Award-winning climate change adoption tool brings big data to the local level

Saskatchewan Polytechnic

For Natural Resources Technology instructor Ryan Galbraith and Dr. Nirmil Subedi, a Forest Economist from Natural Resources Canada, the goal was simple: help make large-scale environmental data more useful at the local level. The result is the Climate Change Adaption Tool, which provides farmers and local communities with the environmental data they need to make planting and development decisions.

“There’s a disconnect between global climate change data and the local farmer,” says Galbraith. “The data that is available is provincial or national, but there isn’t much data for local communities. This tool makes big data more local, and can lead to effective environmental and economically sustainable solutions.”

Galbraith says this tool can influence environmental stewardship and can prove to be useful in a number of contexts, including helping farmers plan better for changing climates.

On May 7, the two researchers won an Education for Sustainable Development Recognition Award from the Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Sustainable Development (RCE).

“We are honoured to receive this award,” says Galbraith. “It’s a way of getting this kind of work to advance to the next stages and into the hands of the local producers and farmers who need it.”

While the tool isn’t yet widely available, Galbraith says they couldn’t have gotten this far without assistance from the Office of Applied Research and Innovation, which provided financial support through the Sustainable Initiative Fund (SIF). He says their help enables them to develop the tool into an app, making it more accessible for communities across Saskatchewan.

For more information, click here.