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Two UPEI schools join forces to break new ground

Housed at the Canadian Centre for Climate Change and Adaptation, the University of Prince Edward Island’s (UPEI) School of Climate Change and Adaptation offers students and researchers the unique experience of learning about climate science in St. Peter’s Bay, PE, an area surrounded by diverse and environmentally significant topographies.

The School offers a bachelor of science in applied climate change and adaptation, with an innovative design and delivery structure. Students use highly advanced technology such as drones, virtual reality – and in collaboration with UPEI’s School of Actuarial Science – big data analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and neural networks to address the issues of climate change. The UPEI actuarial science program offers a full suite of courses to prepare students for all seven associate level professional exams and modules that are recognized by the CIA.

The two schools are currently working together to explore the possibilities of expanding the Actuaries Climate Index (ACI) to include risk elements that make the index more usable for practicing actuaries. Within this context, the first areas of exploration will be the impacts of climate change on potato crops and changes in sea levels and sea temperatures.

Additionally, the schools are collaborating with UPEI’s Atlantic Canada Veterinary College (one of five veterinary colleges in Canada and unique in combining small animals, large animals, and sea animals) to study the impact of climate change on sea currents, sea migrations, and sea life.

Breaking new ground

Currently under construction and financed by the Government of Canada, the Prince Edward Island Government, and UPEI, the Canadian Centre for Climate Change and Adaptation will consist of a new 45,000 square-foot research facility.

The building will house several state-of-the-art research centres, including the internationally recognized UPEI Climate Research Lab, and UPEI School of Climate Change and Adaptation. The facility and the surrounding areas will also serve as a living laboratory that allows for unlimited access to nearby wetlands, forests, and coastal habitats directly affected by climate change.

The site will provide access to high quality data sets, multidisciplinary research teams, outstanding graduate and post-doctoral Fellows, and engaged industry, community, and government partners. 

Together, these elements create a highly interactive environment in which new knowledge, research, and development for climate change innovation and adaptive solutions can be nurtured.

Professor Louis Doiron, FCIA, FSA, MAAA

Louis Doiron, FCIA, is UPEI’s actuarial science program director and full professor. In addition to his work on the faculty and university senate, Louis is a member of the CIA’s Climate Change and Sustainability Committee and Banking Committee, Vice-Chair of the CIA’s Academic Research Committee, and a Board Director of the Actuarial Foundation of Canada.

Over the last two years, Louis has completed research with the CIA and the Society of Actuaries on COVID-19, guaranteed minimum income, and the impact of sustained low interest rates on pension plans. Louis also has an extensive international career as a practicing actuary in the roles of Appointed Actuary, chief risk officer, chief agent, and C-suite senior management.

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