SDG 15: Life on Land

Dalhousie sits on the unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq people and recognizes the interconnectedness of all of our relationships — to the environment and to each other — for generations to come. 

At 32-hectares in area, the three Halifax campuses are home to a mixture of native plant species representing some 115 species of woody plants, trees, and shrubs. Despite the pressures of a dense urban environment, the campus natural environment boasts over 1000 trees and 1000 shrubs, green roofs, rain gardens, and one of the oldest trees in Halifax.

The Agriculture Campus is located in an area with a rich history of agricultural production and has many hectares of open space punctuated by gardens, naturalized areas, recreation areas, and over 100 species of plants.

High-impact research

Humans exact 'supersized' toll on world's ecosystems, international study finds

Dr. Boris Worm, a marine ecologist and Killam Research Professor at Dalhousie, co-authored the global study, which is the largest of its kind. One of the most significant findings was how many different species are exploited by humans. As a result, the ecological roles these species perform in ecosystems are under threat from human use.
Read more in Dal News

Dal postdoc predicts health of soil — one of nature's 'storage lockers' for carbon

By determining how long a compound will persist in the soil, researchers, like Dr. Shu, can develop soil management practices that promote sustainable agricultural production and minimize negative impacts on the environment. Dr. Shu is working to help Atlantic Canadian farmers better assess land use management to increase crop production.
Read more in Dal News

Building a better world with the knowledge of Indigenous Peoples

The project, titled Ărramăt will empower Indigenous Peoples to address issues such as food security, human-wildlife management, and the decolonization of science. Led by Dr. Pictou, Dalhousie’s Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Governance,  Ărramăt will involve more than 150 Indigenous organizations, universities, and other partners.
Read more in Dal News

Dalhousie opens Centre for Sustainable Soil Management on Agricultural Campus

The sustainable management of soil is critical to maintaining productivity and ending hunger, achieving food security, and improving nutrition.
Read more in Dal News

Education empowers sustainability

The Education for Sustainability Research Group (ESRG) at Dalhousie University tackles many issues related to education and sustainability through their research activities including environmental education initiatives that reach from pre-school to high school.

Knowledge transfer aimed at changing behaviour and thought

The Green Infrastructure Performance Lab examines the impact of urban growth and change upon natural features & human wellbeing and uses the findings in order to integrate knowledge, influence policy, and sustain ecosystem services.

Previously featured

How Does Your Garden Grow? A new Dal study tracks Nova Scotian gardening habits one pot and plot at a time.

The study, “Home Food Gardening in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic: Lessons for Food Security Considerations,” uses geographic information systems (GIS) technology and crowdsourcing to collect data on home gardening in Nova Scotia. The research team wants to find out the scope and extent to which Nova Scotians have turned to home food production since the onset of the pandemic, and to examine the impact these activities have on food security in the province.
Read more in DAL Magazine

Exceptional student experience

Student “building bee” creates new space for pollinators on campus

The project involved coordinating and working with various groups on campus to create two pollinator walls and a standalone planter that will be installed during Biodiversity Week. The walls, designed by architechture students, include a bench for observation. The vine on the wall will be red to attract different pollinators but many of the native perennials in the planters will have colours to attract bees.
Read more in Dal News

Out standing in their field

Environmental Science Field Schools allow students to gain skills in flora and fauna identification and inventory, assessment of ecosystem health, and sampling methods for air and soil.

How a group of Dal educators has transformed the outdoors into a classroom

A group of educators from across Dal has created a unique approach to helping students appreciate the richness of nature close at hand through an annual event known as Dal Biodiversity Day.
Read more in Dal News

Start from the ground up

Why and how do volcanoes erupt? Where do we look for oil and reliable water supplies? Why is our climate is changing? The disciplines of Earth Sciences play a crucial role in answering questions such as these and developing insight into the Earth's evolution, composition, processes and future.

Help build a greener economy

Integrated Environmental Management offers training in green science and technology. Founded on the four pillars of bio-resources — technology, energy, water, and waste — students gain the skills to create sustainable solutions to our national and global resource management and food production needs.

Previously featured

Grad profile: A steward of the land

"The Landscape Architecture program at Dalhousie includes fascinating courses such as Urban Tree Management, Environmental Studies, Environmental Processes and Ecohydrology,” explained Victoria. “These courses have emphasized the importance of our natural environment and the necessity to work and learn from this beautiful life sustaining ecosystem."
Read more in Dal News

Civic university with global impact

Truro Campus Rock Garden receives international accolades

The Truro Rock Garden is one of the two largest rock gardens in Atlantic Canada and is one of the most significant horticultural features in Eastern Canada. Horticulture and wood construction students play a large role in contributing to the garden, which recently received the Frank Cabot Public Garden Award during the North American Rock Garden Society annual conference held on the Truro campus this year.
Read more in Faculty of Agriculture news

Bridge Into Agriculture: A Program for African Nova Scotians

Hosted by the Extended Learning Department of the Dalhousie Faculty of Agriculture, Bridget Into Agriculture will help bridge the gap between African Nova Scotian communities and agriculture through a 22-week online course that includes growing a small vegetable garden.
Read more in Faculty of Agriculture news

Lessons from the land: Dal's SuperNOVA teams up with Indigenous educational group for first land‑based STEM camp

The program is free of charge and offers students unique learning opportunities across a rich landscape. From studying fish life cycles along traditional Mi’kmaw waterways to applying engineering concepts while building a sweat lodge, activities will use nature as a guide, recognizing the inherent connection that Indigenous peoples have always had with the land.
Read more in Dal News

Helping nourish garden and community

The Garden Box was created by the Faculty of Agriculture to provide freely accessible, scientifically credible, gardening information. The compilation of factsheets and workshop guides are made available to the public on our website, free of charge.

Previously featured

Exhibition at Dalhousie Art Gallery: Plant Kingdom

Plant Kingdom emerged as a means to reflect on the ways that life on our planet is dependent upon, enriched by, and indebted to plants. The elements of this exhibition, both in the Gallery and offsite, present and engage with the ways in which plants are integral to the cultivation and creation of material culture, and how this represents the larger value of plants to our planet.
Read more in Today@Dal

Foundation for inclusion and distinction

Setting the standard for Dalhousie's natural environment

To guide the management of campus landscapes, Dalhousie has a Natural Environment Guideline Document [PDF - 3.6MB] and a Natural Environment Plan [PDF - 23.2 MB] that outline standards for the management of the campus natural environment, including a diameter tree replacement policy, approved plant lists, and standards for stormwater management.

Campus Biodiversity Week 2023

The Office of Sustainability is thrilled to once again invite Dal staff, students, and faculty to join our tours and workshops to learn more about the importance of biodiversity including an Indigenous Plant Medicine Walk, Pollinator Wall Planting, and the Solar Butterfly Exhibit.
Read more in the events calendar

Rooted in collaboration

The annual Boots 'n' Blooms event on the Agricultural Campus invites staff, faculty and friends to sign up and contribute some sweat equity into the campus gardens.

Supporting species at risk

Dal's Species at Risk assessment, is based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species. This monitoruing nad planning list helps to guide plantings and protections on campus.

College Royal

Over 100 students participate in the annual College Royal event which demonstrates a dedication to maintaining the culture of animal-husbandry and health, while improving public awareness of agricultural issues. The event has been a part of the campus culture since 1935.
Read more in Faculty of Agriculture news

Previously featured

Planting project aims to restore biodiversity in a charming corner of campus

A wooded area tucked behind Shirreff Hall residence on Studley Campus is the site of an exciting new project that promises to bring greater biodiversity back to this charming corner of campus. Samantha Ceci, a Master of Resource and Environmental Management student, initiated a 'hugelkultur bed.’ It’s the second new biodiversity initiative introduced on Studley Campus in 2021. An Indigenous pollinator garden opened nearby on the north side of the Henry Hicks Building, a partnership between the Dalhousie Art Gallery and members of Dal's Indigenous Advisory Council.
Read more in Dal News