This working group is a community of Parks staff and University of Alberta faculty representing the applied and social sciences of which the Director is a member. Established in 2013, the Working Group is well-positioned to help contribute to the fulfillment of the Science Strategy of the Parks division. The Strategy seeks to
- Increase the amount, quality, and availability of scientific information;
- Increase capacity to make informed decisions about Alberta’s parks;
- Develop a culture of respect for the value of science in park management.
This project is intended to increase the capacity for social science research within the Parks Division of Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation. This project will:
- Establish a small internal working group to facilitate discussion between Alberta Parks and network of social science researchers in Alberta
- Conduct a working session of key staff and interested social science researchers from various research institutions
- Conduct an inventory of Alberta Parks user-researchers
- Conduct an inventory of Alberta Parks social and applied research
- Write a scoping review/"environmental scan" paper based on results of inventory of research and review of approaches (if any) used by other protected area agencies
- Conduct a small e-survey of Alberta Parks relevant researchers assessing needs, interests and social science research capacity
- Convene and host a workshop or consensus-type conference to prioritize research needs and mechanisms for moving research forward
- Development of a framework/process for building capacity based on the above
- Identify opportunities for collaboration on key priority research questions as identified through research priority setting workshops, and
- Provide material that can be used in the development of a business case for increased capacity for social science research in Alberta Parks.