What We Do
Northern Canada is a vast, unique, and sensitive land and seascape – and is facing unprecedented challenges. Climate change is causing severe impacts to northern ecosystems as well as communities, and is occurring at a rate two to four times faster in the North than the rest of the country. Changes in northern Canada due to climate change include loss of species and shifts in ecosystem and species distribution, increased extreme weather events and changing disturbance regimes, and changing snow and ice conditions.
The aim of the Weston Family Foundation’s Northern Science and Research funding is, ultimately, to protect and restore biodiversity through increasing ecological stewardship and sustainability and increasing knowledge and awareness of northern ecosystems.
Since 2007, our Foundation has committed nearly $40 million to northern natural science research through scientists, non-profit organizations, and government agencies to support a better understanding of northern Canada and foster more informed decision-making. Through the Weston Family Awards in Northern Research, more than 350 early career northern researchers have been supported as graduate students or postdoctoral fellows, forming a community of Weston Family Northern Scholars at the forefront of research in northern Canada.
What We Fund
Although our work is continuously evolving, we have the following priorities for our funding:
- Land Use Planning & Management – through funding applied conservation and stewardship programs, the Foundation supports the ongoing protection and management of northern habitat and ecosystems.
- Research & Training – support for investigative science, through university- and Indigenous-led research projects, increases understanding of ecosystems and natural processes and provides evidence on which Indigenous and governmental decision-makers can make informed natural resource management decisions.
- Infrastructure & Technology – research and conservation in northern Canada is challenging due to the vastness of the landscape and challenging weather conditions. Funding infrastructure and technology development helps to alleviate some of these barriers to research and conservation.