News related to School of Environmental Design and Rural Development

Karen Landman smiling in front of large landscape sketch

Interim Associate Dean (External Relations) Announced

The Ontario Agricultural College (OAC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Prof. Karen Landman as Interim Associate Dean (External Relations) for a one-year term starting May 1, 2017.

The Associate Dean (External Relations) is responsible for issues relating to alumni and development activities, communications, outreach, endowments and student awards. The Associate Dean (External Relations) is also a key member of the OAC senior leadership team.

University of Guelph researchers with Perth County participants standing and kneeling together  at a focus group

Attracting immigrants to rural Ontario

As a way of ensuring their long-term viability, Ontario’s rural communities should do more to attract and keep newcomers in their municipalities – and a University of Guelph professor has developed some recommendations on how to best do that.

Changing demographics are leaving many rural areas struggling with declining populations, and although immigration is a key solution, most of the province’s immigrants prefer to settle in large urban centres like Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton or London.

New SEDRD Director Named

Professor Sean Kelly has been appointed as the new director of the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development (SEDRD) effective January 1, 2017.

OAC Course Earns Canada-First Certification

An online course offered by the University of Guelph's Open Learning and Educational Support along with the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development is the first in Canada to achieve a Quality Matters (QM) Certification Mark.

The online degree-credit course – “Tourism Planning in the Less Developed World” — is taught by sessional instructor Marianne Staempfli, the course looks at tourism as a social construct.

“This is a significant accomplishment,” says Michelle Fach, director of Open Learning and Educational Support.

Head shot photo of Ryan Gibson in front of large blue and green map

New Professor in Regional Economic Development

We are pleased to announce with Libro Credit Union (Libro) the appointment of Prof. Ryan Gibson to the Libro Professorship of Regional Economic Development for southwestern Ontario. The professorship is focused on building economic development and innovation across the region, through world-class research, teaching, outreach and collaboration.

Sheri Longboat smiling in front of green leaves of tree

SEDRD Welcomes New Water Security Researcher

The School of Environmental Design and Rural Development (SEDRD) is pleased to welcome Dr. Sheri Longboat as an assistant professor in rural planning and development. Longboat joined the school on July 1, 2016.

Longboat’s research focuses on water security and governance. Much of her work connects with First Nations and looks to traditional customs and knowledge to redefine our relationship with water.

Government Invests $180 Million in High-Speed Internet

The funding will support the Southwest Integrated Fibre Technology (SWIFT) network, which aims to provide open-access, high-speed fibre optic network capacity to more than 3.5 million people in 300 rural communities, from the Town of Caledon to the Niagara Region to Grey County.

Prof. Helen Hambly and the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC) have provided community engagement, evaluation and research support for the project since 2011.

Statue of two men shaking hands with blue sky and water in background

BLA Project Comes to Fruition in Champlain-Wendat Park

French presence in Ontario dates back to Samuel de Champlain’s first meeting with Chief Aenons of the Wendat Bear Tribe on August 1, 1615.  This meeting in the village of Toanché, now Penetanguishene, would be the beginning of a close relationship with the Huron-Wendat, and would set the foundations for the fur trade in Ontario and a long history of French culture in Upper Canada.

Hay is stacked in a field in front of a white house with a windmill in the background.

The Cart Before the Horse

Lack of availability and affordability of productive farmland is a big challenge for Mennonite families in southwestern Ontario. These restrictions have forced some families to move elsewhere to maintain their traditional lifestyle. Prof. Wayne Caldwell, with master’s student Bryce Sharpe, set out to examine this issue in more detail and depth, aiming to find potential solutions for the Mennonite communities of southwestern Ontario.

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