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Greg Oulahen PhD

Associate Professor
OfficeJOR 619
Phone416-979-5000 x556155
Areas of ExpertiseHuman-environment interaction; hazards; risk; vulnerability; adaptation; flood


I am a geographer interested in hazards, risk, and society-environment interactions. My research program is focused on understanding the human and environmental factors that interact to produce risk, why risk is uneven across people and places, and how to equitably reduce risk and adapt to climate change impacts. My critical research approach is informed by the hazards, political ecology, global environmental change, and environmental history literatures. Research group members and I use multiple/mixed methods to investigate across scales and across actors, primarily in communities exposed to flood hazards. Earlier training includes doctoral and postdoctoral research at the University of Western Ontario and University of British Columbia, respectively, and research positions at the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction.

Course History

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

Selected Publications

Oulahen, G. and Ventura, J. (2022). Planning use values or values-based planning? “Rolling with” neoliberal flood risk governance in Vancouver, Canada. Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space., external link

Gouett-Hanna, C., Oulahen, G., Henstra, D., and Thistlethwaite, J. (2022). Flood risk assessment data access and equity in Metro Vancouver. Canadian Water Resources Journal, 47(4), 202-215., external link

Oulahen, G. (2021). Flood hazards, environmental rewards, and the social reproduction of risk. Geoforum, 119, 43-51., external link

Oulahen, G., Vogel, B., and Gouett-Hanna, C. (2020). Quick response disaster research: Opportunities and challenges for a new funding program. International Journal of Disaster Risk Science, 11, 568-577., external link

Chang, S. E., Yip, J. Z. K., Conger, T., Oulahen, G., Gray, E., and Marteleira, M. (2020). Explaining communities’ adaptation strategies for coastal flood risk: Vulnerability and institutional factors. Journal of Flood Risk Management, 13(4), e12646., external link

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., external link

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., external link

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., external link

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., external link

Chang, S. E., 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., external link

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., external link

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., external link

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(1-2), 220-237., external link

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

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., external link

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., external link

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

Romero-Lankao, P., et al. [Oulahen, G. (Contributing author)]. (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: Cambridge University Press. PDF file, external link

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., external link

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.

Sandink, D., Kovacs, P., Oulahen, G., and McGillivray, G. (2010). Making flood insurable for Canadian homeowners: A discussion paper. Toronto: Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction and Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd. PDF file, external link