University of Regina opens Institute for Environmental Change and Society

News Release Release Date: May 13, 2014 11:00 a.m.

The University of Regina today officially opened a new $13-million Institute of Environmental Change and Society (IECS) in the Research and Innovation Centre. The 6,500 square foot research centre will be home to Canada Research Chairs and allied scholars studying the interactions between human society and the environment, particularly with respect to water quality, availability, use and protection.

IECS provides world-class infrastructure and research expertise to faculty, students and staff from regional, national and international agencies. The facility includes all equipment required to conduct cutting-edge research with an environmental focus, including diverse field equipment, superb analytical capabilities, advanced computation, and next-generation chemical analyses.

“Our central goal is to understand how we affect the environment and how it affects us,” said Dr. Peter Leavitt, Canada Research Chair in Environmental Change and Society and director of the lab. “Water and water quality are of enormous social importance in Saskatchewan and the world. This new institute builds on 20 years of national leadership in aquatic sciences at University of Regina and will allow us to remain at the forefront of world-class environmental research.”

“Canada is a global leader in protecting surface water,” says Dr. Gilles Patry, President and CEO for the Canada Foundation for Innovation. “The state-of-the-art research equipment and the significant expertise of the researchers at this institute will help to ensure that we continue to be at the forefront, particularly in the area of new organic pollutants and the impact they have on water quality, ecosystem integrity, wildlife conservation and human health.”

IECS will also provide national leadership in the natural sciences. One of its first initiatives will be to host the Canadian Institute of Ecology and Evolution (CIEE). This is the first time that CIEE has been hosted in western Canada. CIEE is a consortium of 30 Canadian universities with the mission of expanding and accelerating scientific discovery on the natural environment and its contributions to the national well being.

Construction of the new IECS commenced in 2010. The project was funded in partnership with the Canada Foundation for Innovation ($2.8 million), the Government of Saskatchewan ($5.4 million), the Canadian Knowledge Infrastructure Program (KIP) ($2 million), the Government of Canada ($2 million) private industry ($700,000) and other organizations.  

For more information about CIEE, visit: www.iecs-uregina.ca. For more information about CIEE, visit: www.ciee-icee.com.