Home » Research Publications

Research Publications

Our latest publications

Russo, S., Hissa, K., Murphy, B., & Gunson, B. (2020). Photovoice, emergency management and climate change: a comparative case-study approachQualitative Research, 14(6), 87-94.

Gunson, B., Murphy, B.L. and Brown, L. (2021). Measuring the effectiveness of an outdoor education program on high school students’ knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours towards climate change – Climate change S.O.S. – Save Our Syrup! Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship, 13(3), 36-55.

Indigenous Disaster Evacuee Audio-Visual Stories:

Full Guides

Executive Summaries

Mutual Aid Agreements: Wise Practices for First Nations Communities:

Full Guides

Executive Summaries

Enhancing Ontario’s Rural Infrastructure Preparedness: Inter-Community Service Sharing in a Changing Climate

The purpose of this OMAFRA-funded research project (2016-19) was to 1) assess the potential of inter-community service cooperation (ICSC) as a possible tool to address the impacts of climate change (CC) in small (500-7500 pop.) Ontario rural communities south of the Sudbury region and 2) understand the extent to which such collaboration and the impacts of CC are, or could be, embedded within the community’s infrastructure asset management plans and processes (AMP). The research involved a literature review, key informant interviews with ten experts to develop a provincial survey delivered to 163 communities in Ontario rural communities, and case-study research highlighting ten communities undertaking innovative ICSC.

In Ontario, CC is already underway and by 2050 an increase in annual average temperature between 2.5-3.7° C is projected. Projections suggest that more frequent and more intense extreme events are likely and that the risk of disruptions to infrastructure is likely to increase.

ICSC is defined as the sharing, procuring or providing of needed infrastructure services with one or more municipalities or other organizations. Research suggests that the careful use of service cooperation can contribute to cost savings and improved local service provision. Infrastructure includes the physical structures and human systems, resources and processes that support those structures, including AMP. AMP is a municipal-level process undertaken to make evidence-based decisions regarding the building, operating, maintaining, renewing, replacing and disposing of infrastructure assets. Effective AMP can maximize the life cycle of infrastructure assets and provide cost efficient service delivery.

Project results suggest that rural communities in Ontario are dealing with increasing impacts from CC and that they often don’t have the resources to cope effectively. Lack of time and capacity are cited as main barriers to service cooperation. Despite these challenges, the researchers developed a series of best-practises to help communities who may be thinking of sharing services get started, such as starting small to build-up confidence and experience, and to work with communities who you may already have agreements with (such as shared fire services) to develop other shared services. Geographic proximity does not have to be a limiting factor for those services and activities that are not tied to physical infrastructure.  For example, planning, engineering services, bulk ordering, joint requests for tender, and so on could all be opportunities to increase the efficient and effective delivery of needed local services. The project has revealed that while service sharing is common in large Southern Ontario communities, there is a lot of potential benefits to sharing services in rural contexts. Enhanced, efficient service cooperation can contribute to a sustainable and prepared infrastructure system, while also protecting the environmental capital upon which rural economies frequently depend.

ICSC Toolkit Documents

The following toolkit contains all published documents from the ICSC project. The ‘one pager’ offers a quick overview of the project. For rural communities interested in enhanced service sharing, a good starting point is the ‘workbook for rural community practitioners’ followed by ‘final report SWOT analysis’. Detailed case study results are found in ‘interim report 3’. The ‘podcast presentation’ is a 12 minute overview of the entire project results, while academic audiences may be interested in the detailed interim reports and environmental scan. Policy makers, please see ‘policy brief’. Blog posts on the project can be found under ‘our blog’ at the top of this webpage. Any questions can be directed to Bryce Gunson [email protected] or Dr. Brenda Murphy [email protected]

This article published in HAZnet magazine titled “Inter-Community Service Collaboration: Innovation for a Changing Climate?” discusses recent research on this project.



Ontario Rural Municipal Emergency Management and Critical Infrastructure: Enhancing Planning and Preparedness Capacities for Climate Change Resilience

xTREME Toolkit Documents

Climate Change Projection How-To Videos – Developed by Dr. Laura Brown, these videos outline how communities can use open-access data to compose climate projections​. There are 4 videos that outline how this process works, and are available below:

Part 1 – Projecting Extreme Weather due to Climate Change for a Specific Location – Climate Change Modelling Watch Video
Youtube link: https://youtu.be/4fvzaJqL–Y

Part 2 – Projecting Extreme Weather due to Climate Change – Downloading Downscaled Data Sets Watch Video
Youtube link: https://youtu.be/bu42vXEqp9s

Part 3 – Projecting Extreme Weather due to Climate Change – NetCDF Watch Video
Youtube link: https://youtu.be/06ytGA04XCA

Part 4 – Projecting Extreme Weather due to Climate Change – CDO Demo

Youtube link: https://youtu.be/pruhLDxCRTk 

Table Top Exercise Documents


Maple Syrup-related projects:

Climate Change Adaptation-related projects

Nuclear Waste-related projects

Emergency and Disaster Management-related projects