Monthly News
April 2019
"Addressing the Environmental, Community, and Health Impacts of Resource Development: Challenges across Scales, Sectors, and Sites"
We recently published an article in Challenges

"Work that addresses the cumulative impacts of resource extraction on environment, community, and health is necessarily large in scope. This paper presents experiences from initiating research at this intersection and explores implications for the ambitious, integrative agenda of planetary health. The purpose is to outline origins, design features, and preliminary insights from our intersectoral and international project, based in Canada and titled the "Environment, Community, Health Observatory" (ECHO) Network. With a clear emphasis on rural, remote, and Indigenous communities, environments, and health, the ECHO Network is designed to answer the question: How can an Environment, Community, Health Observatory Network support the integrative tools and processes required to improve understanding and response to the cumulative health impacts of resource development?"
We recently published an article in Conservation Biology!
"Controlling invasive species presents a public-good dilemma. Although environmental, social, and economic benefits of control accrue to society, costs are borne by only a few individuals and organizations. For decades, policy makers have used incentives and sanctions to encourage or coerce individual actors to contribute to the public good, with limited success. Diverse, subnational efforts to collectively manage invasive plants, insects, and animals provide effective alternatives to traditional command-and-control approaches. Despite this work, there has been little systematic evaluation of collective efforts to determine whether there are consistent principles underpinning success. We reviewed 32 studies to identify the extent to which collective-action theories from related agricultural and environmental fields explain collaborative invasive species management approaches; describe and differentiate emergent invasive species collective-action efforts; and provide guidance on how to enable more collaborative approaches to invasive species management. We identified 4 types of collective action aimed at invasive species-externally led, community led, comanaged, and organizational coalitions-that provide blueprints for future invasive species management. Existing collective-action theories could explain the importance attributed to developing shared knowledge of the social-ecological system and the need for social capital. Yet, collection action on invasive species requires different types of monitoring, sanctions, and boundary definitions. We argue that future government policies can benefit from establishing flexible boundaries that encourage social learning and enable colocated individuals and organizations to identify common goals, pool resources, and coordinate efforts."
The full article is available in Conservation Biology. 

June 3 to 5, 2019, Vancouver, BC and Corner Brook, NL (satellite)

This year's conference will be packed with exciting events and opportunities, including...
  •  Keynote Events at UBC (and webcast to Grenfell and online);
  • The Annual ESAC Wine and Cheese Receptions (held at both UBC and Grenfell);
  • Sessions and workshops geared to graduate students;
  • The announcement of the 2019 ECO-Award winner;
  • Research sharing and networking opportunities galore;
  • Annual ESAC Field Trips (in Vancouver and Corner Brook), and more!

Weaving Indigenous Wellbeing, Research and Ethics: Community and Campus Perspectives in Canada.
This webinar explores answers to the guiding question How do we grow impactful Indigenous-Campus engagement and ethical research in Canada to better support indigenous community health and well being?

Governance in rural contexts: Concepts & Challenges
This webinar recording demonstrates how governance is a particularly promising but challenging way to help rural communities acquire agency - to get things done. And the conceptualization of governance as a collaborative undertaking, selectively involving government, was largely initiated and refined outside of rural contexts. But the realities of rural contexts involving significant distance (in every sense, from markets to political power), and lower densities (again, in every sense, from population to institutions) means that governance has to be critically examined and prudently applied to rural community development. This webinar will critically re-visit the basic thesis of governance, highlight some of the salient characteristics of rurality that will impinge upon its application to rural contexts and development priorities, suggest a conceptual framework for rural governance, provide a number of case studies of rural governance experiences.

Civics, Civility, and Circles-How to Restore & Create Community
This is a webinar recording from April 2, 2019. "In today's fractionalized, tribalized world it seems what divides us is often more apparent than what unites us. Add the soundtrack of incivility that dominates discourse, and a toxic environment emerges that is fraying our communities. 

Community Heart & Soul talks to leaders committed to change using creative and innovative ways to educate and engage residents: Emma Humphries, PhD., iCivics; Carolyn J. Lukensmeyer, PhD., National Institute for Civil Discourse, and Julie Mashack, Ben Franklin Circles."

Augustana Extended Education is the professional development provider of the University of Alberta - Augustana Campus.  Offering certificate programs, workshops, short courses and emergent issues series, on campus and off. 

Your organization's interests, challenges, and opportunities are important - with your valuable input, Volunteer Alberta creates learning opportunities that meet your nonprofits needs.
Meet the Research Team

Research Assistant, Madison Pearson, on presenting for the ACSRC
The first presentation I did as a research assistant for the Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities was at the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation conference in Nelson, BC. That conference marked many firsts for me: my first time visiting Nelson, my first solo plane ride, and my first academic conference. More than anything, though, this was my first time presenting not to peers or professors, but to academics; not as a student, but as a professional.

The study I presented was the culmination of almost a year's worth of literature research  with the goal of understanding broadband programming in rural communities. As I stood in front of a small crowd  of encouraging faces, I clutched with shaking hands a stack of notecards an inch thick, written in my general speech patterns so I could read them word for word. While I cannot say the presentation was perfect, it was an important opportunity to learn how to feel comfortable presenting my research in front of my peers and mentors.

Since that first presentation, I have given half a dozen others on behalf of the ACSRC on broadband programming. This May I present again in Moncton, New Brunswick. This presentation will be about measuring personal, community, and environmental health and how those facets of life impact one another.  Throughout my tenure at the ACSRC, I have developed the skills and confidence necessary to forgo the notecards altogether. 

Calendar of Events
For upcoming events, conferences and workshops visit the events calendar on the ACSRC website.  This calendar holds events offered by the ACSRC and other organizations with a common goal of sustainable rural communities.
Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities