He might be currently living in the land down under, but for Dr. Tristan Pearce, in a few weeks, he will return home.

Pearce will be coming to UNBC as the school’s eighth Canada Research Chair, coming from his current position with the Sustainability Research Centre at the University of the Sunshine Coast based out of Queensland, Australia.

Dr. Tristan Pearce has been appointed as an Associate Professor and CRC of Cumulative Impacts of Environmental Change in the Department of Global and International Studies, a position he will begin on July 1.

Dr. Geoff Payne, UNBC’s Vice President of Research and Graduate Programs, explained to MyPGNowthe significance of the Canada Research Chairs Program.

“It’s a federal program in Canada that funds Research Chairs at Universities. The Research Chair receives the funds in order to focus more time devoted to their area of interest. It is meant for those individuals that are deemed excellent by their peers and the program itself so it’s very prestigious to receive a Research Chair.”

Payne adds that larger schools have more CRC’s than UNBC, but said the fact that UNBC does have eight shows the school’s ability to attract top researchers, as well as highlights the type of research that is being done here in the north.

Dr. Pearce is a geographer with an international research profile in the human dimensions of climate change. His research has made an impact on the understanding of how communities in the Arctic, Australia, and the Pacific Islands Region are experiencing and responding to climate change.

“I am delighted to bring my research program to UNBC,” said Dr. Pearce. “I will continue to work with communities in the north and globally to better understand how people are experiencing and responding to changes in the environment brought on by climate change and other forces.”

The overarching goal of Pearce’s research has been to contribute to the development of more sustainable environmental and social policies that better reflect and support the needs, concerns, as well as the aspirations of communities.

Growing up in Prince George, Pearce achieved his Bachelor of Art in International Studies from UNBC. He then commenced his travel in 2006 when he received his Masters of Arts in Geography and International Development from the University of Guelph, which he then followed up with a PhD in 2011 from there as well.

“It’s a double excitement here for UNBC,” said Dr. Payne. “We’re attracting someone at the exceptionally high quality and caliber that Dr. Pearce is, but it’s also exciting that someone from Prince George started here, has gone away and made a significant name for themselves and significant contributions to their research field, and has the opportunity to come home and be recognized as UNBC’s next Canada’s Research Chair.”

Payne adds that Pearce will also be responsible for teaching classes at the university, which will provide added perspective to the students who get to learn from him.