Parks and Protected Areas Research Group Newsletter

    Volume 1, Number 3

PPARG to Focus on Knowledge Acquisition, Centralization and Dissemination of Parks and Protected Areas (PPAR) Research for Alberta

All parks and protected areas (ppa) are important in local and regional economies and help fulfil commitments to quality citizen experiences, environmental conservation and sustainability. These effects, prominent in western Canada's rocky mountain park system and Eastern Slopes, are important for decision-making about ppa and research needs. Sustainability of environment requires access to knowledge and understanding for decisions about parks and protected areas.
The Parks and Protected Areas Research Group (PPARG) has identified one clear goal that seeks to understand the feasibility of creating a repository of ppar that will store information, data and publications for access by professionals and practitioners for the region. Access to such research has been deemed problematic since research about ppa is being performed by governments, academics and non-profit researchers, with little ability for the information to do much more than reach a small and specialized group of readers. Therefore, it is the motivation of PPARG to determine what gaps exist for research about parks and protected areas, what research is available, centralize it, and make it all available to researchers and practitioners that are interested in topics related to protected areas, especially in Alberta.

It is also the goal of this scoping project to eventually provide recommendations for a site and repository where interested people may go to access this information and remain current about issues related to Albertan ppa.  


PPARG has determined goals that clearly address the need for a centralized ppa repository in Alberta.  For example, PPARG goals are:
  • to act as an interface between professionals and practitioners 
  • to create interdisciplinary professional development 
  • to promote leadership in policy and practice about parks and protected areas 
  • to act as an incubator for new ideas about parks and protected areas 
  • to maintain a directory of interested researchers
  • to provide links for moving theory into practice 
  • to foster interest in both social science and environmental research 
  • to act as a repository for information, data and translation into usable formats 
  • to foster partnerships and advocacy for good science
These goals have been determined with thorough discussion between members, and with a final observation, that there exists no one system or group that has assumed the role of data acquisition, centralization and dissemination of research about parks and protected areas in Western Canada.
This is an umbrella project for PPARG since many members also belong to other government, non-profit, industry and academic units that are concerned about parks or environmental issues in Alberta and will benefit from the initiative. For example, members represent:
CPAWS' new report on infographic on Albertans' Values and Attitudes toward Recreation and Wilderness-The Alberta Wilderness Association
-The Nature Conservancy of Canada
-Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society
-The Miistakis Institute of the Rockies
-Alberta Provincial Parks/Canadian National Parks
-Recreation and/or Environmental Contractors and Consultants
-Alberta Provincial Parks Social Science Working Group
-Mount Royal University, University of Calgary and University of Alberta

Achieving ecological integrity and environmental sustainability about parks and protected areas requires integration of science and social science research, including the acquisition, centralization, and distribution of useful research to interested parties and individuals. Our project aims to contribute to:
1) the promotion of interdisciplinary ppa research
2) the reduction of information gaps about ppa
3) the development of an integrated repository to centralize existing and ongoing data bases for access by researchers and park practitioners. 
4) the centralization and compilation of current data about the Eastern Slopes to present in a useful and accessible format. 

This initial, and scoping feasibility study, is being supported by the Institute for Environmental Sustainability (IES) at Mount Royal University, Calgary.
News from the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)
ICMOD is pleased to share a news ‘First ever air quality monitoring for Chitwan National Park’ issued today relating to the inauguration of the Chitwan National Park Air Quality Observatory on 26 December 2015 in Sauraha, Nepal.  Read more here.
REDD and Atmosphere Initiatives of the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) collaborated with the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC) to establish the observatory. It will help monitor air pollution at the national park periphery to provide a basis for studying air pollution impact on biodiversity and ecosystems.
Under Western Skies Conference takes place on Sept 27- 30th, 2016. The Parks and Protected Areas Research Group proposes to host a concurrent session featuring four papers presented by its members. This will be immediately followed by a poster session, with refreshments. The purpose of the two sessions is to raise awareness of the PPARG’s scope, goals and activities. Contact Katty Rettie,, for more information. 

 PPARG 2016 Spring Meeting

Meeting Date and Time:  Friday March 18th, 3 - 5 p.m.
Meeting Location: EC1065, MRU Lincoln Park Campus 
Coffee and Light Refreshments will be served.
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