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November 18, 2010

Increasing the Role of Science

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A partnership between the Alberta government and the University of Alberta’s Augustana campus is creating new research opportunities in provincial parks around Camrose.

Augustana campus provides university-level education in environmental, social and economic sciences. Nearby parks, such as Miquelon Lake, are used for extending education beyond the classroom and into the field. The Plan for Parks is a strategy created by government to increase the role of science in decision making.

“Under the Plan for Parks, decisions will be based on what Albertans want, and on what science tells us is good for the land,” said Minister of Tourism, Parks and Recreation Cindy Ady. “In order to best manage our parks, we must have accurate information about them, the values they protect and provide, and the activities they support.”

The strategy is meant to facilitate research into natural and social sciences by the academic community and other groups to develop better park management practices.

According to Dr. Glynnis Hood, assistant professor of environmental studies at Augustana campus, "Alberta Parks was interested in building on their existing information for some of their protected areas in east-central Alberta. At the same time, the Augustana Campus was increasing its opportunities for students to move their research from the lab to fieldwork. Because of their biological diversity and proximity to our campus, parks like Miquelon Lake Provincial Park make the perfect outdoor laboratory and allow students to gain important research skills."

This article is courtesy of Chase McGowan, a student at the University of Alberta.


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