climate change mitigation policies, forestry and agriculture. My PhD thesis in Human Geography, with which I graduated in 2016, examined three market-based mechanisms for climate and energy policy and what kind of environmental outcomes they generate. The two projects that I am currently involved in for my postdoc to some extent build on this. The first project, which is my main focus here at UBC, studies two carbon offsetting projects in the global South. Briefly put, I examine the ideas and understanding of what ‘carbon’ is to the different actors involved in the offsetting market. From there I try to understand the potential tensions, conflicts and contradictions that arise from differing meanings of what ‘carbon is, and what it is ‘for’, and ultimately what implications this has for the projects’ combined goals of carbon sequestration and sustainable development. The second project I am involved in is part of a larger research project with colleagues in Sweden, the US and Uganda. Together with smallholder farmers in Uganda, we are experimenting with various perennial farming systems as a way to decrease vulnerability to extreme weather events and other environmental stressors, and to understand to compatibility of perennial crops with existing farming practices.
Theoretically and methodologically, my research is situated within the broad field of political ecology, and in the past has drawn inspiration from debates on the commodification and neoliberalization of nature. My research interests seem ever-expanding and also include energy studies, environmental and climate justice, environmental history, political economy, the political ecology of carbon sequestration technologies more generally, and really everything to do with global environmental change.