New Principal of Richardson College for the Environment and new Acting Dean of Science announced

Jun 16, 2011 | Corporate Member News


In just eleven days, on June 27, The University of Winnipeg will swing open the doors to North America’s most energy efficient education and research buildings, with the grand opening of the Richardson College for the Environment and Science Complex. 

Today, UWinnipeg’s President and Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Lloyd Axworthy announced the appointment of two key members of the science and research team: Dr. James Currie becomes Acting Dean of Science, effective August 1, 2011, and Dr. Danny Blair becomes Acting Associate Dean of Science & Principal of the Richardson College for the Environment. 

Lloyd Axworthy, President and Vice-Chancellor, UWinnipeg

“With more than thirty new research and teaching labs, the Richardson College for the Environment and Science Complex is a critically important addition to Winnipeg’s knowledge infrastructure that will help shape the next generation of leaders dedicated to sustainability,” said Axworthy. “James Currie and Danny Blair, along with our dedicated faculty, are tackling the most important challenges of our time including the global north, climate change, water stewardship and inner-city issues.” 

PLEASE NOTE the public is invited to attend a free forum: 

“Greening Our City” at Richardson College for the Environment and Science Complex

599 Portage Avenue

Monday, June 27 from noon to 1:00

public tours of the building to follow 


Danny Blair – Acting Associate Dean of Science & Principal of the Richardson College for the Environment. Blair is a Professor in the Department of Geography at UWinnipeg, where he has been a faculty member since 1987.  He was Chair of the department in 1999-2004 and 2009-2011.  He teaches courses related to weather, climate and natural hazards.

His main research interests are climate variability and change in Canada’s western interior. Recent or current research projects include an evaluation of the effect of climate warming on the butterflies of eastern Manitoba, the impact of weather variability on blackbird reproduction, an assessment of short-period climate variability in Canada, the impact of climate change on transportation in the prairie provinces and the development of user-friendly synoptic map classification software. For the last four years, he has been principal investigator of a GPS-based evaluation of driving and parking behaviour in and around Winnipeg, contributing to a federally-funded research project designing the next generation of batteries for plug-in hybrid vehicles.

For the period of 2004-2007, Blair was the PARC-MB Hydro Climate Change Research Professor at UWinnipeg. He was a contributing author of Canada’s National Assessment of Climate Change published in 2008, and of The New Normal: the Canadian Prairies in a Changing Climate published in 2010.  He is a frequent presenter at workshops and conferences about prairie climate change impacts and adaptation strategies. 

He obtained his BSc and MSc degrees from the University of Regina and his PhD from the University of Manitoba. He is co-chair of Climate Change Connection, Manitoba’s principal climate change outreach organization.  

James Currie – Acting Dean of Science. Currie completed his Ph.D in Mathematics at the University of Calgary in 1987 at the age of 25. After one year as a visiting professor at Dalhousie University, he joined UWinnipeg in 1988. His research has been funded continuously by NSERC for the last 20 years and he has over 50 publications in peer-reviewed journals. In 2008, he received the University’s Erica & Arnold Rogers Award for Excellence in Research and Scholarship. In 2009, along with Narad Rampersad and Michael Rao, he announced the solution of the long-standing mathematical problem Dejean’s Conjecture. On the teaching front, one focus for Currie has been the use of history to teach mathematics to non-scientists. He has been listed more than once on Maclean’s magazine’s list of ‘popular profs’. 

Currie served as Chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics from 1999-2004, and for 2009-2010, becoming Associate Dean of Science in November 2010. 

FIND OUT MORE about The Richardson College for the Environment and Science Complex 


Diane Poulin, Communications Officer, The University of Winnipeg

P: 204.988.7135, E: [email protected]

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