UWinnipeg and FortWhyte collaborate on research, education
Students and researchers have a new habitat to study in, thanks to a beneficial partnership established between UWinnipeg and FortWhyte Alive.
President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Annette Trimbee and FortWhyte CEO Bill Elliott signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) today, giving faculty members access to the centre’s high-quality facilities for research and teaching purposes.
“This partnership makes sense in so many ways,” Dr. Trimbee said. “Not only does it build on The University of Winnipeg’s already strong relationship with FortWhyte, but it also builds on our shared goals of fostering innovative research, experiential learning, and sustainable practices.”
While the MOU makes it official, collaboration between the two institutions is already taking place. UWinnipeg students have launched their weather balloon at FortWhyte two years in-a-row, Ryan Smith of the University’s Prairie Climate Centre has presented to FortWhyte volunteers, and FortWhyte has helped provide an in-class sustainability perspective for courses taught by Roland Bohr (History).
Additionally, UWinnipeg’s award-winning Diversity Food Services currently operates FortWhyte’s Buffalo Stone Café and there have been several classes studying at the centre this term.
“This is a really exciting day,” Elliott said. “We have a wide array of opportunities available here for a number of faculties, and (UWinnipeg’s) academic personnel will help enhance our facilities.”
In addition to many interpretive exhibits and educational programs, FortWhyte offers 630 acres of prairie habitat, an 80-acre mixed forest, five lakes, and a 15-acre farm complete with vegetable and biodiversity gardens; bee hives; poultry, pig, and bison pastures; and water treatment ponds.
These diverse resources will be beneficial to researchers from every discipline. For example, scientists will be able to study soil, water, and wildlife in numerous natural habitats, while educators can explore FortWhyte’s experiential learning, inner-city youth, and outdoor programming.
Jill Condra, Program Officer, Research Partnerships, The University of Winnipeg
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