Academic Initiative Fund for Sustainability

The SMU Academic Initiative Fund for Sustainability supports the Saint Mary’s University community in undertaking academic-oriented activities that produce a long-term positive impact on sustainability practices and opportunities at the university. Proposals involve at least two of (i) faculty, (ii) staff and (iii) students. Evaluation of proposals is carried out by a committee of three members of the School of the Environment, selected by the School’s Executive. There will be an opportunity to submit proposals in early 2022. If you would like to develop an idea in advance, please see the SMU AIFS Terms of Reference below, and the 2021 Call for Proposals (although this may change for 2022, it will be similar).



Perspectives on Sustainable Approaches to Natural Resource Management in Canada - A webinar series that bridges theory and practice
Autumn Hebb, Emily Snair, and Shreetee Appadu on behalf of Saint Mary’s University Environmental Society, Dr. Cathy Conrad, and Dr. Tony Charles



A Study of the Efficiency of Exam Booklets at Saint Mary's University
Philip Giles, Danielle Graves, Autumn Hebb, Shreetee Devi Appadu, Sifiso Madonko


Pollinator Garden in the Oaks 
Hughstin Grimshaw-Surette, Jeremy Lundholm, Emily Walker, Katie Porter

Indigenous Medicinal Plants Project
Indigenous Student Advising Centre and SMU Counselling Centre 


Sustainable Development through Aquaponics Research
Matthew Glynn, Iain Thompson, Jeremy Lundholm, Laura Weir, and Jared Perry 

Read about this project in the October Issue of the SoE Newsletter.


Curriculum Development and Research Cluster on Environmental Sustainability, Innovation and Entrepreneurship: Ahmed Khan, Ryan Gibson, Eric Crowell and team

UPDATE: This research initiative aimed to assess connections and gaps on sustainability curriculum in order to offer a nexus for interdisciplinary learning that embraces innovation and entrepreneurship. In this light, we examined sustainability-related curriculum offered at Saint Mary’s University across its three main faculties – Arts, Science, and Business, based on curricular content, objectives, and learning outcomes. The research found that the vast majority of courses are electives, as opposed to being core to any major degree programs, and reflects on a genuine student desire for sustainability science. The majority of sustainability courses fall within the scope of the traditional disciplines (e.g. geography and environmental science), implying a gap towards holistic cross-disciplinary sustainability degree programs. Regarding potential concerns to transdisciplinarity, prerequisite course requirements limit enrollment in higher level courses, which create barriers to cross-disciplinary learning. With such a diverse faculty membership and student interests, there are unique opportunities for enhancing transdisciplinary programs on sustainability initiatives that can enrich and contribute to student career options, research and creativity, funding, and partnership programs. 


Revitalization of the Campus Community Garden: Geordan Lynk, Meghan Clarke and team

UPDATE:The revitalized garden beds are producing great bounties and a future project will be to add a water catching barrel. The group will be entering the garden in the Great Sunflower Project where a count of the number of pollinators approaching the garden, once a week, is taken. The team then collaborates with gardens across the United States to see if they get any usable data.