Conservation Science Impact Fund
Grizzly bear, AB (Photo by Mike Gibeau)
What is the Conservation Science Impact Fund?
The Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) Alberta Region has developed the Conservation Science Impact Fund (CSIF), demonstrating our support and commitment to proactively advancing the best management practices, stewardship initiatives, research, citizen science and knowledge development that support our day-to-day work. The CSIF is a program that builds partnerships and connects NCC staff with new, impactful and leading conservation research that supports our work and that will improve our ability to protect our natural spaces, species and habitats.
The CSIF was created to support projects that will help us manage and steward conservation lands, develop new methods for conserving ecologically important spaces, and will further our understanding of the social and economic costs and benefits associated with land conservation. NCC has identified a desire to proactively be a part of the field of conservation research, and the CSIF is a great step in that direction. To address this need, NCC is committed to building conservation research partnerships that allow our team to engage in projects that will influence our work within the habitats we protect every day.
Today's conservation needs are complex. In Alberta, expanding our knowledge and understanding of habitat protection, land stewardship and planning is necessary to support key decisions that will advance the work we do. These decisions will help us conserve the landscapes we rely on for clean water, healthy forests, intact grasslands, diverse ecosystems and connected landscapes. NCC can play an important role in the advancement of conservation by supporting and promoting research partnerships and communicating this information to our partners and supporters.
The goals of the CSIF program are to:
Volunteer and NCC staff identify a plant during a bioblitz in Alberta (Photo by Brent Calver)
- Support external research and knowledge development to improve NCC’s (and our partners) ability to make decisions and implement conservation actions.
- Influence decision-making and public policy to improve land stewardship and conservation across private and public lands.
- Facilitate NCC staff learning and participation to promote knowledge sharing related to conservation science.
- Implement pilot projects driven by research supported by NCC and the academic community.
- Support NCC science and planning staff to advance the use of emerging information and technology.
What are the components of the CSIF?
The CSIF will build capacity for research-related partnerships with academic institutions, private research firms, existing partners, government and non-government organizations, First Nations and the public. The CSIF will make annual investments into science and research under the following categories:
Research and knowledge-building partnerships – Support projects that will improve our ability to make decisions and implement actions related to securement, stewardship and public engagement for the benefit of Alberta’s biodiversity and the landscapes that support these habitats and species.
NCC science and planning – Support the science and planning staff within NCC’s Alberta Region to advance our current use of research and technologies for conservation planning. Implement pilot projects driven by research that are supported by NCC and the academic community through well-thought-out project design, implementation and monitoring.
Conservation development and education – Enhance NCC staff learning and encourage NCC to share our expertise related to research, stewardship and planning through attending, presenting at, or facilitating workshops, participation on recovery strategies for species at risk and supporting NCC-driven research where opportunities arise.
Suzanne Marechal presenting at NatureTalks (Photo by NCC)
Communication and outreach will focus on hosting activities and events to showcase research findings to different target audiences, communicating stories from CSIF partnerships and making connections to those who are leading the projects that NCC supports.
The information and stories from CSIF projects will also be showcased on this website, along with links to websites, presentations and other related content.
CSIF partnership accomplishments
To date, NCC has supported eight projects, with partnership contributions totaling $25,000 over the past two years. The financial contribution has gone toward projects that leverage our financial support by more than eight times the invested value. We will continue to support projects that improve our ability to be science-based and advance our work in conserving Alberta’s natural environment.
Click on the links below to learn about the projects that are part of the CSIF partnership.
- Trevor Reid-Nature Conservancy of Canada, Manager of Conservation Planning and Spatial Analysis: Using high-resolution imagery for conservation planning and monitoring
- Andrea Morehouse-Waterton Biosphere Reserve, Director and Science and Stewardship Coordinator: Carnivores and Communities Program evaluation
- Jenna Leblanc-University of Toronto, PhD Candidate
- Megan Evans-Alberta Native Bee Council, President
- Tracy Lee-Miistakis, Senior Project Manager: Pronghorn Xing
- Suzanne Marechal-Nature Conservancy of Canada, GIS Analyst: Hydrologically Significant Areas in the Bow Watershed
Are you interested in becoming a CSIF partner?
To receive more information on CSIF Partnerships, please contact CSIFAlberta@natureconservancy.ca.
Would you like to support the CSIF?
The CSIF represents the next level of engaging in science, research and knowledge development for NCC. By creating a fund that takes a proactive approach to supporting action-based research, with outcomes directly influencing NCC conserved lands, public lands and other protected landscapes across Alberta, we can make a difference.
If you would like to contribute to the CSIF and support projects that will help NCC advance conservation in Alberta, we would be happy to have your support. To learn more about this program, please contact CSIFAlberta@natureconservancy.ca.
George was the founding supporter of the CSIF. His support allowed us to launch the program, develop our process and support the initial years of the program. We thank him for seeing and understanding our vision for the CSIF and helping us to build the program to where it is today.
George Castles (Photo courtesy George Castles)
"Having lived in southwestern Alberta my entire life the Canadian Rockies and adjacent Foothills country has rarely been out of sight or mind. Years of exploring these areas with family and friends helped to instill in me a genuine love and appreciation for recreating in wild, or at least relatively untamed country. This love for the more natural world has subsequently led me to explore many other areas in Utah, Arizona and South America as well.
Given how these places have beneficially shaped the way I relate to the world around me I wanted to ensure that future generations would also have the opportunity to experience beautiful and largely unspoiled country the way I’ve been able to do so over the years. So, the concept of the CSIF really appealed to me. By supporting a variety of research on various aspects of landscape and wildlife management I hope that this fund will help to preserve ecologically important lands and species for future lovers of nature to enjoy. Collaboratively working with and sharing these research results with other individuals, groups and organizations should ensure that the best possible decisions or actions are taken to preserve the remaining natural spaces that will become increasingly more important to Canadians as the years and decades go by."
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