Welcome to the BEACONs Project

The BEACONs Project was founded at the University of Alberta in recognition for a new approach to conservation planning in North America's boreal region. We are building a credible scientific framework for comprehensive conservation planning through the development and application of leading-edge conservation science that includes consideration of both protected areas and lands managed for other values. The premise of our research is that the ultimate goal of conservation is to identify human activities that are compatible with the maintenance of biological diversity and integrity of ecological systems. The conceptual scientific framework guiding our research is the Conservation Matrix Model.

New Research to Support Pro-Active Conservation Planning: Ecological Benchmarks for the Northwest Boreal Region

In February 2018, we released a suite of products to support pro-active conservation planning and the identification of benchmark networks for the northwest boreal region of North America. Within an adaptive management framework, ecological benchmarks serve as reference areas for detecting and understanding the influence of human activity on ecological systems.

What’s New

  • New Paper on Boreal Refugia

    New Paper on Boreal Refugia

    “Climate‐change refugia in boreal North America: what, where, and for how long?” A new paper led by Diana Stralberg (University of Alberta) explores how to identify and protect climate refugia in boreal North America, a region on the frontlines of climate change. Protecting refugia linked to terrain and peatland ecosystems will be key. https://esajournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/fee.2188| Read More »
  • Northwest Boreal Benchmark Analysis Released

    Northwest Boreal Benchmark Analysis Released

    Visit beaconsproject.ca/nwb to explore the science-based products developed to support land management that sustains the environmental, cultural, and economic values of the northwest boreal region of Canada and Alaska. These products include: Transboundary datasets associated with fire, hydrology, various landscape measures (e.g., land cover, gross primary productivity), and climate change Habitat layers for 10 priority …| Read More »