Simon Donner

Simon Donner

Climate matters

Climate matters

Biography


As an adolescent I aspired to lasting fame, I craved factual certainty, and I thirsted for a meaningful vision of human life - so I became a scientist. This is like becoming an archbishop so you can meet girls.
- Matt Cartmill

I grew up in the diverse city of Toronto where even in the dead of winter, I was often packed in a baby carriage and left outside to sleep. Since then, I have been interested in the human, societal and environmental impacts of climate and climate change. Today, I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of British Columbia in beautiful, damp Vancouver, as well as an associate in UBC's Liu Institute for Global Issues, Biodiversity Research Centre and Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, the Atmospheric Sciences Program and very possibly seventeen other programs I am forgetting.

I came to UBC after a few years in the Science, Technology and Environment Program in the Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. Before that, I spent my undergraduate days in the terrific interdisciplinary Arts and Science Programme at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario learning just enough philosophy to make the rest of life difficult. I also did a master's degree in the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University where like most transplants to North Carolina I conducted research on lake ice. After a break from academe, I moved to the land-locked island of Madison, Wisconsin to do a PhD in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of Wisconsin with the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment.

In my spare time, I enjoy visiting "the cottage" with family and friends, an array of water and snow sports, watching and pretending to write films, listening to Caribbean music, doing Origami, growing vegetables for the caterpillars to eat, and not taking these self-penned biographies too seriously.