GIER Newsletter August 2022

GIER's Perennial Symposium

"Perennial is a reflection of the continuous nature of our work at GIER. It encourages us to reflect on our theme of Edge Effects –the unique interactions in the border spaces — throughout the year rather than for a single event."

For GIER's second Symposium since our launch event, we have decided to shift our focus from the annual to the perennial, and rename our yearly event celebrating interdisciplinary research. This year we ask ourselves, what kinds of unique relationships might we create and sustain over the long-term? What new mitigation or adaptation strategies will we develop as climate change unfolds? And how can collaborations between our unique disciplines continue to create space for new, and pertinent questions? 

Visit our Perennial Symposium page to learn more about our new symposium style, our Small Grants Program research, our Early Career Researcher Community and more! 

Read more about our Perennial Symposium



Environment Bound with GIER

Environment Bound is GIER's newest event series developed by our Collaboratory for Creative Writing, Environmental Sciences and the Arts. In this series we invite authors (writing in any genre) who work at the nexus of research and writing in any aspect of the environment to join us for interdisciplinary discussions.

GIER is pleased to partner with The Bookshelf and the Eden Mills Writers' Festival for Environment Bound, as well as the Department of Integrative Biology, the College of Arts, the School of Environmental Sciences, the Department of Geography, Environment, and Geomatics, and the Arboretum.

Our most recent event was a conversation with Amy Brady and Tajja Isen on their new climate change anthology, The World As We Knew It. Our next Environment Bound event, will be held at the Eden Mills Writers' Festival on September 11th, and features authors Merilyn Simonds (Woman, Watching) and Julia Zarankin (Field Notes from an Unintentional Birder) hosted by Dr. Madhur Anand.

Read more about Environment Bound 



GIER Goes to the Ecological Society of America Meeting in Montreal


GIER was delighted to host an Organized Oral Session at the 2022 joint meeting of the Ecological Society of America (ESA) and Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution (CSEE) on August 18th.

We invited leading researchers from GIER and other institutions in Canada and the US working at the interface of environmental sciences and creative writing to present their work and lead discussions on the topic of "Re-visioning Ecology and Evolution." 



ENVIRONS: A Fall Gathering for GIER Affiliates

GIER will be hosting ENVIRONS, an interdisciplinary gathering on Friday October 28 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. We invite GIER Affiliates to join us for an exciting day of short interdisciplinary discussions on the climate emergency and biodiversity crisis.

If you would like to participate in this event (give a short 5-10 minute talk), please contact us at ASAP as spots will be limited. Participation is free and lunch will be included. It will be a wonderful way to make connections with colleagues across disciplines.



GIER's YESWriters Workshop

GIER hosted our first Young Environmental Science Writers Workshop (YESWriters) this summer. YESWriters brought together scientists and artists to guide young writers through new and interdisciplinary ways of articulating environmental issues and connecting with their surroundings. 

GIER Director and GIER GRAs from Philosophy, Environmental Sciences, and Engineering met with students from schools in Guelph, Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge (Monsignor Doyle Catholic Secondary School, Eastwood Collegiate Institute, John F. Ross, University of Guelph). Students gathered the week of July 18th - 22nd for a series of writing workshops on UofG Campus and a visit to the Arboretum.

GIER is currently working with several GIER Affiliates (Dr. Scott Krayenhoff, Prof. Catherine Bush, Dr. Ryan Gregory, Dr. Amy Newman) to develop a "Field Guide" to help our young writers continue their writing while learning about the natural world through science and storytelling.




Interdisciplinary Lenses on Ecological Restoration  

Is restoration more than just planting trees?

How can we integrate cultural and human elements into conservation? 

Join Dr. Emily Gonzales, Ecological Restoration Specialist and Chair of the Society for Ecological Restoration's Science and Policy Committee, at the 2022 ArbExpo on Sept 10th.   

In this 3-hour hands-on workshop for students and practitioners, Dr. Gonzales will guide attendees through topics of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration and teach them how to apply the Ecological Recovery System, a tool to track restoration projects, using Arboretum lands as a case study. This workshop will be of particular interest to GIER early career researchers.

Register now, as spots are limited! 




GIER and the Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation (AMNH)

GIER is pleased to initiate a collaboration with the Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation (AMNH) for their Student Conference on Conservation Science - NY, a conference held annually for graduate students.

The CBC "transforms knowledge—from diverse sources and perspectives, and spanning areas of scientific research as well as traditional and local knowledge—into conservation action [and seeks] to advance diversity, inclusion, and equity in the field of conservation towards a culturally vibrant conservation workforce."

The CBC is interested in GIER's work in interdisciplinary research, particularly at the interface of arts and sciences. This year, in support of this collaboration, GIER would like to send early career researcher delegates to virtually attend the conference by covering their registration costs. The conference will be held Oct 3rd-7th

If you are a graduate student interested in interdisciplinary environmental research, and exploring multiple facets of conservation work, please contact us at before October 3rd.



New Kinross Chair in Environmental Governance

Please join GIER in welcoming Stephanie Cairns, who will be serving as the fourth visiting Kinross Chair in Environmental Governance. As Chair, Stephanie will be facilitating interdisciplinary conversations around environment, and we would love for the GIER community to get involved.

As Chair, Stephanie will organize panel discussions around systems change and serve as a resource for faculty and students. She has given an open invitation to meet to discuss potential collaborations.

Please do reach out to Stephanie Cairns at

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