News from December 2009

Alberta NAWMP Science Fund Evolves

December 18, 2009 | Posted by AB NAWMP

Just as organisms and ecological communities adapt to environmental change, the Alberta NAWMP Science Fund itself is responding to a new environment. “The Alberta NAWMP Science Fund has supported a wide variety of wetland-related research in Alberta for about 20 years,” says Michael Barr, Alberta NAWMP Coordinator. “Most research was graduate studies, with an emphasis on birds and other wetland-dependent species. More recently, the Fund’s scope expanded to assist policy and program initiatives that were of mutual benefit to the Partners and NAWMP.”

Adapting to change

Several factors coincided to bring stimulus for change. First, new sources of funding from other agencies emerged that targeted some of the same information priorities which Alberta NAWMP had identified. “Where potential overlap was identified, we adjusted and coordinated our support with those other agencies,” offers Barr.

Second, reduced budget expectations for the coming year compelled a more strategic approach to allocating this fund, or as Plato stated: Necessity, it brings the mother of invention. Third, there was a longstanding interest in moving to a more directed approach to research support. “This convergence of factors suggested now was the time to make a move,” adds Barr.

Moving forward

Looking to 2010–11 and beyond, the Science Fund through its respective committee will continue to support a variety of wetland-related research. The change will result in fewer, but more specific studies that directly advance the goals and objectives of NAWMP and the policy initiatives of partner agencies. “Science that is aligned with current data and decision-making needs translates into informed planning and policy outcomes for wetlands”, says Barr.