A Message from the Incoming CMOS Bulletin Editor, Nicole Renaud
Hello from Edmonton and Treaty 6 territory, traditional lands of First Nations and Métis people. I am thrilled to be joining the CMOS team as the new Bulletin Editor! My passion for the environment has been a life long build up, with my interest in water security emerging while I lived in Mexico’s Sonoran desert, in the Baja peninsula. While there, I saw locals unable to afford water contrasted against empty golf courses outside of tourist season being draped in water. My interest truly became crystallized during my Master’s field work, when I found myself in the middle of the Andean mountains, chatting in very shaky Spanish with Quechua peasant farmers about the aridification they were seeing affecting their fields as we sipped on corn beer (an acquired taste!), and the shrinking glaciers that crowned their lands and long populated their oral histories. While the terrain was different, my work with algae harvesters along the Peruvian coast highlighted a similar intensity in concern for ocean contamination and the impact it had on their lives. My passion deepened in rural Malawi during my PhD field work, as I listened to Tumbuka farmers who were keen to plant more drought-resistant local varieties to meet the struggles they faced with growing water scarcity. I had the pleasure of speaking with fishers about the changes they observed along Newfoundland’s ocean shores, along with declining predictability in weather patterns. Seeing the pictures of the enormous amount of snow dumped on St. John’s recently, I can’t help but recall collaborating on a Newfoundland climate adaptation guide a decade ago, and specifically drafting the “winter hazards” section. I must admit, I personally did not envision winter hazards of this magnitude at the time.
I have gained invaluable experience working with a variety of environmental NGOs, universities, and government on water and climate-focused work, and more recently have worked as a Climate Policy Analyst with Indigenous electricity technicians to increase Indigenous participation and preference in the energy field. I have a long history of volunteering with environmental NGOs, and currently sit on the Executive Committee for Sierra Club Canada Foundation’s Prairie Regional Chapter and provide advice on our Wild Child Program. More recently, I attended Climate Leadership training in Minneapolis as part of Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, and have been dedicated to delivering climate presentations and increasing climate literacy to many types of audiences. I am proud to say my six-year-old can talk at length about the Earth’s “blanket” being too hot, and has firmly stated that us adults need to do better to make the planet healthier. We’re working on it, little buddy. In my spare time, I enjoy making eco-themed paintings and am hoping to connect with local artists to hold a joint climate-themed exhibit to continue to build public interest, thought, and conversation on these important matters.
This job as editor, and working with all of you, is one I consider to be an incredible privilege. While it can be hard to see more and more extreme events and ecological degradation unfold, I am encouraged by the increasing momentum we are experiencing as topics surrounding the health of our oceans, erratic weather patterns, and climate change rise to the forefront of people’s minds and conversation. The important work you are doing helps make this rising awareness possible, and I look forward to being a part of it all.
CMOS Bulletin Editor / Rédactrice en chef du bulletin de la SCMO