UAlberta expert on national panel for improving disaster resilience in Canada

Professor Tara McGee on new panel focused on helping Canadians prepare for, withstand, and recover from natural disasters.

Katie Willis - 3 July 2020

Over the last decade, Canada experienced nearly 200 major natural disasters—including several in Alberta, such as severe flooding in Calgary in 2008 and the Fort McMurray wildfires in 2013—according to Public Safety Canada (PSC). And this number is expected to increase with our continually changing climate. 

In response to a request from PSC, the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) has convened an expert panel focused on building a nation-wide approach to handling natural disasters. The Disaster Resilience Expert Panel will include experts from across the country, including the University of Alberta’s Tara McGee

“This panel provides an important opportunity to review the state of knowledge in the hazards and disasters field and directly inform government efforts to improve public safety,” said McGee, who is a professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and incoming associate dean (of engagement and equity, diversity, and inclusivity). “The results of the CCA assessment will provide government and other stakeholders with the evidence they need to improve resilience when natural hazard events occur in Canada.”

McGee brings to the panel her expertise in wildfires, flooding, and earthquakes. Her background includes extensive research on the impact of natural disasters in Canada, including the Fort McMurray wildfire and the First Nations Wildfire Evacuation Partnership. Her work has also involved collaborations with her fellow scientists in Australia, New Zealand, and Portugal. 

“I am excited about working with a diverse group of disaster resilience experts on this CCA panel,” said McGee. 

Appointed in late March 2020, the panel has completed its first meeting with several others to follow. Learn more about the panel or ask to be notified when the final report is complete on the Council of Canadian Academies website

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