Trent University is joining with world leaders and EarthDay.org to celebrate Earth Day 2021 – and this year’s theme to recognize the natural processes, emerging green technologies and innovative thinking that will help us #RestoreOurEarth.
For almost 60 years, Trent has been a leader in environmental education as one of Canada’s top postsecondary environmental institutions, and the University of choice for future environmental leaders. Whether it be through the renowned Trent School of the Environment, state-of-the-art facilities, top teaching and research expertise, or through stewardship of the second-to-none natural assets on our picturesque 1400-acre Peterborough campus, Trent continues to challenge the way we think about environmental programs and sustainability initiatives.
Here are just a few of the environmental highlights from the past year at Trent:
New Cutting-Edge Environmental Programs
- New for 2021, Trent’s Climate Change Science and Policy Specialization allows students to dive into the challenges and solutions for climate change and build a strong foundation of knowledge and skills to equip them to become environmental leaders.
- The recently announced Small-scale Farming Specialization will inspire a new crop of sustainable farmers, giving students over 240 hours of real-world, hands-on learning experiences that will lay the groundwork for their future success.
Impactful Student Supports
- The new Patricia Morton Graduate Scholarship in Climate Change will benefit graduate students from across disciplines who are conducting Canada-based research on climate change.
Renowned Environmental Research
Leading researchers at Trent help to solve complex problems and contribute to high-calibre research across a diverse range of fields on campus, in our communities and around the world. This year, innovative student and faculty research has led to environmental discoveries including:
- the impact of climate change on breeding success in birds;
- how to decontaminate PPE to reduce waste;
- predicting the future state of aquatic ecosystems through excretions from freshwater fish, and the hibernation habits of flying squirrels and bats.
Recognized leaders at Trent are changing the way we think about the environment, including Dr. Anne Pasek, who was appointed Canada research chair in Media, Culture and the Environment in December. Dr. Pasek is exploring the cultural politics of climate change and investigating the carbon footprint of the internet to better understand what a post-carbon future might look like.
This year, Trent continued to make environmental headlines. Here are just a few:
- Exploring impact of nanosilver on fish and freshwater (The Globe and Mail)
- Filming firsts: Capturing wildlife behavior that’s brand new to science (CBC)
- Not so solitary: Lynx surprise scientists (CBC)
- Rolling back Canadian environmental regulations during coronavirus is short-sighted (The Conversation)
Trent University also holds a place as one of the world’s top green universities, named #3 in Canada and among the top 100 environmental university campuses worldwide, in the 2020 UI GreenMetric World University Rankings. Trent also ranked 17th in the waste category and 70th in the education and research category globally.
The newest addition to Trent’s leading and renowned environmental facilities, the University’s state-of-the-art Forensics Crime Facility, is setting new academic and environmental standards.
Opening to students in May, this first-of-its-kind professional forensics training building to be constructed on a Canadian university campus, aims to be Canada’s first zero-carbon building certified by the International Living Future Institute.
Trent Lands and Nature Areas Plan
Trent is ready to implement a bold campus vision for a sustainable future. The Trent Lands and Nature Areas Plan – a long-term vision for how the Symons Campus will develop new spaces for learning and living while at the same time preserving 60% of its lands as natural and green spaces – was approved by Trent’s Board of Governors in February.
Environmental Stewardship and Green Initiatives
Here are a few examples of sustainable initiatives that Trent has championed this year:
- Trent continues to collaborate globally on environmental issues including in leading the UArctic Læra Institute for Circumpolar Education, and hosting the first virtual science and policy workshop through the International Institute for Environmental Studies.
- The Trent Centre for Communication Conservation was approved and will convey science research and findings to the public while helping resolve environmental issues and advance conservation issues in society.
- Canada’s premier cleantech destination, Cleantech Commons, is partnering with the City of Peterborough to diversify the local economy and create myriad opportunities for researchers, students and job seekers.
These stories represent just a sample of all the ways the environment is central to teaching, working and studying at Trent University. For more examples of how Trent is living up to its reputation as a leader in sustainability and the environment, visit the Sustainability Office website and the Trent School of the Environment.