Institute of Urban Ecology

About the Institute of Urban Ecology (IUE)

Founded in 1984, the Institute of Urban Ecology at Douglas College has the unofficial motto “There is nature in my city.” This motto reflects two important ideas: 1. that urban areas have an inherent ecological nature; and 2. that community engagement is an explicit component of the work of the IUE and a vital part of urban ecological sustainability.

Since its establishment, IUE has been involved in a myriad of community-based activities and projects. These projects include: an environmental outreach and education program that reaches about 2000 participants in schools and community organizations in Metro Vancouver each year; participation in community environmental festivals and celebrations, such as Salmon Come Home in Port Coquitlam; support of the Katimavik program, and of the College and Pit Operators Partnership; working with the Britannia Food Garden Project; and giving input to a number of local and regional initiatives related to ecology and development, such as the Metro Vancouver Biodiversity Conservation Strategy.

The IUE also undertakes a variety of research projects related to urban sustainability issues. Recent and current projects include: Urban Bug Gardens, which examined beneficial insects in a community garden in Coquitlam in relation to different planting regimes in the test plots; Biological Control of Greenhouse Pests, which is seeking to develop biological controls for greenhouse pests like aphids and tomato psyllids; Ground Beetles in Urban Habitat Fragments, where these beetles act as bioindicators of habitat health; and the Delta Migratory Bird Study, which looked at the impact of various land uses on migratory bird foraging behaviours.

Staff Members

Dr. Robert McGregor

Executive Director

Dr. Veronica Wahl

IUE Coordinator

More About Institute of Urban Ecology