New Climate Guides
Bruce and Marian are humble but they realize that with their combined science backgrounds (both PhDs in Geology), teaching, professional work, and environmental consulting, they have much to give to those seeking a information on climate. Through this website and public discourse through in-person meetings or zoom, they seek to bring information to the public.
Osher Life Long Learning – Oklahoma State University
Both Bruce and Marian offer on-line lecture series through OLLI – Osher LifeLong Learning Institute at Oklahoma State University. Bruce: Environmental degradation, migration related to climate change (2022), Economic impact of climate change on the Arctic (2021). Marian: Climate refugees (2021) and Housing the Unhoused (2022): Local Scenarios, Disaster Response, Encampments/Lodging, Migration and Slavery, and Collapse of Large North American cities).
Royal Roads University, School of Humanitarian Studies; Disaster Response and Recovery
Marian offered two presentations to graduate students studying to be disaster managers. She detailed how the 2022 Hurricane Fiona affected the agricultural and fishing industries of Maritime Canada. A second part of her class gave the students a first-hand view of the flooding, recovery, and mitigation techniques she and Bruce experienced during the 2018 and 2019 flooding of their riverside bed and breakfast.
United Church of Christ (USA) – Conference of Disaster Ministries
Marian offers short science presentations to the disaster chaplains at their monthly meetings. The topics are meant to give the chaplains basic science information on earth science topics (earthquakes, volcanoes, ocean circulation) and the effects of climate change on food scarcity. Chaplain safety in the field is a top priority and Marian has shared information on dangers associated with insects, plants, and animals. A basic primer on bacteria in food and dangers of flood water balance out the science from macro to micro topics. The dangers associated with heat and heat stress are often part of the conversation.
A scientist talking to disaster chaplains on a monthly basis may seem strange but already the influence has been felt. Chaplains in the American midwest did not know they were living in an earthquake zone (New Madrid, 1811). A frank discussion on the likelihood of a large earthquake hitting California or anywhere on the west coast led ministers to talk about their own communities.
The cautions related to safety aren’t always reportable. But if anyone hesitates before removing items in a flood ravaged area and saves themselves an animal or snake bite, it is a lesson well taught.
Building Awareness of Food Insecurity Related to Climate Change
An outcome of investigating climate change is the overwhelming reality of food shortages both now and in the future. Maintenance of an organic orchard is a physical task carried on by Bruce with a winter of pruning apple trees. Marian arranged for the local food bank to gather volunteers to harvest their crop. The immediate needs of those who visit the food bank and learn how to prepare food benefited from their donation.
A more difficult task is learning to grow food, in particular high protein plants not commonly grown in their local gardens. Through a series of gardening talks and a seed exchange, Bruce and Marian are trying with the environmental group, Voices for Sustainable Environments and Communities, to alert people to the need for growing food, not relying on grocery stores.
Trying to raise food in a garden is a foreboding task. The amount of rain and lack of sunshine in the summer of 2023 has resulted in potatoes and tomatoes being successful. Sadly, the dreams of leadership in growing high protein plants was dashed. Hopes of peanut harvests and showcasing quinoa led to disappointment.
Bruce is involved in a local environmental advisory group, Voices for a Sustainable Environments and Communities. Bruce and the group have completed a regional climate adaptation plan and produced a podcast series: Intergenerational Conversations on Climate (showcased under the topic “Podcasts” herein.
Bruce is also playing a leading role in the organization of the Oromocto, NB, Climate EXPO Featuring Electric Vehicles in September 2023. These actions focus on educating the public as well as advocating for increased action on climate change issues within the political sphere.