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September 2012 



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View the 2012-13 brochure of Student Opportunities!


September 12, 2012 


September 25, 2012 


September 26, 2012


Read the latest W3  

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IRIS Will Be Tabling This Wednesday, Sept 12

The IRIS team will be tabling alongside several student clubs for the largest event on campus: YorkFEST. Come see us this Wednesday from 9 am to 5 pm.  

Chat with the IRIS staff and volunteers to learn more about the team and all the exciting initiatives we have planned for the year. Sign up for volunteer initiatives!!   

IRIS Director and YorkU Professor Shares her Experience after her Year Long Sabbatical

To quote Sam Gamgee "Well I'm back", after a wonderful sabbatical year, most recently, from 3 months in my old department at Oxford University. Nearly every day I walked past The Eagle and Child pub where JRR Tolkien,  

CS Lewis and their fellow Inklings hung out. Oxford is dripping with history and it was fun to be back there after 22 years.


I extend my thanks and appreciation to Professor Stepan Wood, for the stellar job that he did as IRIS' Acting Director this past academic year (2011-2012).  


I return as IRIS Director for 2012-2013, refreshed and recharged by the work of my sabbatical, and I look forward to re-engaging with my IRIS colleagues, the York community and fellow Canadians.


The Sabbatical, in which we are paid 80% of our salary for 12 months, continues to be an important perk in Academia. Many consider it essential for allowing quality research to flourish and develop. The concept comes from the biblical tradition of resting every seventh year,


During the past year I had the opportunity to recalibrate my academic reputation and achievements and also to calibrate the standing and achievements of IRIS. I spent the year as a Research Fellow at Harvard Forest, Harvard University and as a Visiting Researcher in the Biodiversity Institute, an Oxford University Martin Interdisciplinary School.

Read more. 
New SSHRC Partnership Grant Research Collaboration
The Sustainability and Education Policy Network (SEPN) is a research-based partnership between academic research institutions and national/international organizations, supported by a 2 million dollar SSHRC Partnership Grant (2012-2019) and led by the University of Saskatchewan (PI, Dr. Marcia McKenzie). The York component is led by IRIS' Core Faculty member Steve Alsop, from the Faculty of Education, and also includes York Faculty members Don Dippo, Leesa Fawcett, Anders Sandberg and Timothy Leduc. Congratulations York Profs!!

SEPN will examine which existing and new policies and innovations indicate the most promise for enabling educational change for a more sustainable future, including in relation to educational institutions' approaches to curriculum, research, facilities operations, governance, and broader engagement with community and place.  The research program is unique in its scope and inclusive methodology of engaging multiple communities across primary to tertiary education, regionally and nationally, and via multi-sector consultation and collaboration.

Learning for a Sustainable Future is one of the partnering organizations. Learn more about SEPN.
Come Visit IRIS at 305 York Lanes!
Make time on Tuesday September 25th, and stop by the 305 York Lanes (3-5pm) for an overview of the research happening on our floor. We will begin with an overview of Knowledge Mobilization by Michael Jhonny. Following the presentation visit the centres and projects, and meet and greet our team. Not only does this event provide you with an up-close look into IRIS research and the IRIS office, it also gives you a chance to meet other amazing organizations located on our floor. This includes organizations such as:

We look forward to seeing you!


 Green Change Project: 2999 Jane Street  

On Wednesday, September 26, 2012 a sustainable furniture design workshop will be held for the Green Change Project, an initiative of the Jane/Finch Community and Family Centre. The designed pieces are for the new space at 2999 Jane Street. Furniture building workshops will follow in November - we are espeically looking for students, staff and faculy with carpenty skills to help out. Come out to the Driftwood Community Centre, Room 2 from 5-9 pm to plan the sustianable furniture pieces! Please email Annette ( or Calra ( to learn more. 

More About IRIS and this Newsletter


The Institute for Research and Innovation in Sustainability is a university-wide research centre that pursues an interdisciplinary approach to the challenges of sustainability. Through our collaborations on sustainability related research projects and innovative initiatives, we hope to generate awareness amongst the York University community of our social, natural and economic spheres, while engaging students, staff and faculty in action that creates change on campus and beyond.


The IRIS Newsletter is a way to keep you informed about what we are up to so that you can drop by an event, get involved, or just learn about what research projects we are currently undertaking. The Newsletter is sent out once or twice per month, highlighting the IRIS, York University, and broader community's sustainability news and events!

Phone: +1.416.736.2100 ext. 33631


Institute for Research & Innovation in Sustainability

York University
349 York Lanes 4700 Keele St.
Toronto, ON M3J 1P3