International team of researchers in Cypress Hills to examine adaption to climate change

By Everett Dorma Posted: October 5, 2015 6:00 a.m.

 Research participants engaged in discussion during a field trip.
Research participants engaged in discussion during a field trip. Photo courtesy David Sauchyn.

Researchers with the Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Extremes in the Americas (VACEA) project met with local farmers, ranchers and government officials from southwestern Saskatchewan.

“This week we were in the Cypress Hills meeting with local farmers, ranchers and government officials to learn how they are adapting to a changing climate and especially extreme weather events such as floods and drought,” says Dr. David Sauchyn, senior research scientist at the U of R’s Prairie Adaptation Research Collaborative (PARC), and co-director of VACEA.  

“We are working to understand the vulnerability of rural agricultural and indigenous communities to climate change and extreme weather events.”

VACEA is a multi-disciplinary comparative study of adaptation to climate change in areas of Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Colombia.  

“The research team includes natural and social scientist from all five countries who are assessing extreme weather events, the producer or community’s sensitivity to those impacts, and their capacity to withstand such impacts,” says Sauchyn.

“By using this multi-disciplinary approach to look at the physical, social and governance response to climate change, we will be able to design more effective climate change adaption strategies and government policies and supports.”

The VACEA project is based at the University of Regina but also includes researchers from the University of Saskatchewan, University of Lethbridge and from Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Colombia. The $2.5 million research project is in its fourth year of a five-year study and is funded by the International Development Research Centre, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council.