Lee Foote

Professor & Director of the University of Alberta Botanic Garden

Agricultural Life and Environmental Sciences

Renewable Resources

About Me

Job/Research Area: Wetland Ecology and management. In addition to serving as a professor of Conservation Biology, Dr. Foote is the Director of the University of Alberta Botanic Garden, a 250 acre research, teaching and public display facility. He is a member of Botanic Gardens Conservation International, The University of Alberta Forestry School, and is a participant in the Land Reclamation International Graduate School sponsored by NSERC CREATE. Dr. Foote is currently co-PI on a SSHRC grant focused on digital interpretation of cultural and botanic gardens. He is an advisor on the Prairie Urban Farm initiative at South Campus, a founding member of the Hunting Angling Network Alberta (HANA), as well as a 15-year board of director for the Alberta Conservation Association. 


  • Faculty of Agriculture, Forestry, and Home Economics Teacher of the Year award (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006).

An older (2006) website with some creative writing, photos etc.


    Major Responsibilities/Research Interests: Dr. Foote’s research focuses on wetland management, disturbance, reclamation and wildlife habitat. Sustainable use figures large in his approaches to natural resources. Secondary research areas include social and ecological sustainability of threatened species, currently involved with projects on Trumpeter Swans, Peregrine Falcons, Polar Bears, Lake Sturgeon, and Kalahari Desert megafauna. During the last 3 years he has also returned to his plant community roots to work with graduate students and PDFs examining plant physiology and competition in relation to altered growing environments as a way of developing reclamation and protection prescriptions. He has been actively involved with the formulation of the 2013 Alberta Wetland Policy and its subsequent implementation.  He is on the Board of Directors of the Alberta Conservation Association (2002-present) and serves on the Alberta Environment and Parks committee for Alberta Game Policy Advisory Committee


    I currently teach a course entitled Urban Plants: Gardening and Sustainability (Plant Science 200) in the Faculty of ALES.  This course is based on experiential education principles and my assurance to enrolled students is that 2/3 of the course will be hands-on, largely taught outside from a base at the Poultry Research Centre on South Campus (near the South Campus LRT station).  From there we review our materials, have short lectures then sojourn out to the various gardens and agricultural fields of South Campus to examine soils, plants and planting as well as integrated pest management and harvest-to-market principles.  The course involves one all-day field trip to the University's botanic garden to learn about greenhouse management, cultural gardens, taxonomic curation, irrigation and many other garden features.