Alberta Tomorrow Foundation
Our Story Why We Exist
Alberta has seen unprecedented change in the past few decades, resulting in a vibrant and prosperous economy but placing strain on our natural landscape - the land, air and water, that sustain it.
Picture in your mind a place in Alberta you used to visit, drive by, or live in. Now imagine what is looks like today. Has it been changed into something totally different? Was it a slough that contained hundreds of breeding ducks, a colorful wildflower meadow, or a dense forest where you were guaranteed to see moose that has now become a city or town? Land-uses such as oil and gas, agriculture, forestry settlement and recreation are all competing for limited resources.
Unfortunately our land and resources are finite, and future growth must follow land-use plans that balance the environmental, economic and societal values of all Albertans.
"It was interesting to see the changes the landscape has been through over the past 100 years and how by using best practices in our daily lives, we can help make the future better." Grade 11 student
"Before using Alberta Tomorrow I didn't know what ecology was. Now I want to be a Biologist." - Grade 4 student
“One of the most critical issues confronting contemporary society is the need to effectively plan our future landscapes. Proper planning requires an understanding of the trade-offs being made as we chose to how to provide Albertan’s with food, fiber, shelter, recreation, energy, transportation and other infrastructures. These concepts may sound complex but they can be understood by young adults. Alberta Tomorrow is a dynamic online tool that helps Albertans of all ages understand the importance of this issue and how they might become involved in the dialogue of building a future Alberta we will be proud of.”
Dr. Brad Stelfox, Landscape Ecologist
ALCES GROUP HISTORY | Alberta Tomorrow was originally created in 2005 by Matthew Carlson and Dr. Brad Stelfox of the ALCES group. Currenlty in it's third reincarnation, Alberta Tomorrow has been used extensively by teachers and students throughout Alberta.
Note: ALCES Landscape & Land-Use Ltd. is a unique collaboration of planners, environmental scientists, industry specialists, ecologists, computer simulation programmers, and management consultants who share a deep commitment to assisting clients with developing strategic plans for triple bottom line - people, planet and profit.
Our Impact What We Do
"Alberta Tomorrow gives my students real life exposure to real life decisions...all at their fingertips. Thank you for enriching my students learning environment." - Stephanie Bennett, Biology Teacher
www.albertatomorrow.ca is a free, on-line GIS educational tool: a land-use simulator that helps users understand the complexities of land-use planning that balances the environment and economy.
Using Alberta Tomorrow, you can:
- View videos and discover the potential benefits and impacts of different land-uses and land-use practices in Alberta
- Improve your understanding of Alberta’ ecosystems and environmental resources
- See what’s happened in your area in the last century, and see what it might look like 30 years from now
- Develop your own plan for Alberta’s future
- Track and share water quality and land-use observations with other classes throughout Alberta
- Create and submit reports with project findings
Alberta Tomorrow is critically reviewed and bias neutral. Our Board of Directors is comprised of representatives of industry, education, non-profits and government. The application is:
- peer reviewed by qualified scientists,
- endorsed by environmentally focused non-profit organizations, industry and government, and
- teacher tested!
LEARNINGS | We've heard from students that they care for Alberta's environment more now that they understand exactly what's happening in the province. Alberta Tomorrow has helped change the thinking of Alberta students, the decision makers of tomorrow!
Our Programs How We Do It
We've developed an educational tool that gives students hope for the future. Free lesson plans, linked to the Alberta Education Curriculum, assist teachers in using the on-line simulator in their classroom. Through public presentations, teacher training and classroom visits, we help Albertans work through the simulator as they create the future they'd like to see for Alberta.
"Alberta Tomorrow is an organization that currently embraces the direction Alberta Education in allowing students to work with real-life data to gain greater understanding in the process of sustainable land-use planning. Through viewing past, present and future data, students can actively plan how Alberta can look tomorrow with both a sustainable economy and environment. This GIS simulation platform is an incredibly interactive tool that allows students to proceed through inquiry learning as they attempt to solve their own sustainable planning goals." - Dave Gowans, Calgary Catholic School Division
APPROACH | As students identify their own environmental priorities, they establish their own goals. Not all plans are the same, which leads students to realize that it is difficult to make a sustainable land-use plan when multiple perspectives exist. Alberta Tomorrow helps students learn that it is possible to have economic growth without adversely affecting the enviroment. Citizen Scientists and students are encouraged to upload water quality and land-use data so that it can be shared with users across the province.
We have the power to change the future of this great province through our own actions. Alberta Tomorrow allows us to see the impact of our actions on the environment and economy so we can have the future we want for Alberta.
Our Requests What You Can Do
What do you want Alberta to be like in 30 years? You can make a difference!
Learn more about how land-use affects our economy and environment by registering for an account at www.AlbertaTomorrow.ca.
Time travel into the past and see what it was like over a hundred years ago.
Catch a glimpse of the future to see how making plans today can help us reach the future we'd like to see.
Input and share data and observations from your local area with all Albertans.
Create a sustainable land-use plan for your area and share it with friends, family, local organizations and the government.
Help us reach more Albertans by donating to the Alberta Tomorrow Foundation.
Invest in the education of students, the planners, politicians and activists, and consumers of tomorrow and make a difference to the future of our great province.
"Aberta Tomorrow is an exciting new educational tool, allowing learners to explore the many challenges of land use in Alberta. It is an excellent fit with 21 Century learning as students seek to understand the complex interactions of dynamic influences on our past, present and future land uses. Created and tested here in our province, Alberta tomorrow provides a wonderful tool for educators as they seek to engage their learners, facilitating their critical assessment of the future they wish to see." - Pat Worthington, Director of Human Resources Rocky View School Division