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Home - Research Into Us
Building Partnerships - SENS Connect
Building Partnerships - SENS Connect

Every year masters and PhD students take the opportunity to research and write their theses at Redberry Lake Biosphere Reserve. The partnership with the School of Environment and Sustainability (SENS) of the University of Saskatchewan turns out to be a close and beneficial collaboration – for all students, Redberry Lake Biosphere Reserve and the University.

Whether you are a SENS student or not, we are pleased to have you doing your thesis at Redberry Lake Biosphere Reserve! Contact us, we would like to hear your ideas or we have plenty of topics for you, too! But first have a closer look at previous projects and publications.


New! Resources

Infosheet American Black Bear in RLBR (PDF)

Infosheet Feral Wild Boar in RLBR (PDF)

Ravens & Magpies in RLBR (PDF)

Wolves in RLBR (PDF)


 

Publications

January 2014

An Examination of the Canada-Saskatchewan Farm Stewardship Program in the Redberry Lake Watershed
Evan Bassett
School of Environment and Sustainability (SENS),
University of Saskatchewan, Canada

Abstract & Download »

This report examines a cost-sharing government program called the Canada- Saskatchewan Farm Stewardship Plan (CSFSP). The program is currently entering its third five year term (2013-2018), with previous terms extending from 2003-2008, and 2008-2013. The purpose of the program is to encourage the adoption of Beneficial Management Practices (BMPs) on farms, by offering financial compensation. This report aims to evaluate the CSFSP based on its initial directives, progress and development, and its results, with specific focus on participation in the Redberry Lake Watershed. Some important aspects that will be analyzed include how the program has (1) demonstrated value, (2) monitored quality, (3) met objectives, and (4) transformed program participants.

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July 2013

Investigating Human-Black Bear Interactions in Redberry Lake Biosphere Reserve
Jessica Lankshear
School of Environment and Sustainability (SENS),
University of Saskatchewan, Canada

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November 2012

Opportunities for Ecotourism Development in the Redberry Lake Biosphere Reserve, Saskatchewan
Xi Zhao
School of Environment and Sustainability (SENS),
University of Saskatchewan, Canada

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Ecotourism can benefit both natural reserves and local communities, as it attracts and educates visitors about how to protect biodiversity and as it brings economic revenue to those natural reserves and local communities. While several interesting ecotourism projects (e.g. a hiking program) have already been proposed for the Redberry Lake Biosphere Reserve (RLBR), the ecotourism in the RLBR, Saskatchewan, still has room to develop. On one hand, current ecotourism mainly focuses on natural elements (e.g. plants and birds). Cultural elements, such as Ukrainian traditional architecture, festivals, and food have not yet been considered for ecotourism although they also have great potential with proper advertisement and operation. On the other hand, comprehensive ecotourism service information needs to be compiled and put in place and available to the public. In this project, data was collected from literature, documents/reports and interviews with local. Potential ecotourism resource material has been classified to conduct an inventory of attractions and to map out available resources. Recommendations for future ecotourism development and possible marketing methods have also been suggested. We, my adviser and I, believed this project will benefit potential visitors, the biosphere reserve staff and volunteers, as well as local communities.

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September 2012

Collaboration between researchers and biosphere reserve practitioners: A case study of Redberry Lake Biosphere Reserve, Canada
Oksana Zbyranyk
School of Environment and Sustainability (SENS),
University of Saskatchewan, Canada

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Biosphere reserves (BRs) are UNESCO designated sites, established to promote and demonstrate the concept of sustainable development with the help of the local community and directed scientific research. Research is being conducted in and about the BRs, which brings researchers and BR practitioners together in order to achieve mutual goal(s). The challenge is to understand how to achieve effective collaboration. This thesis uses the theory of collaborative management in order to investigate opportunities and challenges faced in a collaborative process. The purpose of the study was to understand how researchers and BR practitioners could collaborate effectively in order to achieve BR objectives. The case study used in this research was Redberry Lake Biosphere Reserve, located in Saskatchewan, Canada. Factors of collaboration were identified, based on the literature reviewed and interviews conducted. A qualitative research approach was further used to collect data through the semi-structured interviews with researchers and BR practitioners who worked together under one initiative. Three initiatives that were evaluated represented the functions of a BR – sustainable development, biodiversity conservation, and logistic support. This study generated a list of factors of collaboration necessary for the successful collaboration between researchers and BR practitioners. Many factors have already been practiced during the implementation of the initiatives. Yet there is a need to bring awareness about the functioning of BRs to external agencies, in order to strengthen collaborative relationships. Working together throughout the process of implementing the initiative was not obligatory, although being informed about the process and findings was expected by the practitioners and local residents, as a whole. More nuanced understanding of collaboration was realized where effective collaboration depended upon the type of research being undertaken.

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April 2008

Chemical and physical properties of some saline lakes in Alberta and Saskatchewan
Jeff S Bowman and
Julian P Sachs
School of Oceanography, University of Washington, Seattle 98195-5351, USA

Abstract & Download »

Background: The Northern Great Plains of Canada are home to numerous permanent and ephemeral athalassohaline lakes. These lakes display a wide range of ion compositions, salinities, stratification patterns, and ecosystems. Many of these lakes are ecologically and economically significant to the Great Plains Region. A survey of the physical characteristics and chemistry of 19 lakes was carried out to assess their suitability for testing new tools for determining past salinity from the sediment record. Results: Data on total dissolved solids (TDS), specific conductivity, temperature, dissolved oxygen (DO), and pH were measured in June, 2007. A comparison of these data with past measurements indicates that salinity is declining at Little Manitou and Big Quill Lakes in the province of Saskatchewan. However salinity is rising at other lakes in the region, including Redberry and Manito Lakes. Conclusion: The wide range of salinities found across a small geographic area makes the Canadian saline lakes region ideal for testing salinity proxies. A nonlinear increase in salinity at Redberry Lake is likely influenced by its morphometry. This acceleration has ecological implications for the migratory bird species found within the Redberry Important Bird Area.

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2007

Understanding Community Capacity Using Adaptive and Reflexive Research Practices: Lessons From Two Canadian Biosphere Reserves
Sharmalene Mendis-Millard; Maureen G. Reed
Society & Natural Resources - An International Journal
Department of Geography, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Abstract & Download »

Community-based ecosystem management requires understanding a community's capacity. We argue that communities can make important contributions not only to specific assessments of community capacity, but also to the conceptualization of the term itself through community-based research methods that are both adaptive and reflexive. A research initiative that illustrates such practices is reported here. We begin by describing our initial conceptual framework of community capacity that identified resource capitals and mobilizing factors. In focus groups, residents of two Canadian biosphere reserves used this framework to assess their capacity to meet biosphere reserve mandates and to provide critical reflections that helped to drive revisions to the framework. Our new framework is more sensitive to temporal and spatial dimensions of capacity, local social relations, and local culture. We conclude that adaptive and reflexive community-based offer methodological alternatives for research, help advance conceptions of community capacity, and help produce social change.

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2006

Respecting the Perspective:
There’s More to the Landscape than Meets the Eye
Lee Everts
Department of Geography, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Abstract »

As part of my research project, “Respecting a perspective – There’s more to this landscape than meets the eye”, I have had an opportunity to speak with elder residents (age 60 and above) of Hafford and Val Marie, two rural agricultural communities in Saskatchewan. Using methods that draw on ethnographic and ethno-methodological traditions, the purpose of this research is to describe the meaningfulness that these men and women derive from their relationships with their cultural landscapes. The backdrop for this work is coloured by ongoing concerns regarding the vitality of these communities – economically, socially, and culturally. Moreover, for these two communities, their ecological vitality is also pertinent given their association with protected areas (Hafford is located within the Redberry Lake Biosphere Reserve while Val Marie sits at the gateway to Grasslands National Park). In keeping with current thought that recognises the value and importance of the ideas of elder residents, my work describes how men and women who have aged in place (and wish to continue doing so) can offer perspectives drawn from decades of trial and error and ongoing experience on issues as diverse as their relationship with nature and the environment to the challenges faced by agriculture.

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2006

Breeding Biology and population dynamics of White-winged Scoters at Redberry Lake, Saskatchewan
Alisauskas, R. T.,
Kehoe, F. P.

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This current project was initiated in 2000 with the goal of understanding reasons for white-winged scoter decline. Redberry Lake has the highest known local breeding population of white-winged scoters in North America and the population has been studied intensively in the past (from 1976 to 1985), thus making Redberry Lake a good place to study white-winged scoters. On an annual basis, in conjunction with the Redberry Lake Biosphere Reserve, Environment Canada, Ducks Unlimited Canada, and the University of Saskatchewan, we examine the breeding ecology of the white-winged scoter at Redberry Lake. 

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October 2004

Assessing Community Capacity For Ecosystem Management: Clayoquot Sound And Redberry Lake Biosphere Reserves.
Sharmalene Ruwanthi Mendis
Department of Geography, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

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Biosphere reserves are regions that are internationally recognized for their ecological significance and work towards ecosystem management. The concept of community capacity, as developed in the resource management and health promotion literatures, was applied to two such regions that were designated in 2000: Clayoquot Sound and Redberry Lake. The purpose of this comparative research was to better understand what constitutes the collective ability, or community capacity, these places have for fulfilling their functions as biosphere reserves. Community capacity is the collective mobilization of resources (ecological, economic/built, human and social capitals) for a specified goal. A mixed methods approach was taken. Self-assessments, both qualitative and quantitative, were used to determine community capacity in focus groups with biosphere reserve management, residents, and youth (grades 9-12). The results were compared to a statistics-based assessment of socioeconomic well-being. Semi-structured interviews for a related research project provided further insigh
This comparative research made theoretical advancements by identifying key constituents of community capacity, including dimensions of the capitals and ‘mobilizers,’ or factors that motivate people to work for communal benefit. Mobilizers were found to be key drivers of the process of using and building community capacity. Four mobilizer categories were identified: the existence of, and changes to capital resources; individual traits; community consciousness; and, commitment. The practical implications of applying both qualitative and quantitative assessment methods were examined. It was found that there are several ways to conduct the socioeconomic assessment, and that adaptive methodological application is advised in research that attempts to be truly community-based—not just about, but for and with communities.
It was found that, while it does not ensure a biosphere reserve’s success, economic capital plays a key role in activating other resources beyond a time frame of three years, where social capital can be the primary driver for activity. Despite substantial differences politically, socially, and economically, both regions experienced similar challenges that can be largely attributed to a general lack of understanding of the biosphere reserve concept, and a lack of consistent, core funding.

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2004

Components of population growth rate for White-winged Scoters in Saskatchewan, Canada
Alisauskas, R. T.,
Traylor, J. J.,
Swoboda, C. J. &
Kehoe, F. P.

Abstract & Download »

Breeding range and abundance of White–winged Scoters (Melanitta fusca deglandi) have declined in northwestern North America. Hypotheses proposed to account for this trend are that survival and/or recruitment of females had declined. Thus, we used a reverse–time capture–recapture approach to directly estimate survival, seniority and capture probabilities for females of breeding age at Redberry Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada for 1975–1980 and 2000–2003. We also estimated population size of breeding females for 1975–1985 and 2000–2003 using capture–recapture data. Initially, this local population was in serious decline [95% CL (lambda(-)(75-80)) = 0.89 ± 0.09], but has since stabilized and may be slowly increasing [95% CL (lambda(-)(00-03)) = 1.07 ± 0.11]. This reversal in trajectory apparently resulted from increased recruitment rather than increased apparent survival. Importantly, recent recruitment of adult females appeared to be driven solely by immigration of adult females with no detectable in situ recruitment, suggesting a hypothesis that the local population is being rescued by females produced elsewhere.

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2002

Introduction to an Inventory of the Ecological Services Provided by Ranchers and Farmers in the Redberry Lake Biosphere Reserve
Céline Bonnel and
Olivier Garrigou
Ecole Nationale du Génie Rural, des Eaux et des Forêts

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The study addresses the inventory of ecological services provided by farmers and ranchers in the Redberry Lake World Biosphere Reserve. This project is one of the medium term strategic actions outlined in the Community’s Plan for Sustainability. It specifically addresses the following action: Develop compensatory mechanisms for ecological services performed by local farmers and ranchers.

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Note: Some figures have been removed to ensure the entire report can be easily downloaded.

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