PhD student Lynne Njeri Mbajiorgu is preventing future natural disasters through planning and mitigation strategies.

Alberta has seen more than its fair share of devastating natural disasters in the last decade—the 2011 fires in the Town of Slave Lake, the 2013 Southern Alberta floods, and most recently, the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfires. In fact, the majority of the most costly disasters in Canada have occurred here in Alberta.

When it comes to planning for and minimizing risk from natural disasters, PhD student Lynne Njeri Mbajiorgu knows we need to think way, way ahead.

“My research focuses on the transformation of planning processes in response to floods, wildfires, and droughts,” explains Mbajiorgu, a professional land use planner by trade. “Specifically, I am looking at how we can adapt our plans and planning tools to better mitigate risks. We don’t want to build a community back to a state of risk. We want to build forward-thinking, safer, and healthier communities in advance of natural disasters.”

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