Augustana Extended Education (AEE)

Biospheres 101

Designated in March, 2016 by UNESCO, the Beaver Hills Biosphere encourages sustainable development practices in which people can live and work in harmony with nature at a regional scale.

In this 1-day short course, we will examine the history, structure, and roles of Biosphere Reserves around the world, throughout Canada, and in the Beaver Hills. We will explore why the Beaver Hills are special and worthy of a Biosphere designation. We will examine current issues in the Beaver Hills and how stakeholders can facilitate strategies for sustainable development. We will leave participants with a fresh understanding of the value of Biospheres, how their agency can benefit from the Biosphere, and how they can promote their local Biosphere.

Program Highlights

This place-based course will be held in and around Miquelon Lake Provincial Park at the southern end of the Beaver Hills.

Skilled instructors from the University of Alberta – Augustana Campus will use interactive teaching strategies to engage participants in a memorable learning experience. A short field trip will promote networking and hands-on discoveries. Through this course, participants will develop a deep understanding of the value of Biospheres and a concrete strategy for engaging their agency in the work of the Biosphere.

What You Will Learn

  • What is a Biosphere? Why was the Beaver Hills Biosphere designated?
  • How is the Beaver Hills Biosphere governed? What are its goals? How will it achieve those goals?
  • What are the current sustainability issues in the Beaver Hills Biosphere? How can voluntary collaborations help address those issues?
  • How is the Beaver Hills Biosphere relevant to me and my organization? How can my agency and I get involved?


Dr. Glynnis HoodDr. Glynnis Hood
Professor of Environmental Science, University of Alberta - Augustana Campus, Camrose, AB

Dr. Glynnis Hood holds a PhD in Environmental Biology and Ecology at the University of Alberta, and a MSc in Natural Resources Management from the University of Northern British Columbia. Prior to joining the university in 2007, Dr. Hood worked with Parks Canada for more than 19 years throughout Alberta and into the sub-Arctic. Her research examines aquatic ecology and human-wildlife conflicts as they relate to habitat availability and wildlife ecology. She has studied grizzly bear habitat effectiveness, ecosystem engineering, foraging ecology and wetland health. Her current focus is on semi-aquatic mammals, with research projects both in the southern mixed-wood boreal and the lower Athabasca regions of Alberta. Dr. Hood is best known for her work on beavers as ecosystem engineers. Since joining the university, she has supervised 20 undergraduate directed studies, and sat on several graduate committees at both the provincial and international level.

Dr. Glen HvenegaardGlen Hvenegaard, Ph.D.
Professor of Environmental Science and Geography, University of Alberta - Augustana Campus, Camrose, AB

Glen’s research focuses on ecotourism, bird biogeography, environmental education, and rural sustainability. He is co-editor of “Sustainability Planning and Collaboration in Rural Canada” and the upcoming “Tourism and Visitor Management in Protected Areas: Guidelines for Sustainability”. He is a member of the World Commission on Protected Areas (and its Tourism Specialist Group) and a fellow with LEAD International (Leadership for Environment and Development). Glen was raised in rural southern Alberta and is developing a strong sense of place with his family in the aspen parkland in central Alberta.

Dee PatriquinD.L. (Dee) Patriquin, Ph.D., P.Bio., R.P. Biol.
Senior Environmental Scientist, Solstice Canada Corporation. Edmonton, AB
Adjunct Professor, University of Alberta, Augustana Campus, Camrose, AB

Dee is an environmental consultant with over 25 years of experience in environmental assessment, environmental policy, wildlife ecology and natural resource management, working within federal, provincial and municipal legislative and planning frameworks. She recently completed a PhD at the University of Alberta (Department of Physical Education and Recreation), examining factors influencing environmental policy development and implementation within collaborative partnerships like the Beaver Hills Initiative (BHI). As an Adjunct Professor at Augustana Faculty, University of Alberta, she is also engaged in teaching and research, with a focus on sustainable land management and governance.