Climate change talk first up in new series

The Cowichan Watershed Board and Vancouver Island University are presenting Richard Hebda speaking on climate change at the first of what is hoped will be a series of monthly sessions at VIU.

"We haven’t nailed it down but we’re trying for the third Tuesday of every month for our speaker series," said Watershed Board spokesman Rodger Hunter.

The first one is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. in the main VIU lecture room.

Admission is free. "We’re doing this because we want the public to be better informed about the wonders of the Cowichan watershed but also the pressures it faces and approaches to addressing those pressures. The first one, as you might expect, is climate change," Hunter said.

Hebda is curator of botany and earth history at the Royal BC Museum. He also teaches earth science at the University of Victoria and focuses his botanical research on fossil plant remains and the information they provide on evolution and the history of the landscape and climate.

"I think he’s been at the museum for 34 years, he’s an expert in his field," Hunter said.

"The wonderful thing about him is he’s not only a great scientist, he’s articulate and entertaining and people will really enjoy him."

Lining up the series with Vancouver Island University has "worked out really nicely,"

according to Hunter.

"I was talking with the administrator Warren Weir and he said he was hoping to do more outreach at VIU and that they’d love to partner with us at the board. Of course, from the board’s perspective, it’s part of our public education mandate, so during the coming year, we’ll talk about the pressures and opportunities there are surrounding issues in the Cowichan watershed," Hunter concluded.