Engineering Now .: Volume 4 - Edition 4 .: December 2007 and January 2008

Undergraduate Symposium: National Security and the Environment in the 21st Century

March, 27-29, 2008
Royal Military College of Canada
Kingston, Ontario, Canada

On behalf of our sponsors, the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation and the RMC Class of 1958, the Royal Military College of Canada (RMC) extends an invitation to 40 civilian undergraduates to participate with 40 RMC Officer Cadets in an interdisciplinary symposium exploring the implications for national security of the unfolding environmental crisis.

In the 21st century, competition over scarce resources and continuing global warming, desertification, overpopulation, pollution, and social, racial, and gender inequities require exploration into how these phenomena might impact the security of future generations of Canadians. Do we need to reconsider traditional notions of “nation” and “security” in light of the trans-national, species-wide implications of the current environmental crisis? Does a new discourse need to emerge to address the global nature of what may be the most important issue humankind has yet faced?

This two-day symposium will consist of plenary addresses and interdisciplinary roundtable sessions facilitated by experts with unique environmental and security-related backgrounds; students will explore crossovers between the issues of nation, security, and environment through such themes as environmental history; environmental economics; space science and security; natural resource scarcity and security; climate change and security in the North; and sustainable global human practices. We are delighted to have Dr. Thomas “Tad” Homer-Dixon, recently the first hire for the new Balsillie School of International Affairs, as our Keynote Speaker on Friday, March 28, 2008.

In addition to the academic benefits of gathering civilian and military undergraduate students at RMC to explore security-related environmental issues, the symposium will also serve to broaden public understanding of RMC’s role in Canadian society by having Cadet participants host civilian participants throughout its duration.

Undergraduate participants will pay no registration fees and will have access to accommodations at a rate of $25 CAD per night at Canadian Forces Base Kingston, close to RMC. Transport will be provided via shuttle to and from the Base and RMC during the course of the symposium. Civilian participants will dine daily with their RMC hosts at the Cadet Dining Hall and will be encouraged to attend two buffet dinners as part of the symposium. We are currently exploring ways to offset these food and accommodation costs for civilian participants; more information on these logistical and administrative matters will be forthcoming.

Those interested in more information or in registering should contact the undersigned immediately: the registration deadline is March 7, 2008.

Again, only 40 civilian undergraduate positions are available. Further details will be available at: by January 31st.

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.: Becky Blue
Spencer Engineering Building, Room 2074
Telephone: (519) 850-2917 Fax: (519) 661-3808