In its short history, the Environmental Conservation Lab (ECL) has developed an impressive reputation for conducting quality scientific research, while focusing on issues and outcomes which are meaningful to local stakeholders, who often participate directly as part of the research process.
Recent ECL work in the area of Environmental Impacts has included MSc work by Shaun Moffat (2002) addressing the “Impacts of Landuse on Riparian Forests in Southern Manitoba.” This study analyzed various landuse impacts on riparian forests around Winnipeg, documenting issues related to forest degradation and separation and noting the need for active management to address concerns related to exotic species encroachment.
Karin Newman conducted a comprehensive community mapping project regarding “Farmer Perceptions of Forests and Livestock Grazing in the Riding Mountain Biosphere Reserve” for her MSc (2004). This project identified the importance of natural habitat to local people near a National Park in Western Manitoba, while cataloguing the range of forest values, uses, knowledge, and management priorities held by community residents.
Bryan Oborne is currently “Exploring the Potential for Watershed Governance on the Canadian Prairies” for his PhD thesis. This research seeks to advance the theories of Integrated Water Resource Management and Adaptive Management by analyzing their interrelated concepts, focusing on their application within a living watershed community laboratory at Tobacco Creek, Manitoba. It will offer recommendations regarding the potential of a watersheds planning and management unit for all interrelated land, water, community, and economic development activities.