WaterTalk: A holistic approach to monitoring abrupt environmental shifts in the Kluane Lake region

Monday, June 20, 2022 10:00 am - 11:00 am EDT
Emily Huff

As part of the Water Institute's WaterTalks lecture series, Emily S. Huff, Assistant Professor, Department of Forestry, Michigan State University, will present: A holistic approach to monitoring abrupt environmental shifts in the Kluane Lake region.

This event will be offered in person on the University of Waterloo campus in EV3 3412 and online via Zoom.

More information

Rapidly changing Arctic conditions necessitate multi-perspective approaches to creating new knowledge and engaging communities that are most affected by these changes. Thus, planning and co-producing effective Arctic research is needed, results of which will inform social and ecological security on a national, and global scale. The Kluane Lake Region, in Canada’s Yukon Territory, has recently experienced many abrupt environmental shifts. In 2016, the retreating Kaskawulsh Glacier cut off flow from Lhù’ààn Mân (Kluane Lake), effectively removing one of the largest water inputs to the lake. Additionally, recent insect outbreaks have harmed nearby forests, and warming climate regimes have shifted winter ice formation and snowpack development. While these compounding environmental changes will have drastic impacts to the ecosystem for decades to come, their impacts on the local communities will be more rapid. While these ecological impacts have been observed by formal research communities, it is also critical to work closely
with local communities to understand their perspectives on critical research questions and natural resource concerns. Thus, the research team will work with local communities like the Kluane First Nations and Champagne and Aishihik First Nation, as co-producers of research questions and design.

Speaker bio

Dr. Emily S. Huff is an Assistant Professor at Michigan State University in the Department of Forestry. Dr. Huff earned her M.S in Natural Resources Science and Management from the University of Minnesota and her Ph.D. in Forestry from the University of Maine. She studies coupled human and natural systems in two ways: 1) integrating social and ecological data to predict effects of human behavior on forest ecosystems and 2) measuring the influence of resource quality and availability on decision-making. Prior to joining the faculty at MSU, Dr. Huff worked for the USDA Forest Service’s Northern Research Station as a Research Forester. Dr. Huff is also serving as the Co Editor-in-Chief of the scientific journal Society & Natural Resources, as president of the Michigan Forest Association, and as the Chair of the SAF B1 Private Forestry working group.