Age of Water Podcast: Interview with Ira Sutherland

Ira Sutherland

We are now living in the Age of Water. Water is the new “gold”, with individuals, corporations and countries positioning themselves around this precious resource. Water is changing everything. The Age of Water Podcast covers anything of interest from breaking environmental news to evergreen material. This also includes human interest stories, readings of eco-literature, discussion of film and other media productions of interest.

In this episode of Age of Water, we join Canadian forest ecologist Ira Sutherland in Vancouver, BC, where he talks about how landscapes have changed, ecosystem services of forests and trees, and the need for environmental awareness, especially of big trees in the wild and in the urban setting.

Age of Water Interview with Ira Sutherland

Ira Sutherland is a PhD student in the UBC Faculty of Forestry and BC big tree guru. He is an advocate for old-growth forests, promoting awareness of their importance and plight via public talks (check out his TED talk: The Great Vancouver Forest), filmmaking (e.g., Finding the Way of the Forest), and in his online big tree hiking guide. A common theme in his outreach is to provide accurate information, enriching stories, and emphasize history as a conduit to provoke reflection on the environment.

As a PhD student Ira studies the social-ecological history of British Columbia. He compiles historical data to quantitatively reconstruct the historical forests, salmon, and water flows of BC. His aim: to define how the landscapes of BC have changed, the drivers of those changes, and the implications of change for the wellbeing of people. Ira also sits as chair of the BC Big Tree Committee, is an accredited arborist, and is training to become a professional forester.

Jackson Creek, ON (photo and rendition by Nina Munteanu)

Nina Munteanu is a Canadian ecologist / limnologist and novelist. She is co-editor of Europa SF and currently teaches writing courses at George Brown College and the University of Toronto. Visit for the latest on her books. Nina’s bilingual “La natura dell’acqua / The Way of Water” was published by Mincione Edizioni in Rome. Her non-fiction book “Water Is…” by Pixl Press (Vancouver) was selected by Margaret Atwood in the New York Times ‘Year in Reading’ and was chosen as the 2017 Summer Read by Water Canada. Her novel “A Diary in the Age of Water” was released by Inanna Publications (Toronto) in June 2020.

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