VIU Symposium Discusses Effects of Climate Change on Human Health

Serena Gaiga, Tanys Latham, Ivo Nikolov, Kurt Kuzminski and Dulcie Thomson, all VIU Bachelor of Science in Nursing students, are helping raise awareness about how climate change is going to impact humans at the Climate Change and Human Health symposium.

October 30, 2017 - 2:15pm

The November 4 event is free and open to the public

Degraded air quality due to increased wildfires, pollen production and emissions of air contaminants; an increased number of heat-related deaths; and increased risks associated with some infectious diseases are some of the impacts Health Canada estimates climate change will have on humans.

On Saturday, November 4, ACER (Awareness of Climate Change through Education and Research), Vancouver Island University’s (VIU’s) student-led climate change initiative, will delve deeper into this topic during the group’s sixth annual symposium – Climate Change and Human Health.

The symposium will start with an update on the science of climate change followed by presentations from Dr. Tim Takaro, a professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University; Dr. Paul Hasselback, Medical Health Officer with Island Health; and Dr. Lindsay McCunn, a Psychology professor at VIU.

Health professionals across the globe are rallying to the United Nations’ and World Health Organization’s calls to take action on climate change. Understanding the link between a changing climate and human health creates a universal imperative for implementing climate change solutions in Canada.

“Given the significant health impacts of climate change, the direct human cost of climate change is becoming a catalyst for public awareness,” says Kurt Kuzminski, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing student, member of Nurses for Environmental Action Today (NEAT) and ACER member. “This year’s symposium will help redefine the climate change problem from a human perspective. The Canadian Nurses’ Association has already encouraged climate change action within our profession, and I agree with their assessment. We can either do nothing and wait for these health effects to reach our communities, or we can take action today for a healthier tomorrow.”

Doors open at 8:30 am with the event starting at 9 am on Saturday, November 4 in Building 355 at VIU’s Nanaimo campus. The symposium is free and open to the public and includes lunch, a panel discussion and interactive demonstrations. Registration is limited to 100 participants.

ACER is a VIU-based public outreach initiative to promote a greater understanding of the science and social implications of climate change to students and the general public. 

To register and participate in this free event please email ACER.



Jenn McGarrigle, Communications Officer, Vancouver Island University

P: 250.740.6559 | C: 250.619.6860 | E: | T: @VIUNews

Tags: Teaching and Learning

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