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Canada Research Chair, Tier II

Assistant or Associate Professor

Geography - Faculty of Social Sciences

Date posted: January 23, 2024

Canada Research Chair (Tier 2 NSERC) in “Extreme Climate Event Impacts on Communities”

UVic acknowledges and respects the lək̓ʷəŋən peoples on whose traditional territory UVic stands, and the Songhees, Esquimalt, and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day. We are privileged to do our work in a way that is inspired by their history, customs and culture and are committed to the ongoing work of decolonizing and Indigenizing the campus community.

Justification for Position: Severe weather events are how climate change impacts the public. Their technical terminology has become unfortunately familiar to the average citizen: atmospheric river, weather bomb, and heat dome. Their societal repercussions are, quite literally, catastrophic. In the last few years BC has experienced a range of severe weather events. In 2019, the most powerful windstorm ever recorded hit south BC causing millions in infrastructure damage. In 2021, BC experienced the heat dome; the deadliest weather event in Canadian history. This set a national temperature record in Lytton, which then burned to the ground amidst a severe wildfire season triggered by the heat and drying. A heavy rainfall season in the fall was capped by a severe atmospheric river event in November, which resulted in historic flooding in the lower mainland of BC and severed all surface links between Vancouver and the rest of Canada. Later in the summer of 2022: an unprecedented stretch without rain and resultant drought damaged the salmon fisheries. Summer 2023 brought the earliest and by far largest wildfire season the country has experienced, forcing thousands to evacuate, and negatively affected air quality throughout North America. Communities of all forms – large urban centers, remote Indigenous nations, industrial operators, government services such as Coast Guard – are impacted to varying degrees by extreme weather events. Responding to these changing weather patterns requires an understanding of the physical drivers of these events and then the specific ways in which the events impact communities. Targeted analyses of severe weather occurrences and appropriate actions in the context of specific, adverse community impacts are lacking.  

To help address these gaps, the Department of Geography in the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Victoria invites external applications from outstanding emerging scholars for a Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Extreme Climate Event Impacts on Communities. The successful applicant will be nominated by the University for a Tier 2 CRC and, upon approval by the CRC Secretariat, will be offered a position at the rank of Assistant or Associate Professor, with rank and tenure status determined after an assessment of accomplishments and experience. The anticipated start date is January 1, 2025. 

The candidate's qualifications, experience and overall market demand will determine a candidate’s final salary offer. The salary for this position includes a competitive salary range of $105,565 - $130,404 at the Assistant Rank and $131,677 - $162,660 at the Associate Rank. UVic is committed to offering an equitable and competitive salary, inclusive of a generous benefits package, eligible leaves and pension plan.

Requirements

Job Description: The successful candidate for this NSERC CRC in ‘Extreme Climate Event Impacts on Communities’ will apply their expertise as a solutions-focused, action-oriented, community-engaged researcher who employs and develops methods to examine climate and weather extremes in the context of community impacts and outcomes. This can take different forms, ranging from large-scale statistical/dynamical analysis of severe climate and weather event impacts down to high-resolution microscale measurement of individual building responses. The types of analyses this could encompass include:

  1. Analysis of synoptic/weather drivers of heat dome, pollution, wildfire, or atmospheric river flooding events and the magnitude/duration thresholds that result in different adverse impacts on community infrastructure and/or human health;
  2. Direct monitoring (instrumenting) of buildings to determine structured responses to weather-related stressors;
  3. Integrated analyses for the emergency management of complex systems, for example: impacts of extreme weather events on the capacity of cities to provide essential urban services, or the structure and function of community contexts in shaping and driving risk and resilience to extreme events, e.g. morbidity and mortality trends, hospital infrastructure surge capacity and networking.

The University seeks an emerging world-class researcher to investigate issues associated with climate change impacts on communities. The successful candidate is expected to undertake the following:

  • lead a high-quality, original research program with the potential to achieve international recognition;
  • produce high calibre scholarly outputs;
  • create a mentoring environment that attracts and supports highly qualified and diverse graduate students and other mentees;
  • and address and build local, regional, national, and ultimately, international capacity around climate change, adaptation and resilience-building priorities.

Their research will be grounded in extensive analytical projects tailored to specific applications that can inform knowledge mobilization, decision-making and policy. Where appropriate, projects will be co-developed with stakeholders or communities or community-led.

Applicants must demonstrate their support for equity, diversity and inclusion in university and other settings; and show understanding and, if possible, experience in working respectfully and effectively with Indigenous and rural and remote communities.

The Chair is also expected to be an effective and engaged teacher, as demonstrated via external class assessments and indicators of investment in pedagogical training, with experience in fostering inclusive class environments and with the ability to teach core courses in geography. In particular, this CRC will contribute to teaching capacity in our new, first of its kind, BSc Climate Science program.

Preferential Hire: The University encourages applicants who identify as: Indigenous, women and those with gender diverse identities, persons with disabilities, and members of visible minorities. This is a “preferential hire”, which means in accordance with the University’s Equity Plan and pursuant to Section 42 of the BC Human Rights Code, preference will be given to members of the following groups: Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, people of Black, African, and Caribbean-descent, people of colour, people of diverse gender identities or expression and/or diverse sexual orientations. Candidates who wish to qualify for preferential consideration must clearly self-identify in their cover letter. The committee will review other applications if it does not find a suitable candidate in the initial pool.

Qualifications: The successful candidate will possess the following qualifications:

  • An earned PhD in Geography or related discipline (at least one degree must be from Geography)
  • Must have updated or developed and taught at least one undergraduate university course
  • Must have secured external grant funding as a PI or co-PI
  • Must be able to demonstrate contributions to your university, profession, and the public.
  • Must be able to articulate how you have contributed to integrating equity, diversity and inclusion into your research and teaching.
  • Must qualify for the Canada Research Chair program

Additional information

CRC Program: Tier 2 CRC Chairs are one of Canada’s premier early career recognition and recruitment programs, and are intended for exceptional emerging scholars (i.e., candidates must have been an active researcher in their field for fewer than 10 years at the time of nomination). Applicants who are more than 10 years from having earned their highest degree (and where career breaks exist) may have their eligibility for a Tier 2 Chair assessed through the program’s Tier 2 justification process. For more information on the CRC program generally and on eligibility specifically, please consult the Canada Research Chairs website.  This position is based on funding from the natural sciences (NSERC) perspective, and hence the candidate must be able to develop a proposal that is predominantly focused on natural science perspectives, but can include topics such as visualization and geomatics.

Strategic Priorities: This CRC builds upon UVic strengths in climate and weather analysis, spatial data science, urban geography and sustainability studies, public and population health, and policy and social justice, as well as UVic’s commitment to transdisciplinary climate research and community engagement, as exemplified by our rank of 3rd globally under the UN SDG Climate Action.

These strengths align with key priorities in UVic’s most recent Strategic Plan for Research known as the Aspiration 2030 - Research and Creative Works Strategy. A key objective for this CRC is realization of “Implementation Science”, defined as the scientific study of methods and strategies that facilitate the uptake of evidence-based practice and research into regular use by practitioners and policymakers. This objective is found to varying degrees in the goals, but is central to aspiration #5, which states that at UVic “We mobilize knowledge and creativity to address societal challenges.” This position also aligns strongly with the new British Columbia Climate Preparedness and Adaptation Strategy: Actions for 2022-2025, which outlines a multi-pronged plan being undertaken by the province that will require extensive university engagement.

This CRC recruitment opportunity is part of a strategy to increase the depth and breadth of expertise in climate change analytics at UVic which will, in turn, bolster the University’s growing contribution to the formulation of innovative and effective public-policy interventions. This strategy reaches beyond research and encompasses parallel efforts to innovate our undergraduate teaching in climate sciences and solutions, as spearheaded by our new BSc in Climate Science, a program unique in North America as noted above.

Position Support: The University of Victoria represents a unique locus of climate and community research organizations and experience. The Department of Geography is home to the Map Shop, a hub of community-engaged research and teaching and which may be relied upon to assist with community engaged activities. The Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium (PCIC) is situated on campus and provides access to BC observational data, downscaled CMIP data, access tools, and examples of solutions-based research tailored towards specific public and private-sector entities. Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) is also on campus and is an organization focusing more closely on solutions. Currently engaged in a period of sharpening their organizational focus, this CRC would be in a position to offer timely assistance to PICS: “This refocusing seeks to better align climate research — across our academic network that includes UVic, UBC, SFU and UNBC — with the priorities of decision-makers and communities throughout British Columbia and Canada.” UVic is also home to two Environment and Climate Change Canada research units: Water and Climate Impacts Research Centre (W-CIRC) and the Canadian Center for Climate and Modelling Analysis (CCCma). Victoria is the seat of provincial government, with ministries like the BC Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness and Climate Action Secretariat, a division of the BC Ministry of Environment, close at hand. The candidate would also have the exciting opportunity to engage with the United Nations Institute of Training and Research CIFAL facility, recently opened at UVic, the director of which is a Geography professor.          

Department: The successful applicant will be appointed in the Department of Geography. The Department of Geography is proud to be a community where disciplines intersect – with a focus on understanding people and their environment, with a strong emphasis on geomatics. Faculty within the highly interdisciplinary department view problems from multiple perspectives, including physical science, social science, health science and humanities. The department has developed a collegial, highly productive environment that nurtures high quality learning for all students, and it values the role that diversity, amongst other factors, contributes to this goal.

Faculty and Librarians at the University of Victoria are governed by the provisions of the Collective Agreement. Members are represented by the University of Victoria Faculty Association.

Contact information

Submission of application: To apply, candidates should send the following application materials in one file (e.g. PDF or MSWord) via email to David Atkinson at geogchair@uvic.ca. In order to be considered, application packages must be received by March 6, 2024.

  1. a cover letter providing an overview of the candidate’s qualifications, how they fulfill the CRC criteria, and how their research capacity will complement existing research strengths defined above (note if you belong to the preferential group(s), please self-identify in your cover letter);
  2. a detailed curriculum vitae;
  3. a three-page description of the candidate’s proposed CRC research program;
  4. a 1-page description of the candidate’s three most important research contributions to date;
  5. a maximum 2-page statement of teaching experience and approach, including evidence of teaching effectiveness, and working effectively and collaboratively with diverse students, trainees, community members, and colleagues;
  6. A one-page statement identifying their strengths and experiences in promoting equity, diversity and inclusion; and
  7. contact information for three referees.

Potential applicants who have questions about the position are encouraged to contact the Chair, David Atkinson, at geogchair@uvic.ca

Please note that reference and background checks, including credential and degree verification, may be undertaken as part of this recruitment process.

Note: The Canada Research Chair is a separate application process and the successful candidate identified by Geography must also be successful with the CRC competition as a condition of being offered a tenure-track appointment at UVic.

Application deadline

March 6, 2024

Equity statement

UVic is committed to upholding the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion in our living, learning and work environments. In pursuit of our values, we seek members who will work respectfully and constructively with differences and across levels of power. We actively encourage applications from members of groups experiencing barriers to equity.

Read our full equity statement.

Persons with disabilities, who anticipate needing accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, may contact Faculty Relations and Academic Administration in the Office of the VP Academic and Provost at FRrecruit@uvic.ca. Any personal information provided will be maintained in confidence.