Public Symposium: Island Water Futures: Assessing the Science (2014)

Island Water Futures: Assessing the Science

Tuesday, May 20, 2014 | 7-9 p.m.
MacKinnon Auditorium, Room 242 McDougall Hall, UPEI Campus

The future of the Island’s water supply was the subject of a public symposium at the University of Prince Edward Island. In light of recent concern about increased pressure on our groundwater resources by urban, industrial, and agricultural use, this event was a timely one.

This event was sponsored by UPEI’s Institute of Island Studies, in conjunction with UPEI Research Services.


Dr. Ryan O’Connor, a graduate of UPEI, is an environmental historian. His PhD thesis, written at the University of Western Ontario, was published in 2014 by UBC Press under the title The First Green Wave. His talk provided a general overview of research done so far relating to the Island’s groundwater resources, reviewing the various scientific papers, reports, and theses produced about the Island’s water supply.

Dr. Cathy Ryan is a professor cross-appointed to Geoscience and Environmental Sciences at the University of Calgary with a long interest in agricultural impacts on water quality. She leads a team of hydrogeologists working with agricultural scientists to understand groundwater in the fractured sandstone on Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia as part of the Canadian Water Network’s Secure Source Water Network.

Dr. Michael van den Heuvel is the Canada Research Chair in Watershed Ecological Integrity at UPEI. He studies the effects of agriculture and chemical use on freshwater and coastal environments. His focus is the endocrine responses, immunotoxicology, and population health of fish. He works to develop methods and solutions to best monitor environmental problems and better protect rivers in Prince Edward Island.

The symposium was chaired by Diane Griffin, long-time councillor for the Town of Stratford and a former deputy minister of the provincial Department of the Environment. Last year, Dr. Griffin was awarded an honorary doctorate by UPEI.


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