Research & Knowledge Network
Establishing a Pan-Canadian Research Network for Parks & Protected Areas
Parks Canada is a founding partner of the Parks and Protected Areas Research Network
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.
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.
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.
> Join (or start) a Research Conversation
CPCIL 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 Research Network also hosts a discussion forum to share and collaborate on a variety of issues.
You must be logged in to view the forums
> 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.
You must be registered on CPCIL.ca to submit a research project.
Research Network Highlights
Parks and Knowledge Mobilization Study
Conservation Through Reconciliation
2021 Virtual Parks Summit
2022 Research eSummit
Know. Do. Learn.
With Parks Canada and the Canadian Parks Council and guidance from Indigenous elders and colleagues, CPCIL is excited to host the second pan-Canadian Parks and Protected Areas Research eSummit from February 22 to 25, 2022 along with a complementary year-long webinar and dialogue series.
The virtual eSummit will bring together “Knowers” (scholars/knowledge keepers), “Doers” (practitioners), and “Learners” (students, new hires) from across the country to make personal connections and build a network of passionate individuals in the parks and protected areas field.
With the continued theme “Know. Do. Learn.” we plan to highlight cases where external researchers or knowledge holders have contributed to decision making in parks and protected areas, have productive conversations about inclusion in parks and protected areas research, and spark action to improve representation and collaboration throughout the parks and protected areas research network.
2021 Research eSummit
Know. Do. Learn.
The Canadian Parks Collective for Innovation and Leadership (CPCIL) – with support from Parks Canada and the Canadian Parks Council – hosted a Virtual Research Summit. By holding a virtual event, we decreased our carbon footprint, increased accessibility for participants, and supported social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Plenary sessions and at least one concurrent session were offered with simultaneous French/English interpretation. Recordings are available.
Parks and Knowledge Mobilization Project
Funded by a SSHRC Partnership Development Grant and led by University of Alberta, 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. The focus is on knowledge mobilization or “moving knowledge into active service” (SSHRC, 2008). In other words, making research accessible, so that it can be put into practice.
Through a pan-Canadian survey and case studies from across Canada, this research project explores how Canada’s conservation agencies are using “knowledge” to meet national and international commitments.
Horizon Scan Research Priorities Project
Park and protected areas managers need knowledge of the challenges and opportunities that may influence the stewardship and conservation of protected areas as they make decisions for the future. One methodology that is often used to identify knowledge gaps and emerging issues is the horizon scan.
Parks Canada and the Canadian Parks Collective for Innovation and Leadership teamed up to undertake a horizon scan to inform the management of protected areas in Canada. This scan was conducted in close collaboration with partners, so that results obtained benefit all and support conservation planning and actions across the country. Parks Canada will use the results of the horizon scan to inform its own research agenda.
Conservation Through Reconciliation (External)
CPCIL is a co-applicant on the Conservation Through Reconciliation Partnership, a seven-year initiative that is 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.
ParkSeek Public Health Impacts Project (External)
The overarching goal of the ParkSeek project is to build a platform for Canadian-specific research and practice related to the interconnections between population health and parks and recreational facilities. These spaces and places are critical elements of the built and natural environment known to support health and wellbeing. Using these tools, changes can be observed in the built and natural environment features, population-level perceptions, and public use of parks and recreational facilities over time.
Recent Research Posts
Park Research Resources
Other Parks Related Research Networks
Beyond CPCIL, there are several noteworthy research networks conducting studies, initiating conversation and tackling projects related to themes such as conservation, science, diversity, inclusion and accessibility in parks. We believe their work provides ample opportunities for park leaders, researchers and academics to expand their knowledge and improve management practices in parks.
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.
This project is supported in part by funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.