Dr Sarah Burch is a Visiting Research Associate at the Environmental Change Institute, where she is focusing on the human dimensions of climate change. Specifically, Sarah's work pertains to:
- Institutional and behavioural barriers to climate change policy in cities;
- Synergies and tradeoffs between climate change adaptation, mitigation and sustainable development; and
- Partnerships between the public and private sectors in response to climate change.
Sarah holds a PhD in Resource Management and Environmental Studies from the University of British Columbia, Canada (2009), a BA in International Relations (University of Calgary, 2004) and a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Science (University of Calgary, 2004). She was a Contributing Author to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, in both Working Group II (Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability) and Working Group III (Mitigation of Climate Change). While at the University of British Columbia, Sarah was a core team member of the Local Climate Change Visioning Project, led by Stephen Sheppard at the Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning.
Currently, Sarah investigates the complex web of intervening factors that influence the utilization of capacity in response to climate change using comparative policy analysis and institutional theory, paired with recent research into the concepts of capacity and path dependency. Newer research directions include: an examination of unique partnerships between the public and private sector that may serve to transform regional development paths and mitigate climate change; the integration of climate change into biodiversity policy; and the use of green infrastructure to achieve both adaptation and mitigation.
Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles
- Sheppard, S.R.J., Shaw, A., Flanders, D. Burch, S., Wiek, A., Carmichael, J., Robinson, J.B. and Cohen, S. 2011. Future visioning of local climate change: A framework for community engagement and planning with scenarios and visualization. Futures 43: 400-412.
- Robinson, R., Burch, S., O’Shea, M., Talwar, S. and Walsh, M. 2011. Envisioning sustainability pathways: Recent progress in the use of participatory backcasting approaches for sustainability research. Technological Forecasting and Social Change 78: 756-768.
- Burch, S., Sheppard, S.R.J., Shaw, A. and Flanders, D. (2010) Planning for climate change in a flood-prone community: Municipal barriers to policy action and the use of visualizations as decision support tools. Journal of Flood Risk Management, 3(2): 126-139.
- Burch, S. (2010) Transforming barriers into enablers of action on climate change: insights from three municipal case studies in British Columbia, Canada. Global Environmental Change, 20: 287-197.
- Burch, S. (2009) Development paths: investigating the context of responses to global climate change. Sustainable Development.
- Burch, S. (2009) In pursuit of resilient, low carbon communities: an examination of barriers to action in three Canadian cities. Energy Policy.
- Shaw, A., Sheppard, S.R.J., Burch, S., Flanders, D., Wiek, A., Carmichael, J., Robinson, J. and Cohen, S. (2009) Making local futures tangible: synthesizing, downscaling, and visualizing climate change scenarios for participatory capacity building. Global Environmental Change, 19(4): 447-463.
- Dusyk, N., Burch, S., Robinson, J., Berkhout, T. and Coleman, S. (2009) Transformative energy efficiency and conservation: a sustainable development path approach in British Columbia, Canada. Energy Efficiency, 2(4): 387-400.
- Burch, S., Sheppard, S.R.J., Shaw, A. and Flanders, D. (in press) Planning for climate change in a flood prone community: Municipal barriers to policy action and the use of visualizations as decision support tools. In, Fenech, A., McIver, D. and N. Comer (eds.) Planned Adaptation to Climate Change. Ottawa: Environment Canada.
- Walsh, M. and Burch, S. (accepted) Communities at the crossroads: using MetroQuest to help communities create a consensus around the future. In, Future Cities and Regions: Simulation, Scenarios and Visioning, Governance and Scales. New York, Heidelberg: Springer.
- Bizikova, L., Burch, S., Robinson, J., Shaw, A., and Sheppard, S. (accepted) Adaptation, climate change, and uncertainty. In, Gramelsberger, G. and J. Feichter (eds.) Dealing with Uncertainty: Insights into the Calculability of Climate Change and its Influence on Society.
- Bizikova, L., Burch, S., Robinson, J.B. and Cohen, S. (2010) A participatory integrated assessment approach to local climate change responses: linking climate change adaptation and mitigation with sustainable development. In, O'Brien, K., St. Clair, A.L. and B. Kristoffersen (eds.) Shifting the Discourse: Climate Change as an Issue of Human Security.
- Burch, S., Shaw, A., Sheppard, S.R.J. and Flanders, D. (2009) Climate change visualization: using 3D imagery of local places to build capacity and inform policy. In, Neset, T., Johansson, J. and B.-O. Linnér (eds.) State of Climate Change Visualization, CSPR Report No. 09:04, Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research, Norrköping, Sweden. Linköping University Electronic Press.
- Novel Multi-sector Networks and Entrepreneurship project. Principal Investigators: Dr. Sarah Burch, Dr. Heike Schroeder, Prof. Steve Rayner. Funded by the Oxford Programme for the Future of Cities at the University of Oxford’s Institute for Science, Innovation, and Society.