Over 20 years ago, a group of academics and parks/protected areas professionals had a vision for an organization that would facilitate networking and lead to better communication and collaboration to provide advice and innovative research that would lead to solutions to challenges in Ontario’s parks and protected areas.
That vision was nurtured and has been fully realized today. CASIOPA – the Centre for Applied Sciences in Ontario Protected Areas – is one of the go-to conferences for those involved in parks and protected areas. It offers a rare chance for provincial staff, NGOs, private sector staff, and academics to meet and communicate the latest strategic and operational innovations.
CASIOPA meetings include an annual conference that focuses on a range of themes – from healthy parks/healthy people to economic drivers to ecological sciences. These conferences have expanded to include even more opportunities for field trips built around that year’s theme and the area surrounding the host community.
CASIOPA offers frequent workshops that appeal to those who would like more skill building or focused strategic initiatives, e.g. training on open source software for wildlife management in protected areas or smaller group discussions on topics like tourism management.
As CASIOPA opens its third decade, the steering committee is dedicated to bringing in even more international speakers and expanding the range of topics for conferences as the foci of parks/protected areas is changing as rapidly as the rest of the world. It is an exciting time to be working in the parks/protected areas domain; come and join us!
- Stephen D. Murphy, Chair, CASIOPA