At Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, Rudy Riedlsperger is currently a PhD student involved with the SakKijânginnatuk Nunalik (Sustainable Communities) initiative (SCI). His research takes place in the autonomous Inuit region of Nunatsiavut in northern Labrador. The SCI informs best practices and provides guidance for community sustainability in the coastal Subarctic under changing environmental, social, and economic conditions. Based on community needs it prioritizes themes related to housing, community mapping, planning and development, energy security, and food security. Upon the start of his studies (fall 2013) he has been involved with geophysical and morphological mapping in two Inuit communities using a combination of real time kinematic GPS and ground penetrating radar with the intent to identify building constraints including various landscape hazards such as permafrost, drainage, and coastal and slope hazards. On a theoretical level Rudy is interested in sustainability transformations as governance challenges in the context of climate variability and change, utilizing, among others, frameworks associated with sustainability indicators. Rudy has also been involved in a collaborative project based out of McGill University in Montreal, which identified and reviewed vulnerability assessments and hazard mapping initiatives focusing on the built environment in the Canadian North (2013). His role was to travel to regional hubs across the Canadian Arctic and Subarctic to gather qualitative information through semi-structured interviews with experts and knowledge users on the planning, implementation, and uptake of vulnerability assessments and hazard mapping initiatives. The project emphasized the link between research or knowledge production and policy development. Outputs included reports and peer-reviewed journal articles focusing on best practices or recommendations on how to effectively and efficiently conduct vulnerability assessments and hazard mapping initiatives that support decision-making with respect to the built environment in a Northern context. At Memorial University he has further completed a Master of Arts degree in Geography (2010-2013). Using a theoretical framework based on vulnerability and adaptation research, he explored the vulnerability of Nunatsiavut residents to changes in winter trails and travelling on land based and sea ice trails, brought about by weather and climate stresses in combination with livelihood changes. In addition, he holds a Master?s Degree in Northern Studies (2009) from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, which allowed him to gather a general understanding of the world?s Arctic and Subarctic issues. Rudy Riedlsperger is currently member of the executive committee of the ArcticNet Student Association and co-president of Memorial University?s Arctic Student Association focusing on promoting the integration of various philosophies and expertise through hosting speaker and outreach events that bring together students, faculty, and the general public with a common fascination of Arctic and Subarctic regions.
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Memorial University of Newfoundland