Whyte Museum at Banff, AB (photo credit www.bestofbanff.com)
Canadian Mountain Network Alberta Initiating Group Meets in Banff to talk Mountain Research Stakeholders
On September 20, 2016, mountain researchers and community members from across the province met in Banff to identify Albertan mountain research stakeholders. The meeting was hosted by the Whyte Museum. Meeting attendees were treated to a guided tour through the museum’s extraordinary collection of photographs, paintings, and artifacts that chronicle the history of exploration and Indigenous culture of the Bow Valley. Meeting attendees, who are mountain stakeholders themselves, felt inspired by the exhibits to share memories and personal experiences from Alberta’s Rocky mountains, highlighting the importance of these fragile ecosystems to our culture and identity.
After lunch in the Founders’ Gallery, which houses rarely seen portraits painted by Catharine and Peter Whyte, the group moved to the historic Masonic Hall for meeting opening remarks. Here, through collaboration and creativity, mountain research stakeholders were identified. Six break-out groups were established to tackle different research questions:
Who are the Key Stakeholders involved in Mountain Research?
Who has Research Facilities/Infrastructure in Alberta?
Who does mountain research in AB?
What kinds of data are generated by Alberta Mountain Researchers?
Who benefits from mountain research?
Who needs to know about research outcomes?
Meeting attendees, including students and university researchers, Bow Valley community members, an Alberta Government wildlife biologist, and a representative of the local Indigenous community, used their collective knowledge and diverse experience to engage in active and productive conversation. Gary Machlis, a US National Parks Service science advisor to the Obama administration, offered his outside perspective on the importance of communication between mountain communities, mountain researchers, and government.
Christy Urban presents Canada’s first pin on the United Nations International Mountain Day World Map
The break-out sessions concluded as summaries were presented to discussion participants gathered in Banff and calling in from the Royal Alberta Museum and the University of Alberta, in Edmonton. This portion of the Alberta Initiating Group Meeting gave an opportunity for new members, including those just beginning their careers, to speak to a province-wide audience. One such presenter was Christopher Rawlusyk, an undergraduate geography student at the University of Calgary, who led a breakout session and presented findings on research facilities and infrastructure in Alberta. The conclusions of each break-out session will be posted to the Canadian Mountain Network’s mountain portal in the coming days.
Ben Gadd, Christopher Rawlusyk, and Meghan Ward participate in breakout group
The September Alberta Initiating Group meeting made great strides in a bottom-up approach to connecting mountain communities with mountain researchers by bringing diverse stakeholders together to identify those not yet connected with the Canadian Mountain Network. The group is looking forward to building on this momentum during future meetings.
The Alberta Initiating Group plans to meet again in November to identify and discuss Canadian Mountain research priorities. If you would like to attend this meeting please contact: email@example.com for details.