Biosphere Foundation and University of Waterloo sign agreement to create new sustainability, conservation,
and biodiversity research and education opportunities
(5 December 2023, Port Rowan, Ontario) The Long Point Biosphere Region Foundation (LPBR) and the School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability (SERS) at the University of Waterloo (UWaterloo) signed an agreement today to facilitate collaboration in education, public outreach, and research on sustainability, conservation, and the protection of biodiversity.
The letter of intent between the two parties sets out a framework to pursue scientific priorities and to develop university courses that feature experiential learning in one of Canada’s most diverse ecological areas, a region recognized by UNESCO for its international importance.
“The Long Point Biosphere has nationally important concentrations of biodiversity, high levels of species at risk, and an exceptional agro-ecosystem,” said Derek Armitage, a SERS professor at the University of Waterloo. “The partnership creates many research and teaching opportunities for SERS students and faculty and aligns with our commitment to community-engaged and applied research to help address pressing biodiversity, climate and water challenges.”
Under the agreement, the two parties will explore innovative projects to address issues such as road ecology in student research. They will work together to inform high school students in Norfolk County of UWaterloo SERS programs and courses featuring unique skills development and impactful field work.
“By collaborating with UWaterloo students and researchers, we hope to enhance our capacity to pursue important issues informed by science and data-based decisions,” said Tom Via, LPBR Foundation Chair. “We would like, for example, to develop a multi-faceted State of the Biosphere report aligned to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to serve communities and governments at all levels.”
The LPBR Foundation is a non-profit corporation with a mandate to promote the value and goals of the Biosphere Region. Bordering Lake Erie and extending to all of Norfolk County, the Biosphere is home to the world’s longest freshwater sand spit formation and a host of other unique natural settings. In addition to its UNESCO designation, it has also been recognized as a Ramsar Convention wetland site and as a globally important area by Bird Life International.
The School of Environment, Resources and Sustainability (SERS) in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo is recognized for its commitment to transdisciplinary teaching, learning, and research to protect, restore, and transform social and ecological systems.