Applied Geospatial Research Group
Our Vision, Mission, and Values
We work in applied environmental research, but recognize that environmental issues are societal issues. We can't function as an equitable and diverse society without a healthy environment, and we can't truly promote a healthy environment without being an equitable and diverse society.
Just like people are a work in progress and continually learn, evolve and change, this document will also grow and change as we do. Values and goals are not static but evolve over time.
Compassionate leadership in environmental research and education
Remote sensing helps us see the world from unique perspectives. We view research in this field both as a means of understanding natural processes and as a pathway to personal and professional growth.
We work on collaborative projects that apply remote sensing and geospatial technologies to issues in environment and ecology that are connected to specific societal needs. We build multi-sectoral partnerships with stakeholders in industry, government, academics and not-for-profits, since this brings the best chance for success and helps ground our work in a practical way.
Maintaining a welcoming and compassionate working environment is central to our mission. Doing so helps lab members build confidence in themselves while gaining marketable skills in remote sensing, GIS and spatial analysis.
What do we value?
Social Justice in Academia
Most of us present in academia have benefitted from privileges and institutional biases that hinder large segments of our community. We are committed to educating ourselves about different perspectives, identities and experiences, and value practices that eliminate prejudice and injustice in the academic community.
Equity is the provision of support enabling individuals to participate in academia who have faced biases or barriers to advancement. We value equity in our lab practices because everyone deserves the opportunity to participate in science.
We value collaboration because it brings together a variety of skills and perspectives, and allows for more creative solutions to the scientific questions we tackle. We also appreciate the lessons it teaches: cooperation, communication, leadership and teamwork.
Collaboration can occur in many different contexts. We value collaboration amongst lab members for the mutual support and community that it builds. We also value collaboration with a diverse group of external partners for the range of scientific approaches and the network of allies that it produces.
Compassion for others is a responsibility we all share. We recognize that our performance is connected to our emotional state, and trust that we are able to communicate our needs while working to the best of our ability. By approaching our relationships and research with empathy and care we strive to support each other without judgement. We provide recognition and support for both the achievements and challenges of our group members.
We value research aimed at understanding ecosystem functions and that furthers our knowledge of environmental change. We also consider the impact of our own activities (e.g., carbon footprint) and strive to balance the importance and urgency of potential work with its direct or indirect effects, particularly on more vulnerable ecosystems and communities.
Respect for each other within the lab and others outside the lab is paramount. We recognize the importance of mutual respect for each others’ needs and strive for awareness of our actions and behaviour, and their effect on those around us.
Reconciliation and Decolonization in Research
We recognize the importance of addressing reconciliation and decolonization within our work. We are currently educating ourselves on strategies to address both of these in a good way.
“The realization of ii' taa'poh'to'p will require patience, dedication, ongoing dialogue and thoughtful reflection. Reconciliation will be an ongoing process for many years – perhaps generations.”
- UofC Office of Indigenous Engagement