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Greg Oulahen

Oulahen, Greg


Assistant Professor


BES (Planning), Waterloo; MES (Geography), Waterloo; PhD (Geography), Western; Postdoctoral Fellowship, British Columbia


JOR 619


416-979-5000 x6155

Email Address:


Human-environment interaction; Hazards; Risk; Vulnerability; Climate change adaptation


Geography and Environmental Studies

Research Interests:

My research program is focused on understanding the factors that interact to produce unequal vulnerability to hazards and how these factors can be addressed to reduce risk and adapt to climate change impacts. My approach to identifying and situating such factors is informed by the hazards, political ecology, and global environmental change literatures. I use multiple/mixed methods to investigate across scales and across actors, primarily in coastal and riverine communities exposed to flood hazards.

Current Courses:

EUS 301: Reading Neighbourhood Environments
EUS 450: Responses to Climate Change
EUS 750: Sustainable Energy and Transportation Transitions
GEO 210: Geography of Danger 

Selected Publications & Presentations:

Oulahen, G., Mortsch, L., O’Connell, E., Harford, D., and Rutledge, A. (2019). Local practitioners’ use of vulnerability and resilience concepts in adaptation to flood hazards. Climatic Change, 153(1), 41-58.

Oulahen, G., McBean, G., Shrubsole, D., and Chang, S. E. (2019). Production of risk: Multiple interacting exposures and unequal vulnerability in coastal communities. Regional Environmental Change, 19(3), 867-877.

Oulahen, G., Klein, Y., Mortsch, L., O’Connell, E., and Harford, D. (2018). Barriers and drivers of planning for climate change adaptation across three levels of government in Canada. Planning Theory and Practice, 19(3), 405-421.

Chang, S., Yip, J. Z. K., Conger, T., Oulahen, G., and Marteleira, M. (2018). Community vulnerability to coastal hazards: Developing a typology for disaster risk reduction. Applied Geography, 91, 81-88.   

Oulahen, G., Chang, S. E., Yip, J. Z. K., Conger, T., Marteleira, M., and Carter, C. (2018). Contextualizing institutional factors in an indicator-based analysis of hazard vulnerability for coastal communities. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 61(14), 2491-2511.

Oulahen, G. (2016). The production of unequal vulnerability to flood hazards: A conceptual framework for hazards research in Canada’s cities. The Canadian Geographer, 60(1), 82-90.

Joakim, E., Mortsch, L., Oulahen, G., Harford, D., Klein, Y., Damude, K., and Tang, K. (2016). Using system dynamics to model social vulnerability and resilience to coastal hazards. International Journal of Emergency Management, 12(4), 366-391.

Sandink, D., Kovacs, P., Oulahen, G., and Shrubsole, D. (2016). Public relief and insurance for residential flood losses in Canada: Current status and commentary. Canadian Water Resources Journal, 41(1), 220-237.

Oulahen, G. (2015). Flood insurance in Canada: Implications for flood management and residential vulnerability to flood hazards. Environmental Management 55(3), 603-615.

Oulahen, G., Mortsch, L., Tang, K., and Harford, D. (2015). Unequal vulnerability to flood hazards: “Ground truthing” a social vulnerability index of five municipalities in Metro Vancouver, Canada. The Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 105(3), 473-495.

Oulahen, G., Shrubsole, D., and McBean, G. (2015). Determinants of residential vulnerability to flood hazards in Metro Vancouver, Canada. Natural Hazards, 78(2), 939-956.

Joakim, E., Mortsch, L., and Oulahen, G. (2015). Using vulnerability and resilience concepts to advance climate change adaptation. Environmental Hazards, 14(2), 137-155.

[Oulahen, G. (Contributing author)] Romero-Lankao, P., J.B. Smith, D.J. Davidson, N.S. Diffenbaugh, P.L. Kinney, P. Kirshen, P. Kovacs, and L. Villers-Ruiz. (2014). North America. In: Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Part B: Regional Aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, UK and New York, USA.

Oulahen, G. and Doberstein, B. (2012). Citizen participation in post-disaster flood hazard mitigation planning in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. Risk, Hazards & Crisis in Public Policy, 3(1), 1-26.

Oulahen, G. and Doberstein, B. (2010). Citizen participation in flood reduction planning: Strategic choices in Peterborough, Ontario. ICLR Research Paper Series, #47. Toronto: Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction. 45 pgs.

Sandink, D., Kovacs, P., Oulahen, G., and McGillivray, G. (2010). Making flood insurable for Canadian homeowners: A discussion paper. Armonk, NY: Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd. 82 pgs.