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Anne Salomon, assistant professor in the School of Resource and Environmental Management, shows off a sea otter skull.

Partnership will boost Central Coast research

October 7, 2010

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The Tula Foundation is partnering with SFU and providing as much as $8 million over eight years to create the Hakai Network for Coastal People, Ecosystems and Management.

The network will focus on the sustainability, resilience and well being of the people and ecosystems of B.C.’s Central Coast.

The partnership will enable SFU researchers to work with First Nations and other collaborators to study ecological and social sustainability and implement ecosystem-based management.

The network will also address education, training and capacity-building issues in the communities on the Central Coast, traditional home of the Heiltsuk, Kitasoo/Xai’xais, Nuxalk and Wuikinuxv First Nations.

The Tula Foundation (www.tula.org) is a B.C.-based private family foundation created by Eric Peterson and Christina Munck in 2002 and headquartered on Quadra Island.

Says Eric Peterson, foundation president: "I have been working with SFU researchers since 2006 and have been impressed not only with their research abilities, but also with the practical working relationships that they have established with the First Nations.

"Together, we will build on this base to achieve some of the lofty ideals set forth in the plan to protect the Great Bear Rainforest. We will be a showpiece of making policy real on the coastal landscape."

Says SFU President Andrew Petter, "This initiative is a strong endorsement for SFU’s new Faculty of Environment.

"The Tula Foundation has gained a reputation for making smart and strategic investments that have a positive impact over several years. It is a great honour to have been selected for this important venture."

The foundation’s Hakai Beach research station, on the northern tip of Calvert Island, will be the home base for much of the field research.

The facility includes meeting rooms, dormitories, laboratory space, docks, research vessels and, most importantly, a wealth of technical expertise and scientific leadership.

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Lesley Bullard

This is great! I am most interested in hearing how this initiative will address training and capacity-building. Can you email updates?

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