About Us

Message from the Chair

I’m very proud to begin my term as Chair of the Department of Renewable Resources. The Department isEllen MacDonald comprised of an amazing group of academics, support staff, graduate and undergraduate students who share a thirst for understanding the complexities of natural and managed ecosystems. Our research programs are focused on discovering and disseminating new knowledge on soils, forests, rangelands, crops, water, and wildlife. Through integrated, multidisciplinary approaches we strive to provide the scientific foundation for better approaches to management, conservation, and restoration of ecosystems and landscapes. Our common vision is to balance the economic and social benefits of our bountiful natural resources and lands with recognition of their intrinsic value and a need to ensure future sustained flow of ecological goods and services. We create the knowledge and educate the future leaders needed to meet society’s quest for sustainability.

We are proud of our undergraduate programs in forestry, conservation biology, land reclamation, and environmentally sustainable agriculture. Striving for excellence and innovation in teaching, we believe that students benefit from the opportunity to learn from leading researchers. We place a very high priority on experiential learning through laboratory exercises, short field trips, and off-campus field schools or excursions. Our academic and support staff are committed to offering a welcoming environment for students. We are devoted to providing an enriching undergraduate experience where students develop personal connections with their professors and are given opportunities to establish professional networks and develop skills that will prepare them for their future careers.


Our graduate students come from diverse backgrounds and from around the world. Opportunities for M.Sc. or Ph.D. thesis research, or research projects within our course-based Masters degree, include fundamental and applied topics and the chance to work collaboratively as part of multi-disciplinary teams. Many students do research aimed at solving real-world problems such as environmental sustainability, pollution, soil and water conservation, biodiversity loss, and climate change. There are plenty of opportunities for graduate students to interact with government and industry professionals, learn from them, and work with them to apply research findings.


Explore our web site and check out our Renew newsletters to learn more about the exciting things we are doing. Or better yet, drop in for a visit.


Ellen Macdonald, Professor and Chair
Department of Renewable Resources
751 General Services Building
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
T6G 2H5

Phone: (780) 492-6722
Fax: (780) 492-4323
Email: RRChair@ualberta.ca