Research and Knowledge

PanCanadian Parks and Protected Areas Research Network

Establishing a Pan-Canadian Research Network for Parks & Protected Areas

Whether natural or social science, local or Indigenous knowledge, or integrated research, effective park leadership requires the best available evidence–and an understanding of how to use it. Parks Canada Agency and the Mount Royal University Institute for Environmental Sustainability–as well as affiliated academic institutions–aim to bridge the gap between researchers and practitioners in parks and protected areas by establishing a pan-Canadian reseach network. Our activities include:

Connecting researchers and practitioners, focusing on landscape-level and existing networks.

Sharing existing knowledge by curating and presenting inter/transdisciplinary research in inclusive ways, highlighting practitioners and identifying mutually beneficial research.

Supporting academics, practitioners, journalists, elected officials, and decision makers in understanding and applying evidence in parks and protected areas.

Building an intergenerational, interdisciplinary, inter-industry, and intercultural conversation about the value of parks and protected areas research.

These activities are informed by the collaborative knowledge mobilization research project and a pre-conference workshop at the 2019 Canadian Parks Conference. The final workshop report is available here in French and English.

Workshop Summary Report (en)

Rapport Sommaire (fr)

By extending established relationships and creating new connections, this project created a multidisciplinary, inter-institutional, cross-sectoral partnership to mobilize parks-relevant knowledge. While social science, Indigenous and local knowledge are a focus of this project, we acknowledge the inter-connectedness of other forms of knowledge and the necessary engagement with them to resolve complex parks-related challenges and decisions.

Parks Canada is a founding partner of the Parks and Protected Areas Research Network

Research Network Platform

The Canadian Parks Collective Parks and Protected Areas Research Network was created as a knowledge exchange and dissemination network, as part of an outcome of a collaborative knowledge mobilization research project and a pre-conference workshop at the 2019 Canadian Parks Conference. This platform is intended to facilitate interaction between individuals, organizations, and governments dedicated to the advancement of effective park management and related desired outcomes such as increased social equity, biodiversity conservation, multi-stakeholder governance, and healthy communities through access to diverse sources of knowledge.

Find a Park Researcher

Search CPCIL park leader profiles to connect with colleagues, researchers, and experienced park leaders from across Canada.

Search Park Leaders

First Name, Last Name

Join (or start) a Research Conversation

The Canadian Parks Collective for Innovation and Leadership hosts a monthly webinar series on a variety of topics related to parks and protected areas. We also hold special research dialogues and events with multiple partners, including an annual Virtual Parks Research Summit. The Pan-Canadian Parks and Protected Areas Research Network also hosts a discussion forum to share and collaborate on a variety of issues.

Crowdsource a Research Idea

The Canadian Parks Collective Parks and Protected Areas Research Network includes a tool for researchers, park practitioners, community and Indigenous partners to collaborate by sharing research ideas, proposing projects, and exploring ways to work together. Graduate students are encouraged to present their research in order to engage with the Parks and Protected Areas Research Network community. Research Ideas may be combined, refined, or removed as they unfold. Suggested topics do not constitute a guarantee of success nor of funding. 

Recent Ideas

You must be registered on to submit a research project. 

Research Network Highlights

Parks and Knowledge Mobilization Study
Funded by a SSHRC Partnership Development Grant, this project aims at improving understanding of how different kinds of knowledge, including natural and social sciences, as well as Indigenous and local knowledge, are valued and used to advance protected and conserved area management, planning and policy making.
Learn More
Horizon Scan
A Horizon Scan of emerging issues that may or will effect ecosystems and ecosystem services in parks and protected areas across Canada
Horizon Scan Landing Page
Conservation Through Reconciliation
Conservation through Reconciliation Partnership is a seven-year initiative funded by SSHRC that aims to support efforts to advance Indigenous-led conservation in the spirit of reconciliation and decolonization.
Visit Project Site
2021 Virtual Parks Summit
We invite you to participate in CPCIL’s first PanCanadian Parks and Protected Areas Network Virtual Research Summit, to be held online on half-days from March 9-12, 2021. CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS DUE JANUARY 15, 2021
Summit Page

Recent Research Posts

Grow the Research Network

Help us grow the Parks Research Network by creating a profile for you in the PanCanadian Parks and Protected Areas Research Network. You may provide information informally or in bullet-form, and where possible we encourage you to provide links to existing content that will help create an understanding of your work. Student Assistants will compile your responses into a profile and will share a preview prior to posting.

Other Parks Related Research Networks

“ArcticNet is a Network of Centres of Excellence of Canada that brings together scientists and managers in the natural, human health and social sciences with their partners from Inuit organizations, northern communities, federal and provincial agencies and the private sector. The objective of ArcticNet is to study the impacts of climate change and modernization in the coastal Canadian Arctic. Over 176 ArcticNet researchers and 1000 graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research associates, technicians and other specialists from 40 Canadian universities, and 20 federal and provincial agencies and departments collaborate with more than 150 partner organizations in 14 countries.”

“Prior to 2006, initiatives to link researchers with PPA management lacked regional focus and did not facilitate ongoing communication between stakeholders. As a result, there was a need for a mechanism to facilitate collaboration between research and management initiatives.”

“The goal of the forum is not to conduct research itself but to facilitate research and its application to parks and protected areas management.”

“Through open sharing of information, the CCEA aims to foster networking, partnering and excellence in the management of our protected areas.”

“The NSERC CHONe II Strategic Research Program is developing new conservation strategies for Canada’s changing oceans by partnering Canadian university researchers and government scientists. Major funding is provided by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) in partnership with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and other government agencies; INREST (representing the Port of Sept-Îles and City of Sept-Îles); and ENGOs.

CHONe brings together 39 researchers from 11 universities, one community college, and multiple federal research labs from coast to coast in Canada.”

“We are the Centre for Applied Science in Ontario Protected Areas (CASIOPA). CASIOPA, through the University of Waterloo, is a consortium of government, academic, indigenous communities, conservation and environmental non-government organizations, research organizations and professionals who are dedicated to research, shared knowledge, and applied science in Ontario’s protected areas.

We promote science and evidence based policy, planning and management of Ontario’s protected areas. We provide collaboration and networking opportunities by hosting an annual conference and other events.

CASIOPA’s focus is on science in a broad sense – natural, physical, and social. In includes the synthesis, analysis, and presentation of current research.”


“The Canadian Mountain Network (CMN) was established in 2019 to support the resilience and health of Canada’s mountain peoples and places through research partnerships based on Indigenous and Western ways of knowing that inform decision-making and action. 

CMN is generously supported by Canada’s research granting agencies through a five-year, $18.3 million grant from the Networks of Centres of Excellence program. Combined with contributions from diverse partner organizations, this funding represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to position Canada as a global leader in mountain systems research at a time when Canada’s mountain systems are undergoing rapid and uncertain change.”

CPCIL is a co-applicant on the Conservation through Reconciliation Partnership, a seven-year initiative that funded by SSHRC that aims to critically investigate the state of conservation practice in Canada and support efforts to advance Indigenous-led conservation in the spirit of reconciliation and decolonization. The project is establishing a Canada-wide network to catalyze communication, coordination and reciprocal knowledge sharing amongst diverse partners, including Indigenous communities and environmental organizations working to support Indigenous-led conservation.

The role of CPCIL focuses on knowledge mobilization incorporating Indigenous perspectives in existing parks,  and leadership development in ethical space.

“The George Wright Society champions stewardship of parks, protected areas, and cultural sites by connecting people, places, knowledge, and ideas. We are the only place-based conservation organization that is designed to be interdisciplinary from the ground up. By uniting people from many different backgrounds around a common passion for protecting Earth’s natural and cultural heritage, we create the collaboration needed to meet today’s greatest conservation challenges.”

Of note, the George Wright Society publishes the open-access “Park Stewardship Forum” journal.

Park Research Resources

Annual lists of published, peer-reviewed articles related to parks and protected areas in Canada.


Reference List 2018
Reference List 2017
Reference List 2016

Reference List 2015

This project is supported in part by funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.