Added by Ryan Saunders on 1245794699|%e %b %Y, %H:%M %Z|agohover.
Culminating over several generations, changes in the natural environment caused directly or indirectly by human activity place the continued functioning of the earth’s natural and social functions at stake. While scientific research must play a central role in addressing environmental concerns, traditional academic institutions are not well-suited to the task of information dissemination outside the academy, in a manner that contributes to environmental discourse in civil society. University-based organizations that help transfer the findings of environmental research and studies projects to the non-academic community, and facilitate communication between peer scientists and non-scientists, are essential. The Environmental Research and Studies Centre (ERSC) at the University of Alberta, in operation since 1990, is such an organization. The current Business Plan represents the next stage in the evolution of the ERSC. Whereas the Centre was founded with the primary goal of fostering interdisciplinary research within the academy, the Centre and its current membership will take a lead in effecting meaningful change, locally, nationally, and internationally. This evolution is very much in keeping with the renewed emphasis of University administrators and governors on demonstrating the effects of research on public policy, applying new knowledge beyond the academy, and addressing global challenges. While maintaining its core strength – access to world-leading environmental science – ERSC strategy over the current planning period will embrace strategic opportunities to engage students, staff, governments and the public to make real change. As part of the continuing process of renewal, during this planning period the Centre will focus on a number of foundational initiatives, including re-visioning its regular newsletter and seeking new sources of much-need funding.