Research Theme Area Profile
A Focus on GIS for Conservation at Miistakis

No matter what question one asks about responsible land use planning, there is a spatial element to the consideration of that question. GIS, spatial analysis, and the maps we produce can greatly enrich our perspective on a wide range of issues related to the challenge of balancing conservation and appropriate development. GIS can be a very useful and powerful tool.

This is not to say that every problem is best addressed solely through the analysis and mapping of spatial data. There are more efficient and effective ways to approach some problems, and some things that matter to conservation and land use can’t be represented spatially, and are fundamentally unmappable.

This article provides a brief discussion of the Miistakis perspective on GIS for Conservation, one of our areas of special expertise. We’ll highlight some recent changes in this field, draw attention to some elements that stay the same, and share some of our recent conservation GIS and mapping successes.


The Liberation of GIS

Recent changes to GIS have made it more of a technology of the people. Popularization of GIS has served to improve spatial literacy - our ability to understand the spatial context in which things are set - and to change the nature of the work done by GIS specialists.



Staff Profile

Lisa Boyer, Summer Student

My appreciation for the environment started at an early age. I grew up in the Okanagan Valley, and I would say my most memorable moments were spent on the tops of apple trees playing hide and seek with my older sisters. Climbing up the twisted branches, I could see nothing but more treetops and blue skies. Often we spent days in the Kettle Valley, dipping our toes in to some of the cleanest and coldest water we could find.

Project Updates

Cattle & Wildlife: What is the cost of co-existence?

Most beef producers recognize the importance of sharing the land with wildlife and many producers expend considerable effort to allow wildlife access to and use of their land. However, sharing the land with native wildlife species can result in economic burdens to beef producers when: wildlife consume both feed and/or livestock and cause property damage, and through management and prevention activities used to avoid conflict with wildlife (such as putting electric fencing around hay storage areas).


photo: J. Thompson

Leave It To Beavers

We are now into the second year of this collaborative project. This September two hundred students from the Calgary Science School will be visiting the Ann & Sandy Conservation Area to act as citizen scientists collecting data on the effects of the beaver reintroduction on the landscape and water quality.


Highway Wilding is heading to Crested Butte

We are proud to announce that our documentary film Highway Wilding is an official selection for the Crested Butte Film Festival. The Festival runs from September 26-29, 2013 in Crested Butte, Colorado. To learn more about the film festival please visit:
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