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NAIT Boreal Research Institute

Who We Are

NAIT’s Boreal Research Institute is a 9,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art research facility located in Peace River, 500 kilometers northwest of Edmonton. It is staffed by a team of research scientists and technicians with professional designations in forestry, biology and agrology.

The Institute’s facility includes two laboratories, office space for 15 people, an outdoor growing space and a three-bay greenhouse that features computer-controlled humidity, temperature and lighting. The facility was funded by NAIT, Alberta Innovation and Advanced Education, and the Canada Foundation for Innovation, with industry funding from Shell Canada and Penn West Petroleum.

The Boreal Research Institute is a leader in applied research relating to forest and peatland reclamation and is an essential partner for applied science, innovation and enterprise development in Alberta’s boreal forest region. With joint funding from the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada and many industry partners, the Institute has established two Industrial Research Chairs for Colleges to advance research in boreal reclamation, reforestation and peatland restoration.

What We Do

The Boreal Research Institute develops scientifically based best practices and applied technologies to address present and emerging knowledge gaps in the management and reclamation of disturbed landscapes. We are committed to enhancing the innovation capacity and competitiveness of our industry partners, and small and medium-sized enterprises, through the timely publication of technical information and ready access to our research expertise and technology.

Our mission is to promote the informed use of boreal resources through applied science, education, and partnerships with industry, government agencies, practitioners and academic partners.

Our Expertise

The Boreal Research Institute is instrumental in providing novel, scientifically proven, and cost-effective reclamation methods, products, and education for industry in four key programs:

Forest Reclamation – we innovate boreal reforestation methods for industry to improve reclamation success while reducing management risks and costs

Peatland Restoration – we advance technologies in peatland reclamation and management to reduce the industrial footprint on boreal peatland communities

Plant & Seed Technologies – we facilitate the collection, treatment, and delivery of native boreal shrub, forb and graminoid species for reclamation in north-western Alberta

Research Extension & Education – we promote the timely publication of relevant applied research to enable industry to meet ecological reclamation and reforestation standards on forest and peatland sites throughout Alberta