Past Opportunities

Dr. Joanna Szabo Hart and Dr. Sonya Jakubec successfully completed their two-phase participatory action research (PAR) which began in 2015. The project involved the broader community including community health nursing students, student researchers from nursing, psychology, and child studies faculties, community volunteers (including seniors, teens, and children), and mixed ability community gardeners from the surrounding neighborhood. To learn more about the results or to participate in the ongoing community garden project contact Dr. Sonya Jakubec at
Dr. Melanie Rathburn in partnership with the Miistakis Institute developed survey protocols and characteristics to help define and identify amphibians attributed to wetland health. This project is open to all who have time to access one of Calgary's wetlands and complete a survey. The next survey season commences in April 2018. Visit the Miistakis Institute's website or contact Tracy Lee at to be involved.
The Institute sponsors Mount Royal students and faculty to attend the FUSE Collective Gala annually. FUSE Collective is a vibrant multi-disciplinary organization at the University of Calgary. Participation provides a great opportunity for students to network with industry leaders and other students with shared interests in sustainability.
Dr. Dorothy Hill and Dr. Lynn Moorman assisted the Mountain Bluebird Trails Conservation Society (MBTCS). MBTCS volunteers have monitored nest box occupancy rates for 30 years. Using Esri's GIS-based collection tool, Collector App, they were able to georeference the bluebird boxes to address ecological questions at the landscape level.
Dr. Israel Dunmade from Mount Royal's Department of Earth and Environmental Science has completed the first phase of campus commuting research. Check out the survey results and learn more about commuting to Mount Royal.
The IES has been a key supporter of the Under Western Skies Conference (UWS) Series. The Conference took place in 2014 and 2016 at MRU. In 2014, the Institute hosted the closing ceremony of the UWS3 reception in honour of award winning scientist Dr. David Schindler. The 2016 conference celebrated water and IES hosted keynote Kim Sturgess, CEO and founder of Alberta WaterSMART. The Parks and Protected Areas Research Group (PPARG) also held various activities at the conference. Visit for more information.
Project STOKE is a student initiative to enhance the sustainability of rural communities in Kenya through the provision of efficient biomass stoves. Working with the Calgary company Airterra, Mount Royal student Paisley Dressler traveled to Kenya in the summer of 2015 to assist in the implementation of the project. The Institute’s contribution covered the costs of buying materials to build the stoves. Local metal workers are trained on the construction, use and maintenance of the stoves. Follow Project Stoke on their website.
The annual Campus Transportation Challenge invited students to tackle four identified issues that affect the Mount Royal campus: waste, improving communication, transportation, and better use of space. The teams generated excellent ideas, many of which will be implemented to the betterment of the Mount Royal campus. The teams are awarded with cash prizes. 
Sustainable Green House System is an innovative project to explore the potential of using heat generated from composting to warm greenhouse soil. The intent is to implement the result in conjunction with the Mount Royal Community Garden. The Institute provided support to cover half of a full-time summer student position to conduct a feasibility project for this project. Mount Royal Environmental Science students Lucas King and Alicia Jackson undertook this project.
On March 23rd, 2016 Mount Royal University student researchers and local professionals engaged in a discussion about enacting environmental sustainability research into practice. We heard from three students – Jorden Dye (Business Administration), Alice Liboiron (General Science) and Sohail Shakeel (Accounting and Finance) – who have participated in diverse Institute for Environmental Sustainability research projects led by MRU faculty members on topics that span biodiversity and stakeholder engagement, policy implications of carbon tax and financial risks linked to natural disasters.Three industry experts asked questions and shared stories of their practice in environmental sustainability. We were pleased to welcome panelists Jessica Dillabough, Government Relations Advisor, Imperial Oil; Peter MacConnachie, Sustainability Issues Manager, Suncor Energy; and Leor Rotchild, Co-founder, DIG, & Consultant, Energy Futures Lab. 
The Institute partnered with Mount Royal student group LEAP (Leaders in Environmental Awareness and Protection) to host an Unconventionals 101 workshop in Hydraulic Fracturing. The workshop was offered to Mount Royal students and instructors in the winter of 2015. The workshop was delivered by the Canadian Society for Unconventional Resources (CSUR) and served as an introductory 4-hour course on unconventional resources. All the 28 participants received a Certificate of Participation from the CSUR.
Along with support for the Talisman Energy Chair in Environmental Sustainability, Talisman Energy has also provided support for a new scholarship for Aboriginal students seeking science and technology degrees. The Talisman Energy Centennial Scholarship for academic excellence helps fulfill Mount Royal’s mandate to increase the Aboriginal student population to 7% on campus, in order to reflect and represent Alberta’s Aboriginal population.

Congratulations to the 2014-2015 recipients of the Talisman Energy Centennial Scholarship. Click here for the list of past scholarship recipients. This program is now administered through Mount Royal’s Student Awards and Financial Aid Office. For application guidelines please visit their website.
Newalta provided generous funding to Mount Royal University to create the Newalta Undergraduate Scholarship program (formerly known as Newalta Undergraduate Research Assistantship program), designed to support student involvement in projects that advance knowledge in Environmental Science or Communications associated with Environmental Science. This program is now administered through Mount Royal’s Student Awards and Financial Aid Office.