UBC’s Faculty of Forestry is thrilled to announce that the Climate Change Health Effects, Adaptation and ResiLience (HEAL) network has had its grant renewed for another year. Co-led by Dr. Lorien Nesbitt, Department of Forest Resources Management and Dr. Chris Carlsten, Division of Respiratory Medicine/Department of Medicine, the interdisciplinary group is one of 40 UBC research excellence clusters that received funding under the university’s Research Excellence Clusters Initiative.
Over the past year, the HEAL network has invested in relationship-building with local partners, including grassroots organizations, local, regional, and provincial governments, and other researchers. This includes organizing a stakeholder workshop to identify priority areas for research, establishing a network of graduate students working on issues related to climate change, health, and urban greenness, and building a community of practice within and outside of academia to design their research from the ground up.
“In our first year, we set the ground work for collaborative relationships within the cluster and partner organizations. In our second year we are looking forward to taking the next steps of co-developing projects and initiatives to support communities at risk from extreme weather events associated with climate change.“
With the renewal of HEAL’s grant, the group can continue to address the societal and cultural problems related to climate change and its effects on health through its interdisciplinary research. Guided by 3 key themes, the group will focus on building on their relational foundations and continue their conversations with individuals and organizations outside of their group to advance research that responds to the needs of those experiencing climate change and managing its effects within the community.
“Our focus is on using a research to action approach, meaning we aim to co-develop projects in partnerships with relevant stakeholders. In our first year stakeholder organizations (such as government) were in a transition period from COVID-19 with limited capacity for other activities. However, organizations have allocated resources to climate change and health and are well positioned to work collaboratively in this area. We are looking forward to deepening these relationships in our second year.“
About UBC’s Research Excellence Clusters
UBC’s Vice-President, Research & Innovation and the Provost & Vice-President Academic established the Grants for Catalyzing Research Clusters competition as a way to catalyze research initiatives and enable clusters to have a greater impact than would be possible otherwise.