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Sept. 16, 2016

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Sept. 16, 2016
For Immediate Release

WATERLOO – Robert McLeman, an associate professor of geography and environmental studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, will speak at a World Cup of Hockey (WCOH) workshop about the links between climate change and sustainability, outdoor rinks and social inclusivity in hockey. His talk takes place Sept. 19, at 10:45 a.m. at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

The talk will be part of an interactive session on sustainability, accessibility and inclusion at a WCOH workshop, which features notable media personalities and National Hockey League (NHL) and National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) officials such as Gary Bettman and Don Fehr. The workshop will focus on why social equality and environmental sustainability are important to the NHL and its players in light of the sport’s growing global popularity.

“The sport of hockey has tremendous potential to be a catalyst for important social and environmental sustainability,” said Robert McLeman. “The NHL and NHLPA are acting on that potential, and my colleagues at Laurier and I are excited to help any way we can.”

McLeman is co-founder of RinkWatch, a citizen-science research project at Laurier that uses outdoor rinks to study winter weather conditions and climate change. Entering its fourth winter, the RinkWatch project asks backyard rinkmakers in Canada and the northern United States to mark their location on an interactive online map — found at — and provide updates of skating conditions throughout the winter.

Researchers at Laurier use the data to conduct fine resolution mapping of winter temperatures and track year-to-year progress of larger winter climate trends. With thousands of individuals participating, the Laurier researchers find that the project also helps stimulate a wider public discussion about the potential impacts of climate change on cherished outdoor activities like skating.

The World Cup Of Hockey is a joint effort of the NHLPA and the NHL, in cooperation with the International Ice Hockey Federation. The tournament will take place over a two-week period, from Sept. 17 to Oct. 1, 2016, in Toronto.

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Robert McLeman
Associate Professor
Geography & Environmental Studies
Wilfrid Laurier University

T: 519.580.0384 / 519.884.0710 x2653


Kevin Crowley, Director
Communications & Public Affairs
Wilfrid Laurier University

T: 519.884.0710 x3070



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