Training program objectives

The long-term main objective of Ufor is to develop a permanent, innovative, interdisciplinary and interuniversity graduate training program (in two languages) in urban-forest management across Canada. The program will train the future leaders by linking top Canadian researchers with diverse specialties from different regions and universities.

This training program is developed in close collaboration with the Centre for Forest research (CFR), the Quebec Centre for Biodiversity Science (QCBS), Tree Canada Foundation, the Canadian Urban Forest Network, several local municipalities, various NGO, and our academic and industrial partners. Together, we create a new Canada-wide inter-university and interdisciplinary graduate training program in urban forestry science. The professors, researchers, partners, post-docs and students participating in Ufor will meet regularly in person or via video-conferencing for formal, structured discussions on their research, cutting-edge scientific approaches and on the latest developments in the fields of urban forestry management. An intensive one-week hands-on summer school in socio-ecological urban planning and applications of urban forestry will be offered annually to all funded trainees. Web-based courses such as urban forest conservation and in-person planning, restoration principles, urban soil management, leadership and governance in complex socio-ecological environments, will be developed and made available to all interested graduate students and professionals. These courses will cover theoretical concepts as well as case studies for state-of-the-art urban forestry management in Canada and worldwide.

As well as creating our own teaching material, we will invite world-leading experts in the field to visit Ufor and contribute to our courses and other educational activities (e.g. seminars, workshops). Funding will allow us to: (1) provide stipends to students from Canada and abroad to visit and participate in our activities; and (2) send students for prolonged visits to the world’s best institutes and labs in the field of urban forestry for training (AgroParisTech; Baltimore Ecosystem Study, U. Maryland; Global Urban studies Institute, Berlin).

Novel characteristics of the Ufor training program

  1. Building together cutting-edge ecology and biology: functional traits, meta-community/ecosystem, phylogenetics, biodiversity and modeling, biological control of pests and pathogens when developing the planning and management of UF;
  2. Provision of an interdisciplinary perspective on urban forest planning and management by integrating social sciences, landscape planning, public health and wellbeing perspectives;
  3. Providing a coast-to-coast inter-university long-term elite training program (in two languages) for a wide variety of students interested in making a professional career in this field;
  4. Its complementarity to the Canadian Urban Forest Conference (by Tree Canada) and activities of the Canadian Urban Forest Network, both of which provide online webinar and training packages for partners across Canada;
  5. Fostering novel peer-to-peer training (brain date) by linking students, professionals and researchers from different disciplines and universities in problem-oriented research centres ‘without walls’. The start-up E180, recently established in Montreal, will be involved in this initiative.