The school's three pillars

The intellectual strength of the School is supported by three research specialties: ethnoecology, ecological restoration and political ecology.
The intellectual strength of the School is supported by three research specialties: ethnoecology, ecological restoration and political ecology.

We dig deep into environmental problems from three distinctive perspectives: ethnoecology, ecological restoration and political ecology.

This combination makes us unique in Canada, and one of the main reasons why our undergraduate and graduate programs are in demand. We call them pillars because they support and define so much of what we do.

Ethnoecology

Ethnoecology is the study of interactions between people and the ecosystems they inhabit.

Join Trevor LantzNatalie Ban, and Darcy Mathews as they do more than document traditional relationships to place: they interpret our changing relationship to nature and bring this knowledge to bear on critical issues of land rights, climate change, and the recovery of knowledge.


Political ecology

Political ecology is an interdisciplinary inquiry into the political and economic principles controlling the relations of human beings to each other and to the environment. Put more simply, it explores the politics and policy necessary in a world where ecology matters.

Join Karena Shaw, Duncan TaylorJames RoweAna Maria Peredo, and Deborah Curran in understanding how to create positive change. Understanding the deep blocks to change is the first lesson. The second is that real change happens when we see the subtle shades between black and white solutions.


Ecological restoration

Ecological restoration is repairing damage we've done to ecosystems. But, repair makes it sound too easy.

Join Eric Higgs, John Volpe, Brian Starzomski, and Nancy Shackelford in learning that good ecological restoration is about getting the ecology right, but that might only be 25% of the challenge.

The rest involves ensuring adequate political support, creating an inspiring design, mobilizing community volunteers, providing long-term economic support, and monitoring and adapting to change complete the picture. These are big challenges requiring an integrated approach.