We’ve assembled a list of environmental research organizations across Western Canada. To suggest an addition to the list, contact us at ecofriendlywest@gmail.com

Action on Climate Team (ACT) (Simon Fraser University)

The Action on Climate Team (ACT) works across sectors to turn knowledge into action. They do this by “advancing public and private sector partnerships, coordinating and co-creating leading-edge research for practice, mobilizing policy relevant knowledge to help us all go further faster on climate and sustainability action.” Recent reports focus on low carbon resilience tools for local government and building equity using nature-based solutions. They are affiliated with the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue at Simon Fraser University.

Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute

The Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI) tracks changes in Alberta’s wildlife and their habitats, employing a systematic grid of 1,656 site locations, spaced 20 km apart, to collect biodiversity information on terrestrial and wetland sites. They operate at arms-length from government and industry, providing value-neutral, scientific information to all Albertans. Alberta nature enthusiasts are invited to record their plant and wildlife sightings using ABMI’s NatureLynx app.

Applied Conservation Ecology Laboratory (ACE), University of Alberta

ACE conducts research into species and biodiversity conservation with a focus on good questions, the application (e.g. conservation), and ultimately the need to truly understand an organism’s natural history, its population, and its trophic interactions.

BC Climate Health Network

The BC Climate Health Network, a group of professionals, community organizations, government, academic and health sector representatives, is working to build resilience and reduce the impacts of climate change on community health and well-being in BC by supporting sharing, learning, and the development of collaborative policy, planning, and action across sectors. They have published 2 recent reports. Climate, Health and Covid-19 in British Columbia analyzes how telemedicine, green infrastructure, and food security have been impacted by the pandemic and will likely be impacted by climate change. Collaborative Action on Health and Climate Change, Community Stories recounts action that has been taken to address health and integrate equity into climate action planning, extreme heat, wildfire response, air quality, flood response, and capacity building.

Canadian Mountain Network (University of Alberta)

The Canadian Mountain Network is a research and training network dedicated to advancing our understanding of mountain systems through a holistic approach based on Indigenous and Western ways of knowing.

Centre for Earth Observation Science (University of Manitoba)

The Centre for Earth Observation Science, University of Manitoba, conducts multidisciplinary research to understand how the Earth will respond to climate change. They pay particular attention to the Arctic marine system as climate change affects this region more acutely than any other. Their research covers a wide variety of topics from sea ice geophysics to trace metals and contaminants and oil spill response. The Churchill Marine Observatory opened in November 2021.

Centre for Forest Interdisciplinary Research (University of Winnipeg)

The Centre for Forest Interdisciplinary Research at the University of Winnipeg studies “the ecological, economic, and socio-cultural conditions that shape forests and the natural resources provided by forest systems.” Their goal is to advance understanding of the past, present, and future of forests and their links with society in order to “promote more sustainable use of forest environments”.

Clean Energy Canada (Simon Fraser University)

Clean Energy Canada is a climate and clean energy program within the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue at Simon Fraser University. It works to accelerate Canada’s clean energy transition by sharing the story of the global shift to renewable energy, clean technology, and sustainable industries. Recent reports include Underneath It All on ensuring Canada’s electricity grid can power the country’s net-zero and economic ambitions. A Buy Clean Roadmap for Canada focuses on the ways Canada can create jobs and enhance economic competitiveness while accelerating the transition to a net-zero economy.

David Suzuki Foundation

The David Suzuki Foundation is a national non-profit organization using evidence-based research, education, and policy analysis to conserve and protect the natural environment and help create a sustainable Canada. They encourage public engagement through issue-specific campaigns (e.g. species at risk, protected areas) as well as community projects (e.g. butterflyway gardens).

Future Energy Systems, University of Alberta

Future Energy Systems focuses on multidisciplinary research that develops the energy technologies of the near future, integrates them into today’s infrastructure, and examines possible consequences for our society, economy, and environment. We also contribute to the development of solutions for challenges presented by current energy systems.

Global Institute for Water Security/Global Water Futures (University of Saskatchewan)

The Global Institute for Water Security is dedicated to protecting Canada’s freshwater resources through the use of advanced remote sensing and modeling techniques. They also integrate traditional knowledge with western science to empower Indigenous communities in protecting water health.

Global Water Futures is a pan-Canadian research program. They aim to deliver risk-management solutions informed by leading-edge water science to manage future water supplies in Canada and other cold regions where global warming is changing landscapes, ecosystems, and the water environment.

Institute for Environmental Sustainability (Mount Royal University)

The Institute for Environmental Sustainability at Mount Royal University facilitates interdisciplinary research on sustainability. They support the Canadian Parks Collective for Innovation and Leadership and Climate Talk Canada.

Miistakis Institute

As a research institute, conservation charity, and social enterprise, Miistakis Institute takes “knowledge from the realm of academia to the realm of land and resource management”. Miistakis undertakes scientific investigations of environmental issues, analyzes policy implications, and provides support and encouragement for community action. Their research areas include citizen science, human-wildlife coexistence, municipal initiatives, private land conservation, and transportation ecology. They publish reports on a wide range of topics, including coexisting with beavers, improving pronghorn migration through road improvements, and Calgary’s amphibian population.

Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (University of Victoria)

The Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) is hosted and led by the University of Victoria, in collaboration with the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, and the University of Northern British Columbia. It is “a collaborative and user engaged institute that convenes solution seekers and research partners to co-design, co-develop and co-deliver impactful climate solutions for British Columbia, Canada, and potentially the world”. Research projects include Transitioning to a Green Economy: The Climate Finance Project and materials innovation using an industrial by-product to create smaller, safer, and cheaper electric vehicle batteries with twice the energy capacity.

Pembina Institute

Pembina Institute advocates for effective policies and collaborative solutions to reduce the harmful impacts of fossil fuels “while supporting the transition to an energy system that is clean, safe and sustains a high quality of life”. This involves research and analysis as well as dialogue and collaboration. Recent research reports range from regulatory approaches and standards for cargo e-bikes to recommendations on principles to guide the implementation of an oil and gas cap.

Prairie Climate Centre (University of Winnipeg)

The Prairie Climate Centre, University of Winnipeg, is committed to “making climate change meaningful and relevant to Canadians … through maps, documentary video, research reports, and plain-language training, writing, and outreach”. The Climate Atlas of Canada combines climate science, mapping, and storytelling to show the impact of climate change on agriculture, cities, forests, and health. They have recently added a section on Indigenous Knowledge and Climate Change to the Climate Atlas website.

Raincoast Conservation Foundation

Raincoast Conservation Foundation is a team of conservationists and scientists who are using their peer-reviewed research and community engagement to protect the lands, waters, and wildlife of coastal British Columbia. In-house scientists collaborate with university students and professors. They employ a research lab at the University of Victoria, a field station on Denny Island, and a research vessel. They publish scientific papers, reports, books, and popular science articles. Topics include wild salmon habitat, killer whales, and tree protection bylaws.

Salish Sea Institute (University of Western Washington)

The Salish Sea Institute, University of Western Washington, was created to raise awareness and protection for the Salish Sea and to share knowledge across disciplines and borders.

The State of the Salish Sea report provides a spectrum of ideas and opportunities for how governments, organizations, and individuals can work together to sustain the Salish Sea estuarine ecosystem. The report covers urbanization and human impacts, climate change, cumulative ecosystem effects, opportunities for improving assessment and understanding of the Salish Sea, and the future of the Salish Sea.

Sustainable Education Research Institute (University of Saskatchewan)

The Sustainable Education Research Institute, University of Saskatchewan, carries out research on environmental and sustainability education. They manage the Sustainability and Education Policy Network that examines “which existing and new policies and innovations indicate the most promise for enabling educational change for a more sustainable future”. They publish Of Land & Living Skies: A Community Journal on Place, Land, and Learning.

Wildlife Conservation Society Canada (WCS Canada)

Wildlife Conservation Society Canada employs scientific research and policy action to help protect wildlife across Canada. Priority regions include the western Arctic, boreal forests, and the Rocky Mountains. They also do significant work in the area of western bats. They publish field reports, journal articles, publications, and story maps.

Note: These organizations are not affiliated in any way with EcoFriendly West

See Also


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