CPRC's involvement in research projects is designed to further its mandate to facilitate transdisciplinary research and address research issues relevant to the Canadian Plains. Projects typically involve multiple partners, and many provide research opportunities for graduate students and research assistants.
- Water Governance
- Adaptation to Drought
- Andean Communities
- Climate Change
- Water Conservation
- Wascana Review
- Past Projects
Water Governance and Climate Change: The Engagement of Civil Society
Margot Hurlbert, Assistant Professor, Department of Justice Studies and Department of Sociology and Social Studies, University of Regina
This research focuses on the reduction of people’s vulnerability to climate change specifically in relation to water and societal decisions respecting water. Globally and locally the water ‘crisis,’ although accentuated by climate change, is increasingly recognized as a crisis of water governance, or a crisis of the decision making process of people, government, and business in respect of water and activities affecting water. A solution to this crisis, locally and internationally, and the resulting reduction of vulnerability to climate change, is bottom-up water governance and the involvement of local people in decisions affecting their water resource.
In the case of the Prairies expected climate change impacts include greater climate variability and the risk of a severe multi year drought and floods. Not anticipating the change in our future climate and planning for this change as it will affect Canadians’ use of water, increases the vulnerability of Canadians to be harmed by future climate change. How Canadians make decisions about water, or water governance is an important component in planning for future climate change and reducing future harm.
Water governance has traditionally occurred in a centralized manner through government departments or agencies managing the water resource. However, increasingly civil society is participating in water governance through “Watershed Advisory Committees” in Saskatchewan, “River Councils” in Alberta and “Conservation Districts” in Manitoba (generically referred to herein as “LWCs”) tasked with setting and implementing source water protection plans in many provinces in Canada. Literature respecting adaptation to climate change cites this as improving adaptation and reducing the vulnerability of communities to climate change. The benefits of civil society participation in water governance are cited as: commitment of the participants to implementing decisions; incorporation of local community practices, values and knowledge into decisions; internalizing of economic externalities (or having decisions represent the true value to the community of all impacts of a decision); interaction of economic interventions with non economic values such as health benefits from increased water quality; and adaptive, quick and flexible response to issues reducing local vulnerabilities to climate change.
This research will focus on the emerging area of civil society engagement or bottom-up governance in relation to water to:
(a) explore the role of LWCs and how three provincial water governance arrangements are dealing with climate change;
(b) examine if LWCs have integrated climate change into their planning and strategy;
(c) assess the extent LWCs reduce vulnerability of people and communities to climate change;
(d) compare and analyze the three provincial models and develop a strategy to improve adaptation.
This research is important in reducing the vulnerability of communities to climate change and increasing adaptive capacity. Policy makers and government personnel involved in water governance across Canada will be interested in the results of this research especially those who are thinking of, or are implementing different models of bottom-up water governance and the integration of local people into water management decision making. Given increased water scarcity and the impacts on Canadian society, this research will make an important contribution to the adaptation of Canadians and the reduction of harm which might otherwise occur due to climate change.
The research is supported by the Standard Research Grants Program of the Social Science Research Council of Canada.
Rural Communities and Adaptation to Drought
This proposed collaborative research program focuses on environmental vulnerabilities. Using a vulnerability approach, it focuses on rural residents’ exposure and adaptation to drought impacts in rural Saskatchewan. The goal of our research program is to develop a systematic and comprehensive understanding of the processes that shape the impacts of drought on rural communities and livelihoods, and the present and future conditions and strategies that enhance or constrain adaptive capacity to water shortages. The program addresses this goal through a comparative study of five rural communities in Saskatchewan, using the 2001–02 droughts as the central climate event. In this context, the program’s objectives are:
- To identify the characteristics of the 2001–02 droughts, their general impacts on the various economic sectors of the selected communities, and the potential characteristics of droughts in these areas under future climate conditions.
- To examine the different forms of exposure to drought of rural residents, rural producers, and rural organizations of the selected communities.
- To examine the adaptation process, including implementation of adaptive capacity, assessments and expectations of existing drought risk-reducing programs and policies in the context of past and future droughts.
- To foster a dialogue between governance agencies and communities to assess both the past and present efficacy of drought policy at the federal and provincial level, in terms of drought planning, strategies and ability to assist residents to adapt, and to discuss drought strategies in the context of future climate conditions and of adaptation capacity building and longer-term planning.
The research program seeks to facilitate policy-oriented research on the impacts of drought on different types of rural community residents, producers, and organizations, their capacities to reduce these impacts, and their assessments and expectations of existing drought risk-reducing programs and policies. Its main contributions would be to strengthen the development of comprehensive local, provincial and federal approaches to develop longer-term planning for adapting to drought and reducing rural vulnerabilities, and to advance theoretical and methodological approaches in the areas of environmental studies and adaptation to climate change. The collaborative research program brings together social scientists and practitioners, with the support of climatologists, integrating considerable expertise in the fields of drought and climate change impacts, human community vulnerability and resilience, and governance, building on the previous scholarship of team members. The research project is implemented in partnership with the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration (PFRA), a leading federal agency in the area of drought adaptation, and with the Saskatchewan Research Council, a leading provincial agency in the area of drought research. The research program integrates a group of graduate students. These students will benefit from exposure to and engagement in the research design and field components, as they develop considerable experience in working in an interdisciplinary project.
Coming Down the Mountain: Understanding the Vulnerability of Andean Communities to hydroclimatologic variability and Global Environmental Change
Funded by the InterAmerican Institute Small Grants Program on Human Dimensions, this two-year study (2007- 2009) is examining the capacities of selected water governance institutions in specific watershed basins in three countries to address vulnerabilities associated with climate change impacts on water resources. This project integrates social sciences to on- going physical science research conducted in the region. In doing so, the results of this research are intended to add a human dimension and build and strengthen a regional network of research on climate change by linking natural and social sciences. Also, the project will enhance policy design and climate adaptation strategies to contribute to the development of regional and national policies on climate change. The project focuses on vulnerability at the level of Andean watershed basins for which there are substantive concerns around climate change impacts on agriculture and water resources and the capacity of their institutions to deal with those impacts. Specific objectives are: (1) To identify and characterize the vulnerabilities of specific actors and settings to climate variability and climate- induced water problems. (2) To evaluate the policies and capacities of water governance institutions to reduce these actors and settings’ vulnerabilities. (3) To analyze the results of the two previous objectives in the context of regional climate change scenarios and future hydrological setting. The project uses a multidisciplinary approach to address climate change and development linkages related to governance, land and water issues, adaptation to climate change, and policies and programs oriented to include climate change in development programming.
Institutional Adaptations to Climate Change: Comparative Study of Dryland River Basins in Canada and Chile
The Institutional Adaptation to Climate Change (IACC) project is funded by a grant from the Major Collaborative Research Initiatives (MCRI) program of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and it is administered by the Canadian Plains Research Center (CPRC) of the University of Regina. The critical issue that the IACC project addresses is the capacity of institutions in dryland regions to adapt to the impacts of climate change. The goal of the project is to develop a systematic and comprehensive understanding of the capacities of regional institutions to formulate and implement strategies of adaptation to climate change risks and the forecasted impacts of climate change on the supply and management of water resources in dryland environments. This goal is addressed through a comparative study of regions at different stages of social and environmental vulnerability: the South Saskatchewan River Basin in western Canada and the Elqui River Basin of north-central Chile. Link to the IACC project website.
Rural Community Water Conservation
Funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), this project addresses the development challenges of water security for poor rural communities in a dryland region of Chile. Working with colleagues at the University of La Serena in Chile, UR researchers are delivering education and training programs that improve the ability of rural women, non-government organizations and government agencies to address sustainable water management issues for rural communities affected by desertification and the impacts of climate change. By focusing its training and outreach efforts on the three poorest municipalities in the Coquimbo region of Chile, the impacts of the project will result in improved security of water, enhanced water quality, increased access to water for the poorest rural communities in the region and significantly enhanced leadership capacity among rural women for water management. The project team is partnering with numerous federal, regional and municipal government agencies, and non-government organizations in Chile and will be working with the Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration (PFRA) in Canada in developing and delivering training programs. Link to the project website.
In 1993, the CPRC Press took over the technical production of The Wascana Review of Contemporary Poetry and Short Fiction, produced by the Department of English and funded by the Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Graduate Studies. The CPRC provides this service under its operating grant from the Faculty of Graduate Studies.
The Great Sand Hills Regional Environmental Study
Administered through Canadian Plains Research Center, and under the supervision of a Scientific Advisory Committee, a Regional Environmental Study of the Great Sand Hills in southern Saskatchewan is being conducted. The study is 1) characterizing the environmental, social, and economic dimensions of the Great Sand Hills in the form of a baseline assessment; 2) using information from the baseline assessment to conduct a cumulative risk assessment and vulnerability analysis through an assessment of impacts on the Great Sand Hills; and 3) using the assessment of impacts to develop alternative scenarios for sustainability with recommendations as to the preferred scenarios. A recommended scenario will be accompanied by options for maintaining the ecological integrity of the Great Sand Hills. Link to the Great Sand Hills Study final report.
Climate Change and Adaptive Strategies for Conservation Area Planning in Grassland Environments
This project studies the influence of climate change on the fragmentation of native prairie in order to develop adaptive conservation strategies to meet biodiversity conservation needs for the prairies of Canada. The study measures the extent and distribution of native grasslands currently under various forms of protection by linking information on protected areas, biodiversity and land cover for the prairies and assessing gaps in protected area systems relative to remaining native prairie. It measures the fragmentation of native grasslands within and outside of current protected areas. It then assesses the potential impacts of climate change on the risk and vulnerability of remaining native grasslands to further fragmentation. Finally, the project will provide policy recommendations to three levels of government (municipal, provincial, national), non-government organizations, and industry and community associations on the adaptation strategies necessary for the conservation of fragmented native prairie habitats in the face of projected climate change impacts for the prairies.
Climate Change and Prairie Biodiversity: Prediction and Adaptation
CPRC is partnering with Saskatchewan Environment and Resource Management with funding through the Canadian Climate Change Action Fund to develop an understanding of wildlife adaptations to climate change impacts on habitats in the prairies of southern Saskatchewan.
Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)
CPRC participated in the University of Regina's CFI Committee to develop three proposals in biology, computer science, and engineering to secure CFI funding for the University. Each of the proposals was successful. CPRC was also represented through its Executive Director as a co-applicant in the successful computer science proposal ($544,700) to establish an Institute for Informatics at the University.
Canadian Council on Ecological Areas (CCEA)
Until 2004, Dr. Gauthier represented CPRC and members of the academic community as a director of the board of CCEA. CCEA is a non-profit, registered charitable organization with representatives from numerous jurisdictions throughout Canada. Its mission is to facilitate the development in Canada of a nation-wide network of protected ecological areas. It advances that mission through the development of science-based projects, reports, meetings, and conferences on critical aspects of protected areas.
During the period of Dr. Gauthier’s participation on CCEA’s board, CPRC produced the CCEA national newsletter entitled "eco"; CPRC developed and maintained an internet home page for CCEA; CPRC participated in each of the CCEA annual conferences since 1995; published the proceedings of the 1995 CCEA conference on protected areas in resource-based economies; assisted in organizing the CCEA's 1996 national conference on protected areas and landscape ecology entitled "Caring for Home Place"; was a partner with CCEA in the federal GeoInnovations 1999 program to develop a North American Conservation Areas Database; assisted in developing CCEA's fact sheets; assisted in maintaining CCEA's financial accounting; and was a partner is CCEA's federal Millennium Partnership Fund entitled "Canada's Conservation Achievements."
Canadian Plains Source Database
CPRC assisted in developing a database of researchers and projects involved in topics related to the Canadian Plains. As a component of the development of that database, CPRC worked with the Environment and Ecology Working Group of the Planning and Priorities Committee at the University of Regina, in cooperation with the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, to develop a database of all University of Regina researchers involved in environmental and ecological research.
Canadian Unity Public Lectures and Academic Forum
CPRC, along with the University of Regina's President's Office and the Department of Political Science, co-organized a series of three public lectures and an academic forum on issues related to Quebec's continued involvement with Canada and implications for the Prairies. The three public lectures were as follows:
The Canadian Plains Research Center Lecture: "Fatal Attraction: Decentralization and the National Unity Debate," Roger Gibbons, University of Calgary.
The Stapleford Lecture: "Preserving the Canadian Federation: A Two Track Approach," Peter H. Russell, University of Toronto
The Woodrow Lloyd Lecture: "The Theory, Praxis and Evolution of Sovereignty-Association," Josée Legault, Montreal, Quebec.
The two-day academic forum involved 35 invited participants.
Carry the Kettle First Nation
CPRC's GISD was involved in a project to characterize information that will be used by the Carry the Kettle First Nation in land claims negotiations. Carry the Kettle First Nation is trying to obtain compensation for 9 quarter-sections that were surrendered in 1905. This project involved the Indian Studies Research Center at the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College (a research assistant) and the Carry the Kettle First Nation. A number of datasets were developed for this research including land use, assessment layer, land title layer, settlement patterns layer, and land value.
Datasets Quality Control
CPRC's GISD was contracted to develop an AML (Arc Macro Language) for the purposes of data quality control on SaskGeomatics geographic information systems products. SaskGeomatics is responsible for development, maintenance, and updating of all digital base maps for the province of Saskatchewan.
Digital Spatial Representation of Community Pasture Plans
CPRC's GISD created the digital conversion of Saskatchewan's Provincial Community Pastures into an ArcInfo GIS geo-referenced digital format. This project was funded by Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food.
Ecological Land Classification in Saskatchewan
CPRC worked with three branches of Saskatchewan Environment and Resource Management, Agriculture Canada, the Institute of Pedology (University of Saskatchewan), and the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre to compile information that characterizes the ecological elements of the 11 ecoregions of Saskatchewan. One Ph.D. student was involved as a research assistant in this project.
Ecoregions of Saskatchewan - Multimedia CD-ROM
In 1994 and 1995, the University of Regina worked with many partners to produce the "Ecoregions of Saskatchewan" poster that won a national award in 1996 and international recognition as an example which other jurisdictions are using to develop similar products. CPRC had joined with a number of sponsors to develop a multi-media CD-ROM based on the Saskatchewan ecoregions poster. The CD-ROM has been available since 1998. Partners include Saskatchewan Education, Saskatchewan Tourism, Saskatchewan Environment and Resource Management, and Parks Canada. The CD-ROM serves the educational and informational needs of educators and researchers and forms part of the phased product development of the Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan project. In addition, CPRC published a book Ecoregions of Saskatchewan to complement the poster map and CD products. All three products were distributed to all Saskatchewan schools.
Environment Canada and Canada's Ecozones
CPRC assisted Environment Canada in producing a set of 20 folded posters covering each of Canada's 15 terrestrial and five marine ecozones. A colourful illustration on the front of each poster provides a composite of key features in each ecozone-a visual aid for teaching about Canada's ecosystems. CPRC was particularly involved in the production of the prairie vignette poster displaying information about landforms, climate, and wildlife in the prairie ecozone of Canada. CPRC arranged for a copy of the prairie poster to be distributed to all Saskatchewan schools.
Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan
From 1996 to 2005, CPRC undertook one of the most ambitious publishing projects in Saskatchewan's history. In May 1996, CPRC organized a workshop at the University of Regina that brought together 25 agencies, institutions, and industries interested in furthering the development of a Saskatchewan encyclopedia as a contribution to Saskatchewan's centennial in 2005. Over the next nine years, an experienced publications management team and editorial board consisting of distinguished academics and government representatives produced, with contributions from more than 800 writers, an 1,100-page, single hard-cover volume which was launched on September 8, 2005. The Encyclopedia features 2,300 individual entries covering all aspects of life in Saskatchewan, along with 21 major essays written by noted experts on the subjects of Aboriginal peoples, agriculture, arts and culture, business and industry, education, geography, health, history, labour, law and justice, military history, politics and government, population, religion and philosophy, science and technology, social policy, sports, transportation, and women. The Lieutenant-Governor of Saskatchewan was the Patron to the project and major sponsors included: Saskatchewan Centennial 2005 and the Government of Saskatchewan (Culture, Youth and Recreation; Environment; Government Relation; Industry and Resources; Learning), as well as Courtney Milne Producations Inc., Direct West, ISM, Leader-Post, Saskatchewan Archives Board, SaskCulture, Saskatchewan Heritage Foundation, Saskatchewan Lotteries, and SaskTel, and many other individuals, organizations, and businesses who contributed funds or resources.
Grasslands National Park (GNP) GIS Service Bureau
CPRC's GIS Department managed a vast dataset for Grasslands National Park, including vegetation, soils, topography, wildlife, cadastral, landuse, roads, and archaeological datasets and integrated GIS datasets to Global Positioning Systems and satellite imagery. It also advised the Park on scientific research and technical GIS, hardware and software issues and provided GIS training courses for Park staff.
Institutional Linkage - Costa Rica and El Salvador
CPRC administered an International Organization for Higher Education (IOHE) funded project involving the Department of Sociology at the University of Regina to organize cooperative activities with the Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica and the Universidad de El Salvador on issues related to sustainable agricultural development.
In 1997, Saskatchewan Environment and Resource Management requested that CPRC assess the assignment of appropriate World Conservation Union categories for all Saskatchewan conservation lands. The findings of this project can be found in CPRC Information Systems Report Series 97-1. One graduate student was funded by this project.
Millennium Partnership Projects
CPRC's Press was awarded a grant from the Canada Millennium Partnership Fund (Millennium Bureau of Canada) for two of its publication projects. The first involves a series of products based on the research of Donny White: In Search of Geraldine Moodie and Geraldine Moodie: An Inventory (book and CD). The second is a series of books based on oral interviews which were originally compiled as part of the Indian History Film Project, which was housed at the CPRC (1982-1987) - seven titles are anticipated in this series over the next three years.
Native Prairie Mapping Project
CPRC's GIS Department generated a digital map of remnant prairie in Saskatchewan. The spatial distribution of remaining native prairie is critical as a generic and physical resource for agricultural development, environmental protection and management, research, and social well-being. This baseline information is also essential in meeting many information needs for policy development and management of remaining native grasslands. Partners included Saskatchewan Department of Agriculture and Food and Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan.
Nature Saskatchewan and the Blue Jay
From 1991-1997 CPRC's Press took over the technical production of the Blue Jay, the journal of Nature Saskatchewan (then the Saskatchewan Natural History Society). The Blue Jay appeared four times yearly and during the six years of the Press's involvement, twenty-two issues were produced.
North American Conservation Areas Database (NCAD)
The project entitled North American Protected Areas Database (described below) represented a first stage in achieving a standardized conservation areas database for North America. NCAD, representing a second stage, was led by CPRC's GISD in order to develop of a standardized, integrated, geo-referenced database of major conservation areas for North America (Canada, Mexico, U.S.). Partners included Canadian Council on Ecological Areas, Erin Consulting and 1999 GeoInnovation Program of the federal government. NCAD is currently available through GeoGratis (ftp-geogratis.ccrs.nrcan.gc.ca; directory north_america_cad) and CEONet (http://ceonet.ccrs.nrcan.gc.ca).
North American Ecological Region Mapping
As part of its continuing involvement in developing an ecosystem perspective for the Canadian prairies, CPRC worked with Canadian, Mexican, and U.S. agencies and institutional representatives, through the NAFTA Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC), to develop a standardized ecological framework for North America. The Great Plains is the sole ecological region on the continent to span the three nations of North America. A final report including maps has now been prepared in English, Spanish, and French. In addition to CPRC representation, the CEC Working Group was composed of professionals from the Canadian Council on Ecological Areas (CCEA), Environment Canada, British Columbia Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks (BCMELP), Environmental Protection Agency (US-EPA), U.S. Forest Service, Instituto Nacional de Ecología (INE), Instituto de Ecología, A.C. (IdeE), Instituto Nacional de Geografía e Informática (INEGI) and the Centro de Ecología of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (CE-UNAM).
North American Protected Areas Database
CPRC worked with the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) to apply the standardized ecological region mapping to issues of protected areas and biodiversity. To that end, CPRC developed a standardized database template of protected areas for North America. Partners include the Canadian Council on Ecological Areas (CCEA), Environment Canada, the Environmental Protection Agency (US-EPA), U.S. Forest Service, Instituto Nacional de Ecología (INE), Instituto de Ecología, A.C. (IdeE), Instituto Nacional de Geografía e Informática (INEGI) and the Centro de Ecología of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (CE-UNAM). One University of Regina Masters student was funded through this project.
Palliser Triangle Global Change Project
CPRC was one of a number of sponsors working with the Geological Survey of Canada (GSC) to produce a multi-media CD-ROM that presents the results of research coordinated by the GSC. The CD (not yet released) will present an overview of the Palliser Triangle as well as results of research coordinated by the GSC outlining the impacts past climate changes have exerted on critically important land and water resources. Despite being the driest part of the prairie provinces, the Palliser Triangle often accounts for over half of Canada's agricultural production. Future climate change, which is expected to include more frequent drought events, could threaten sustainable activities in many parts of this region.
Prairie Adaptation Research Cooperative (PARC)
CPRC led the university's involvement as a member of the network of partners that established PARC. This centre facilitates research on adaptations to climate change on the prairies. The centre's administration is located in the University of Regina's Research Park.
Prairie Biodiversity Study (PBS)
CPRC administered the four-year, $212,000 study of prairie biodiversity and agricultural activity in southern Saskatchewan. The project was funded by Agriculture Canada through the federal government Green Plan program. Involving the Government of Saskatchewan Environment and Resource Management (SERM) and Saskatchewan's Conservation Data Centre, the project completed two field seasons of research with continued surveys of plant biodiversity and range forage condition, as well as the compilation of existing comprehensive electronic data sets for the prairies of Saskatchewan. The final year of the project in 1997-1998 completed the analysis of data and preparation of the project's final report. One Masters student was funded through this project.
Prairie Centre for Excellence for Research on Immigration and Integration
This six-year project brought together 6 major universities and over 100 academics to study different aspects of the complex phenomenon of immigration and integration, in collaboration with community organizations, practitioners, policy makers, and other major stakeholders. CPRC assisted by providing administrative services and housing University of Regina students involved in the project.
Prairie Conservation Action Plan (PCAP)
CPRC was a founding member of the Saskatchewan Prairie Conservation Action Plan which is a consortium of over 20 industry, government, non-government, and academic organizations focused on the conservation of remaining native prairie in Saskatchewan. CPRC published PCAP's original action plan as well as its followup, Saskatchewan Prairie Conservation Action Plan 2003–2008.
Prairie Ecosystem Sustainability (PECOS) Study
CPRC administered the University of Regina's involvement in the joint University of Regina/University of Saskatchewan three-year, $2 million project designed to improve understanding of the sustainability of the prairie ecosystem and prairie agriculture in Saskatchewan. Integrated socio-economic, health science and physical science research on sustainable development for an agricultural region in southern Saskatchewan was the main focus of this project. Four faculty members and four graduate students (2 Ph.D., 2 Masters) represented the University of Regina in this national Tri-Council (NSERC, SSHRC, MRC) Ecosystem Research program. Two of the faculty members (D. Gauthier, J. McCrorie) and the two Ph.D. students were directly connected to CPRC. Dr. Gauthier represented the University of Regina on the project Management Committee, chaired the Information Systems sub-committee for the project, and was a member of the Finance Committee and Thematic Issue and Workshop Committee. Due to the interdisciplinary approach of this project, CPRC's GISD maintained, administrated, updated, analyzed, manipulated and generated datasets that included a variety of both human and physical geography (e.g. population by township, hydrology, soils, etc).
Prince Albert National Park (PANP) GIS Service Bureau
CPRC's GISD maintains, updates, manages, analyses, and manipulates a vast dataset for the Park, including multiple forest covers, plant communities layer, soil layer, biophysical resource layer, topographic layers, cadastral data, roads, and hydrology. The Center advises the Park on scientific research and technical GIS, hardware and software issues. Due to this linkage between the Center and PANP, a number of students and graduate students have been involved in different research and GIS projects. GISD has developed and currently maintains a home page that contains GIS meta-data and research issues for the park. The objective of this home page is to inform researchers on the type and detail of GIS information that is available for the park (http://www.cprc.uregina.ca/panp).
Protecting Saskatchewan's Natural Heritage
CPRC's GIS Division staff have digitized all the currently available geo-referenced data regarding managed areas in Saskatchewan at the international, federal, federal/provincial and provincial levels. In 1998, with the support of Environment Canada, the Canadian Council on Ecological Areas, SERM, Nature Saskatchewan, the World Wildlife Fund (Canada) and a number of contributing agencies, CPRC produced a poster map, entitled "Saskatchewan's Natural Heritage" depicting areas in Saskatchewan managed for conservation purposes. The poster displays maps and tables giving information about the status and distribution of conservation lands in Saskatchewan classified according to the World Conservation Union's standardized categories for protected areas.
Saskatchewan Wetlands Conservation Corporation (SWCC)
CPRC's GISD was contracted by SWCC to obtain area extent calculations for SWCC surveyed area in the prairies of Saskatchewan.
SSHRC Strategic Theme Grant - Social Cohesion
CPRC administered the largest Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) grant ($485,846) ever received by the University of Regina. In this three-year (2000-2003) project, CPRC's Executive Director and eight co-investigators studied rural adaptation and social cohesion for sustainable development of the Prairies. The research project's six objectives were designed to create a base of interdisciplinary knowledge to assist rural communities and policy-makers in addressing the challenges of sustainable development on the southern prairies. Co-operating with the U of R researchers were numerous government, industry, and First Nations organizations.
Saskatchewan Heritage Foundation
Until 1996, Prairie Forum received financial support from SSHRC. When this funding was withdrawn due to federal budget cuts, the Saskatchewan Heritage Foundation, recognizing the importance of Prairie Forum to scholarly publishing on the prairies, and Saskatchewan in particular, agreed to provide financial support equal to the cost of one issue of the journal per year.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada Lands (NCC) Digital Conversion
CPRC'S GISD performed the digital conversion of the lands owned by NCC in the three prairie provinces of Canada. More work needs to be done in order to standardize the attribute data of each prairie province. The conversion of NCC lands into an ArcInfo GIS geo-referenced digital format has been funded by NCC.
Training for Regional Development (UPCD Tier 2 Project 098/S4704-244 CIDA)
CPRC administered the five-year, $500,000 project that involved Universidad de La Serena (ULS), Chile, and Universidad Nacional Autonoma (UNA), Costa Rica, and the University of Regina. The objective of this project was to enhance the human resource development and capacity building in ULS and UNA through the development of integrated, interdisciplinary training and research programs with the support of University of Regina. Two one-month seminars (July of 1999 in Chile and July of 2000 in Costa Rica) provided discussions in rural sustainable development issues as well as training in institutional assessment, research methods and geographic information systems (GIS). The project involved two technicians and nine academics in different disciplines from the University of Regina and twenty-four academics from ULS and UNA. ULS and UNA also benefited by increasing their resources in terms of computer hardware and software needs. CPRC's GISD was responsible for the GIS component of the project, involving instruction in spatial theory and training in two geographic information system softwares (ArcInfo and ArcView).
Transdisciplinary Environmental Sustainability Course
CPRC led in the development of a graduate course open to students in all disciplines that focuses on examining issues involved transdisciplinary approaches to sustainable development. This course is currently taught as Canadian Plains Studies 801.
University of Regina Geographic Information System
On behalf of the University of Regina, CPRC maintained a contract with ESRI Corporation for a site license to the Arc/Info geographic information system software. The site license permitted multiple users access to the GIS software on a variety of platforms.