School of Cities / Event

Knowledge Café | Toward Place-based and Equitable Climate Informatics

The Toronto Climate Observatory (TCO) is an emerging interdisciplinary research center hosted at the University of Toronto (UofT). The TCO’s mission is to reimagine how communities around the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) understand climate change, work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and plan for impacts in place-based, equitable, and action-driven ways. We draw on methods from climate modeling, human centered design, citizen science, and art/science collaboration and envision our work transforming how regional climate data are localized and how local climate impact data is understood, collected and applied in other contexts in Canada and around the world.

We are currently developing partnerships with UofT and non-UofT scholars, the government and civil society, and the private sector to create and launch the next generation of climate data services. This talk will introduce the TCO, describe our approach and initial research program. The audience will learn about emerging topic in human-centered climate informatics and about opportunities to participate in an exciting new initiative on campus.

Dr. Robert Soden is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science & School of the Environment. Dr. Soden works in the areas of crisis informatics, human-centered computing (HCC), and science and technology studies (STS). His research uses a range of ethnographic, participatory, and design research methods to evaluate and improve the technologies we use to understand and respond to disasters and climate change. Dr. Soden has 20 years of academic and industry experience developing interdisciplinary and human-centered approaches to environmental modeling, including work with organizations such as the World Bank, the United Nations, and the World Resources Institute.