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Training, research & novel applications

International Ecological Footprint Learning Lab

The BCIT Centre for Ecocities is collaborating with York University and the University of Iceland on an International Ecological Footprint Learning Lab project. This project, led by York University, is supported by the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council’s (SSHRC) Partnership Grant Award which will provide $2,486,181 towards the project. This seven-year project will improve methodologies, knowledge, and student training in ecological footprinting at the urban scale.

The partnership draws on the strengths of York University, the University of Iceland, BCIT, and the Global Footprint Network, creating a concentration of novel research applications and teaching expertise. The overarching goal is to teach, apply, decolonize, and improve upon the measurement of Ecological Footprint and Biocapacity (EFB) through four main objectives:

  1. Train an interdisciplinary generation of sustainability students: The partnership will train 74+ graduate students and two postdoctoral fellows over seven years to effectively engage with issues at the intersection of sustainability empirics and justice challenges.
  2. Forge a vibrant international EFB research network: This partnership will bring together international research units and implement a co-created research agenda building on the strengths of global researchers.
  3. Generate novel sustainability solutions: Research within the partnership will focus on four areas collectively defined by the international research network and explicit stakeholder needs. The areas include models and metrics, responsive scaling, behaviour change, and methodological improvements.
  4. Transform global sustainability practices: We will disseminate findings and solutions through a comprehensive knowledge mobilization plan which focuses on innovative approaches for taking research to action.

The BCIT Centre for Ecocities will receive $180,000 to support up to nine graduate students to build their knowledge in ecological footprint analysis at the urban scale. This training serves as a complement to students’ studies in their given discipline.