Dr. Danny Blair, Co-Director
Danny Blair is the Director of Science for the Prairie Climate Centre. He is also a Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Winnipeg, where he has been working since 1987. He served as the Geography Chair for seven years, and from 2011 to 2017 he was the Associate Dean of Science (4.5 years) and the Acting Dean of Science (1.5 years), and the Acting Principal of the Richardson College for the Environment. His main research interest is climate change in Canada, and especially the Prairie Provinces. He also has interests in climate variability, teleconnections, synoptic climatology, and the potential for trans-boundary water conflicts in a changing Prairie climate. He was a contributing author of Canada’s National Assessment of Climate Change released in 2008, and is a frequent presenter at conferences and workshops about climate change in the Prairies. From 2004-2007 he was the PARC-Manitoba Hydro Climate Change Research Professor at the University of Winnipeg. He obtained his Geography BSc and MSc degrees from the University of Regina; his MSc thesis was on the thunderstorm hazard in Saskatchewan. His PhD is from the University of Manitoba, where he studied the synoptic climatology of the Red River Basin.
Dr. Ian Mauro, Co-Director
Dr. Mauro is the Director of Communications for the Prairie Climate Centre and Principal of Richardson College for the Environment at the University of Winnipeg. He holds a BSc in Environmental Science, PhD in Geography, and studied as a Postdoctoral fellow in Ethnoecology. He is a former Canada Research Chair, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists, Apple Distinguished Educator, and has served on expert panels related to food security and energy issues in Canada. As a scientist, community-based researcher and filmmaker, Mauro’s work explores the interface between climate science, society and sustainability and the important role of local and Indigenous knowledge in this discourse. He has developed numerous, award winning, multi-media climate change projects across Canada, including Qapirangajuq: Inuit Knowledge and Climate Change (co-directed with acclaimed Inuk filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk) and Beyond Climate (in collaboration with Dr. David Suzuki). Mauro’s work has been featured in academic conferences, museums, film festivals and news media such as the United Nations, Smithsonian Institution, National Geographic, Royal Ontario Museum, ImagineNative, Berlin International Film Festival, The Globe and Mail and This American Life.
Dr. Nora Casson, Co-Director
Dr. Nora Casson is an Associate Professor and Chancellor’s Research Chair in the Department of Geography at the University of Winnipeg. Her research interests focus on how human pressures such as climate change and pollution impact terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. In particular, she is interested in controls on nutrient cycling and water quality in forested, agricultural and subarctic landscapes. Dr. Casson was awarded her PhD in Environmental and Life Sciences from Trent University in 2013.
Ryan Smith, Climate Change Researcher
Ryan Smith is a Research Associate with the Prairie Climate Centre. He obtained a MSc from the University of Manitoba in 2013, where he studied meteorology and climatology, and has since been working as a researcher and occasional lecturer at the University of Winnipeg. Recently, he has taught courses in atmospheric sciences, human-environmental interactions and climate change. Ryan is a self-taught computer-programmer and cartographer, and has spent much the past decade developing software that translates complex global climate model output into visually pleasing and intuitive geovisualizations of local climate change impacts.
Marcel Kreutzer, Research Associate, Filmmaker
Marcel Kreutzer’s passion for film, science, and technology has lead him to the Prairie Climate Centre. In addition to filling the role of film studio manager, Marcel is also the Centre’s primary camera operator, sound and lighting technician, and video editor. Marcel obtained a BA in film studies from the University of Manitoba. Over the past decade, he has worked both on set and behind the scenes on hundreds of film and television projects. When he is not making or watching films, he spends much of his time outdoors, rock climbing, canoeing, and camping with his dog Libby.
Christey Allen, Research Coordinator
Christey is the Research Coordinator with the Prairie Climate Centre. She completed her MSc at the University of Calgary in Sustainable Energy Development, with her thesis concentrating on life-cycle assessment of agricultural systems. This was preceded by a BSc in Biochemistry with a focus on natural products synthesis and organic chemistry. Prior to starting at the PCC, Christey worked with Grand Council Treaty #3 and the 28 First Nations of the Treaty #3 Territory on various aspects of climate change policy, mitigation, and adaptation. She also spent a few years working in the agricultural sector on analysis and research of Canadian wheat and barley.
Laura Cameron, Researcher
Originally from Vancouver, BC, Laura comes to UWinnipeg via McGill University with a BSc in biology and anthropology. She is currently working on her MA in Indigenous Governance with UWinnipeg’s Dr. Ian Mauro (Geography) and Dr. Jacqueline Romanow (Indigenous studies). In her research, conducted in conjunction with the Prairie Climate Centre, Laura seeks to build relationships and understandings of Indigenous perspectives on climate change. Working in close collaboration with Anishnaabe Elder Dave Courchene and the community of Turtle Lodge, an International Indigenous Education and Wellness Center in Sagkeeng First Nation, Laura’s research explores the use of participatory video as an alternative method for documenting and communicating Indigenous perspectives on climate change.
Matthew Loxley, Researcher
Matthew Loxley is a climate change analyst at the Prairie Climate Centre. He has a Bachelor of Science (Ag.Env.Sc.) in Renewable Resource Management from McGill University and a Master of Environmental Science in Climate Change Impact Assessment from the University of Toronto. His work at the PCC revolves around climate model data and climate change adaptation, from which he draws on his previous experience working on climate change adaptation with UNICEF at the Latin American and Caribbean Regional Office in Panama. Matthew enjoys the outdoors and has had opportunities to explore various regions of the natural world through his studies, including the Pacific temperate rainforests of British Columbia, the Sonoran and Mojave deserts of the Southwest US, and the tropical rainforests of Panama.
Natalie Baird, PCC Masters Student
Natalie Baird is a visual artist and master’s student, exploring the role of art in climate change research. She completed a bachelor of environmental science at the University of Manitoba in 2014. Natalie has since returned for a master of environment, with Dr. Ian Mauro (UWinnipeg) and Dr. Stephane McLachlan (UManitoba). Working with the PCC team, she has partnered with filmmaker David Poisey (Nunavut), using collaborative video, drawing, and photography to explore how changing ocean dynamics are affecting the community of Pangnirtung, Nunavut. Outside of the PCC, Natalie works at Art City and the Misericordia Health Centre, facilitating art programs for inner-city youth and seniors living with dementia.
Dr. Steve McCullough, Senior Research Associate
Steve McCullough, PhD acts as lead web developer and managing editor for the Climate Atlas. His varied professional experience includes scholarly and medical editing, freelance magazine writing, and over 20 years of technical work in web development. His scholarly background is similarly diverse, ranging from the undergraduate study of Physics to a Masters degree in medieval English and a doctoral dissertation on Canadian women’s Holocaust memoirs. His scholarship addresses the essential and interconnected role of narrative, language, and identity in creating social, historical, political and personal meaning, and he brings this perspective to the challenge of communicating climate change in today’s polarized world.
Hillary Beattie, Research Associate
Hillary Beattie is a researcher and filmmaker who is interested in exploring social and ecological topics. She has a Bachelors of Arts (Honours) in Human Geography from the University of Winnipeg and a Master of Environment from the University of Manitoba. Her graduate research explored Indigenous cultural resurgence in the Heiltsuk community of Bella Bella, B.C. through participatory video methods. As part of the project, she co-directed a documentary called ‘Glwa: Resurgence of the Ocean-Going Canoe’ with Vina Brown, which premiered at imagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival in October 2017. Outside of work, Hillary enjoys running, reading, and photography.
Durdana Islam, Postdoctoral Fellow
Dr. Islam received PhD from Natural Resources Institute, University of Manitoba in 2016. Her doctoral thesis explores Indigenous fisheries and food security in the context of Indigenous communities in northern Manitoba. Durdana has published her work in many reputed journals in her field of interest which includes Maritime Studies, Food Security and Diaspora, Indigenous and Minority Education etc. She is the recipient of 2018 Emerald Literati Award for her paper titled “Between a business and a social enterprise: The Norway House Fisherman’s co-op, northern Manitoba, Canada” published in Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy. Dr. Islam’s research interests include Indigenous food security, community economic development, social enterprise, climate change, and participatory research. Durdana received a number of scholarships for her doctoral work including prestigious Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship (CGS) doctoral award offered by Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), Canada; Northern Scientific Training (NSTP) program, NRI Provincial Grant, Manitoba Hydro Graduate Fellowship and research grant from Transmedia and Justice Group of University of Manitoba. Earlier Durdana received Master in Environmental Management and Development from The Australian National University in 2008, MBA from Royal Roads University, Canada in 2004 and BSc. in computer Science from North South University, Bangladesh in 2000. In her spare time, Durdana enjoys painting, swimming, and running.
Vanessa Corkal, Researcher
Vanessa Corkal brings diverse experience in documentary, journalism, and environmental work to the PCC team. She holds a Master of Climate Change from the University of Waterloo.