Selected Current Projects

Alberta's Living Laboratory Project is part of an interdisciplinary research program that involves researchers from the University of Alberta and Western University. Here at the UofA we are examining the best ways to secure drained wetland basins in rural landscapes in Alberta. Our team, in partnership with municipalities, counties and Ducks Unlimited Canada, is utilizing reverse auction mechanisms to examine the costs of basin securement. This information will be critical in the successful implementation of the new Alberta Wetland Policy.

Principal Investigator: Peter Boxall

Conserve Project

CONSERVE - (COordinating Nontraditional Sustainable watER Use in Variable climatEs): A Center of Excellence at the Nexus of Sustainable Water Reuse, Food, and Health

Climate variability is placing severe stress on high-quality agricultural irrigation sources such as groundwater. As a result, water reuse and exploring nontraditional irrigation water sources (e.g., reclaimed water) have become national priorities for agricultural water security and the sustainable production of our food supply. At the same time, the recent Food Safety Modernization Act is shifting the focus of food safety from responding to foodborne contamination to preventing it. This places great responsibility on agricultural producers, who must meet stricter guidelines for the quality of irrigation water used on food crops. This presents a significant new gap: new sustainable on-farm solutions are needed so that agricultural producers can conserve groundwater through the safe use of nontraditional irrigation water sources." CONSERVE is an international collaborative effort including researchers from the University of Maryland (lead), the University of Delaware, the University of Arizona, New Mexico State University, the USDA, the Arava Institute and the University of Alberta.


RES-FOR project

This interdisciplinary project will involve evaluation of the potential for genomics assisted tree breeding to enhance the sustainability of Alberta's forest industry in the face of climate change. REES team members Davidson and An will be evaluating the social, political, cultural and economic dimensions that may serve as opportunities or barriers to the implementation of this emerging technology.


Principle Investigator:Debra Davidson and Henry An

Tracking Change is a multi-year social science research network of Indigenous communities, universities, governments and other organizations funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and other partners including the Mackenzie River Basin Board (Parlee, Principal Investigator).

The project is focused on building capacity for documenting and sharing local and traditional knowledge about changes in the Mackenzie River Basin through community-based research projects, research networking activities, symposiums and multidisciplinary publications. The Mackenzie River Basin, like other major freshwater ecosystems globally is under significant stress from resource development as well as the effects of climate change. Graduate students and community partners are working together to document observations and experience of disturbances to fish, fish habitat, water levels and water quality.


Principal Investigator: Brenda Parlee