Members of the SERS community are involved in cutting edge sustainability research, important policy initiatives and outreach. Check out the 'SERS Stories' below to see some examples of how we are helping to protect, restore, reform and transform the world around us.

Integrated monitoring and management for watersheds: What I learned in Australia

Stuart, Simon, Mike, and David

One sunny day in the early 1990s the Lord Mayor of Brisbane, Jim Soorley, was gazing down from an airplane as he flew over Moreton Bay, halfway up Australia’s east coast. He noticed a discolouration of the water where the Brisbane River entered the bay – a dark plume that extended out into the bay. He pointed out the plume to his travelling companion and asked him what caused it. His travelling companion was probably the best person in the world to answer that question – Bill Dennison from the University of Queensland.

A pattern language for traditional music and resilient community

Students playing the violin.

Appalled by the inhuman failures of modern architecture and planning, critics such as Jane Jacobs reflected on the capacity of traditional, vernacular, unplanned and organic development to produce pleasing, diverse and human scale architectural designs and townscapes.

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Ritual matters for ecology

World map painted on both human hands.

Rationally speaking, there is a broad scientific consensus on the human causes of climate change, yet we have not managed to deal with it in practical terms. There is a dismaying lack of progress on many environmental issues despite the passage of almost fifty years since the inception of the environmental movement.

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Flush your disgust

Oil and water splashes together

In a World Water Day Op Ed article for The Globe and Mail, Sarah Wolfe wrote about the connection between emotions and water.

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Ocean and coastal sustainability


On June 8, another World's Oceans Day (WOD) came and went without a lot of fanfare. Even so, WOD’s a good reminder that Canada is an ocean nation. That might seem pretty abstract at times for those of us living in southern Ontario. With three oceans (*can you name them?) and the world’s longest coast - all 244,000 beautiful kilometres of coast - we owe it to ourselves to pay more attention to 'life below water'.

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My Evening with Jane Goodall

Jane Goodall

I should begin with a disclaimer – I did not have a one on one evening with Jane Goodall. It was more like me and a few hundred of my closest friends. But the entire evening had this intimate feeling and Dr. Goodall herself had a way of connecting with each and every person in the audience.

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The Plate is Political: Food, Feminism and Transformation

United Nations Committee for World Food Security in session.

I love food. I am just as likely to get excited about Hallowe’en candy as I am about a home-cooked meal or trying a local specialty when travelling.

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Conservation in the Anthropocene

Photo courtesy of Bruce Webber

I’ve recently returned from a one-week workshop in Patagonian Argentina, and it’s been a source of reflection on what it is we do in SERS that seemed well suited to a “SERS Story”.

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Transdisciplinary research and reconciliation in Haida Gwaii

Erin Alexiuk, Geneva Cloutis and Dan McCarthy

The most rewarding and impactful research of my career has been of this kind. When I’m lucky, I have the privilege to witness moments of transformative transdisciplinarity.

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What Lies Beneath

Andrew holding a corduroy.

I joined SERS just over two years ago and before I had students to supervise, an office with a window, or a group of co-conspirators with (occasional) late-afternoon thirst, my office was overflowing with waterlogged—potentially mold-steeped—ancient wood.

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