Executive Council Office

Canadian Mountain Network—Yukon Initiating Group

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Collaborative. Interdisciplinary. Inclusive.
Canadian Mountain Network: Better Together
Canadian mountain research


About the Canadian Mountain Network

The Canadian Mountain Network (CMN) is a voluntary alliance of numerous partners from universities, colleges, governments, community organizations, First Nations and businesses dedicated to the sustainability of mountain environments and communities across the country and around the world. It was established in 2016 and is in the early stages of establishing a forum for collaboratively addressing the diverse challenges facing mountain regions by harnessing existing capacities and seeking new resources. Over the next 18 months, the CMN will lead the preparation of a national Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE) proposal. 

Check out the Canadian Mountain Network Portal here

Yukon Initiating Group Discussion Paper

The Canadian Mountain Network is coordinating efforts to submit a proposal to establish a Network of Centres of Excellence dedicated to the sustainability of Canadian mountain environments and communities.

The CMN Yukon Initiating Group prepared this draft discussion paper to provide recommendations on how this network can maximize impacts and benefits to Yukon.

The purpose of this document is to generate additional discussion and solicit feedback. This is a living document; revisions will be made on a regular basis as additional input is received.

Please send any comments on this document to the YukonIG

Download current version (V20170628) here (pdf) >>

Archived Webinar: Developing a Letter of Intent for a Mountain NCE

On Monday, April 10, 2017, the CMN hosted a webinar regarding Developing a Letter of Intent (LOI) for a Mountain NCE.

The webinar was recorded and is now available for viewing here.

The CMN presented draft research themes and modes of doing research and is looking for input on these to inform the development of the LOI that will be submitted to the anticipated NCE competition opening in Spring 2017 (LOI expected to be due August 2017).

The CMN invites your feedback in the writing of the LOI. Please send any feedback on the webinar to mountainnce@ualberta.ca or access the webinar feedback forms here.

Yukon Initiating Group

The first step in establishing this network has been to form initiating groups across the country to understand mountain research needs, expand network participation and create more opportunities for collaboration. 

The Yukon Initiating Group (Yukon IG) is one of five regional bodies that serves as a point of contact during the initial development of the CMN and the NCE proposal.

Each Initiating Group has been asked to provide advice in order for the CMN to coordinate activities, leverage resources, create strategic documents, catalogue infrastructure, establish a baseline of mountain research, and develop the NCE Letter of Intent.

The Yukon IG, is a voluntary advisory body of individuals collectively motivated by an interest in stimulating discussions to inform the development of this research network so it maximizes impacts and benefits to Yukon.

The Yukon IG has drafted a discussion paper on five topics to provide preliminary feedback to the Canadian Mountain Network on its establishment, relevance and potential benefits to Yukon. The intent of the discussion paper is to summarize the outcomes of Yukon IG meetings in fall 2016 and winter 2017 on each of these topics and to stimulate additional discussion.

  1. Partner engagement and benefits: Who is involved in mountain research in Yukon and who benefits?
  2. Research themes: What mountain-related research is currently being conducted, and what research needs have been identified but have yet to be funded?
  3. Research data management: How should research data generated by the CMN be managed? What physical, administrative and technical structure is needed in order to share data with both the public and researchers?
  4. Highly qualified personnel (HQP):  What needs to be considered in the CMN plan to train HQP to develop needed capacity in Yukon?
  5. Research infrastructure: What infrastructure is available to support research in Yukon, and what additional research infrastructure is needed?

Haines Junction Mountain Festival

An exciting celebration of the UN's International Mountain Day was held in Haines Junction December 9-11, 2016 at the St. Elias Convention Centre. Planning is underway for a second annual mountain festival in December 2017. Stay tuned for more information.

For more information visit the Haines Junction Mountain Festival website.


The Science Community of Practice (SCOPe) and CMN hosted a workshop in Whitehorse on June 23, 2016 to share information and get early feedback on the network.

The University of Alberta hosted a workshop in Edmonton on January 11 and 12, 2016 to determine if there was sufficient interest to develop a Letter of Intent and Full Application for a new NCE.

The Yukon College, Government of Yukon and University of Alberta held an 'early leaders' workshop on May 19, 2015 to discuss interests of early leaders, start to define key elements of a northern-relevant NCE and explore potential governance approaches.

Yukon Initiating Group Members

Name Organization Title
Bronwyn Benkert Yukon Research Centre, Yukon College Manager, Northern Climate ExChange
Michel Bararer    Ecole de technologie superieure, Universite du Quebec Professor
Matthew Berry University of Alberta CMN Partnership Development
Ellen Bielawski University of Alberta and Yukon College Professor
Doug Clark University of Saskatchewan, School of Environment and Sustainability Centennial Chair and Associate Professor
Suzanne de La Barre Vancouver Island University Department of Recreation and Tourism Management, Umea University Department of Geography and Economic History, Yukon College Faculty, Research Associate. Adjunct Faculty
Sam Darling     McGill University, Sustainable Futures Research Laboratory PhD Student
Shailyn Drukis

Canadian Committee for IUCN and Global Youth Biodiversity Network

Board of Directors and Co-Founder
Roger Epp UAlberta North Director
Meagan Grabowski Jane Glassco Northern Fellowship Fellow
Kate Harris Freelance Writer
Gordon Hickey McGill University, Sustainable Futures Research Laboratory Associate Professor
Brian Horton    Yukon Research Centre Research Project Coordinator
Jill Johnstone University of Saskatchewan, Department of Biology Professor
Jeff Kavanaugh   University of Alberta CMN Planning Co-Lead
Sabrina Kinsella   Government of Yukon, Health and Social Services Health Research Analyst
Tyler Kuhn Government of Yukon, Fish and Wildlife Branch A/Manager, Habitat Programs
Merran Smith Council of Yukon First Nations Climate Change Community Liaison
Lisa Mahon Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service Boreal Landbird Biologist
Ellorie McKnight University of Alberta, Biological Sciences Department PhD Student
Kate Neville University of Toronto, Department of Political Science and School of the Environment Assistant Professor
Aynslie Ogden Government of Yukon, Executive Council Office Science Advisor
Christine Plante University of the Highlands & Islands, Sustainable Mountain Development MSc Candidate
Don Reid Wildlife Conservation Society Associate Conservation Zoologist         
Clint Sawicki Yukon Research Centre, Yukon College Interim VP Research
Michael Schmidt Arctic Institute of North America, Kluane Lake Research Station Science Coordinator
Fiona Schmiegelow University of Alberta and Yukon College Professor
Maxine White Yukon Invasive Species Council  Director
Sian Williams Arctic Institute of North America, Kluane Lake Research Station Station Manager
Bob Van Dijken Retired Scientist  Retired 

Get involved! 

Contact us to discuss:

  • You and or your organization's interest to register to be part of the network
  • Your interest in volunteering to participate in the Yukon Initiating Group, network committees and or to help with other tasks.
  • Download the how to get involved form >>
  • Call (867-667-5431) or email us to discuss your interests

Submit your feedback:

Canadian Mountain Network LogoContact us

Dr. Aynslie Ogden, Senior Science Advisor
Executive Council Office
Government of Yukon
Phone: 867.667.5431
Email: aynslie.ogden@gov.yk.ca

Mailing address:
P.O. Box 2703 (A-16)
Whitehorse, Yukon
Y1A 2C6