School of the Environment welcomes three new faculty members in January 2016

Monday, January 11, 2016 11:00:00 AM



Robinson, Wunch and FinkelsteinJohn Robinson, Debra Wunch, and Sarah Finkelstein (credit: Debra Wunch and es.utoronto.ca)


We are
 delighted to announce the following three faculty appointments at the School of the Environment starting in January 2016. 

JOHN ROBINSON, leading scholar in sustainability studies, joined the School of the Environment as a Full Professor on January 1, 2016.  This is a joint position with the Munk School of Global Affairs: 51% Global Affairs, 49% Environment.  Professor Robinson has a global reputation in the areas of urban sustainability, building sustainability, community engagement processes, and university sustainability programming. He will be developing regenerative sustainability and living lab programs at U of T. 
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DEBRA WUNCH, experimental atmospheric physicist, joined the School of the Environment as an Assistant Professor on January 1, 2016.  This is a joint position with the Department of Physics: 51% Physics, 49% Environment.  Professor Wunch has an exceptional record in hands-on development and construction of remote-sensing experiments to measure trace gas concentrations in the atmosphere. 
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SARAH FINKELSTEIN, Associate Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences, is appointed as the School of the Environment’s Academic Associate Director from January 1, 2016 to June 30, 2020. In this role, she will coordinate and oversee the School's undergraduate programs and graduate collaborative programs, assist in advising students, and oversee other academic program-related activities.  In Earth Sciences, she studies climate history and the drivers of ecological change through the analysis of core samples and sediment records.
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John Robinson, leading scholar in sustainability studies, joins the School of the Environment as a Full Professor in a joint appointment with the Munk School of Global Affairs

 

We are pleased to announce that Dr. John Robinson joined the School of the Environment as a Full Professor on January 1, 2016.  This is a joint position with the Munk School of Global Affairs: 51% Global Affairs, 49% Environment.

Professor Robinson has a global reputation in the areas of urban sustainability, building sustainability, community engagement processes, and university sustainability programming. He will be developing regenerative sustainability and living lab programs at U of T.  He is also very actively involved in trying to establish such programs at the Copenhagen Business School (where he is an Adjunct Professor), and Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland, while there are other discussions starting in several other locations.

This term at the School of the Environment, he will be teaching a graduate course on The Development of Sustainability Thought (ENV 2002)

From 1992-2015, he was Professor with the Institute for Resources, Environment & Sustainability, and the Department of Geography at The University of British Columbia (UBC). From 2012-15, he was Associate Provost, Sustainability, at UBC, responsible for leading the integration of academic and operational sustainability on the University of British Columbia’s Vancouver campus. Prof. Robinson’s own research focuses on the intersection of climate change mitigation, adaptation and sustainability; the use of visualization, modeling, and citizen engagement to explore sustainable futures; sustainable buildings and urban design; creating partnerships for sustainability with non-academic partners; and, generally, the intersection of sustainability, social and technological change, behaviour change, and community engagement processes.

In 2012 Dr. Robinson received the Metro Vancouver Architecture Canada Architecture Advocacy Award and was named Environmental Scientist of the Year by Canadian Geographic magazine. In 2011, he received the Canada Green Building Council Education Leadership Award, and in 2010 he was given BC Hydro’s Larry Bell Award for advancing energy conservation in British Columbia. He was a Fellow of the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation from 2008-11, and, as a Lead Author, he contributed to the 1995, 2001 and 2007 reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 with Al Gore.   At the Munk School, Prof. Robinson will be a member of the Environmental Governance Lab and he will teach in the MGA program.

See more at: http://munkschool.utoronto.ca/profile/robinson-john/

Contact information: johnb.robinson@utoronto.ca; 416-946-8936; office: 202, Munk School of Global Affairs, 315 Bloor West 

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Debra Wunch joins the School of the Environment:  Assistant Professor studies the carbon cycle, a critical tool for understanding current and future climate

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Debra Wunch joined the School of the Environment as an Assistant Professor on January 1, 2016.  This is a joint position with the Department of Physics: 51% Physics, 49% Environment.

Dr. Wunch is an experimental atmospheric physicist who has an exceptional record in hands-on development and construction of remote-sensing experiments to measure trace gas concentrations in the atmosphere.  She obtained her PhD in 2007 at the University of Toronto under the supervision of Professor (now Emeritus) James Drummond.  Since 2007 she has been at the California Institute of Technology, where she has played a key role in the Total Carbon Column Observing Network (TCCON), which monitors greenhouse gases with unprecedented precision and accuracy.  Dr. Wunch has co-authored more than 60 papers in top journals in the field.

Her particular specialty is measuring the concentration of the greenhouse gases, including CO2, an area in which she is an acknowledged world-wide authority.  Her current interests lie in understanding the Earth’s carbon cycle, both on urban and global scales.  She has been actively involved in all aspects of the TCCON, which is a global network of ground-based, solar-viewing Fourier transform spectrometers that measure atmospheric trace gases, such as CO2, CO and CH4. She was responsible for the TCCON stations in Lamont, Oklahoma and Pasadena, California, and in her new position, she will be setting up a new TCCON station in western Canada to measure carbon uptake and release in the boreal forest, which is an important but little studied component of the Earth’s carbon system.  With the TCCON data, she has been providing support for the evaluation of the Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite (GOSAT) and Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO-2) satellite data. She also studies the carbon cycle and emissions within large urban areas (‘megacities’) and plans to extend this work to Toronto.

Contact information: debra.wunch@utoronto.ca416-946-0408; office: 707A, McLennan Physical Labs, 60 St. George St.

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Sarah Finkelstein appointed as the School of the Environment’s new Academic Associate Director

We are pleased to welcome Dr. Sarah Finkelstein as the School of the Environment’s Academic Associate Director from January 1, 2016 to June 30, 2020. In this role, she will coordinate and oversee the School's undergraduate programs and graduate collaborative programs, assist in advising students, and oversee other academic program-related activities.

We would also like to thank Dr. Douglas Macdonald for his 2.5 years of dedicated service in this role.

Dr. Finkelstein is an Associate Professor in the Department of Earth Sciences where she studies climate history and the drivers of ecological change through the analysis of core samples and sediment records.  Dr. Finkelstein obtained degrees at Princeton (AB, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology), Cambridge (MPhil, Plant Sciences) and the University of Toronto (PhD, Physical Geography, 2004), and completed an NSERC Post-Doctoral Fellowship at University of Ottawa (2004-2005) prior to her appointment to the UofT Faculty in 2006. She has conducted research on both recent and paleo-environmental change in the Canadian High Arctic, the Hudson Bay Lowlands in Ontario’s Far North, as well as Barro Colorado Island in Panama, coastal wetlands of the lower Great Lakes, and the savanna region of South Africa. Dr Finkelstein is cross-appointed to the graduate faculty in the Department of Geography and the Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences at UTSC and is a Research Associate at the Royal Ontario Museum. Please see http://paleoecologylab.com/ for more information on Dr Finkelstein’s research and publications.

Contact information: finkelstein@es.utoronto.ca; 416-978-5613; office: ES3129, 22 Russell St.

The School of the Environment offers an undergraduate B.A. program in Environmental Studies and a B.Sc. program in Environmental Science.  In addition, collaborative programs are offered with departments and programs at U of T such as chemistry, geography, geology, human biology, physics, philosophy, psychology, and others.   At the graduate level, interdisciplinary collaborative programs in Environmental Studies, as well as in Environment and Health, are offered in partnership with more than twenty other units at the University.  


For more information on the School's academic programs, please visit:
http://www.environment.utoronto.ca/Undergraduate.aspx
http://www.environment.utoronto.ca/Graduate.aspx