What we heard:

Knowledge Transfer

Workshop participants most frequently requested that the ABMI increase its knowledge transfer activities to keep them up-to-date on ABMI data products and services. A wide range of outreach and engagement activities were proposed including the launch of a webinar series, sector-targeted lunch-and-learns, and more.

What we heard:

Geospatial Enhancements

Stakeholder groups are very interested in the ABMI’s geospatial products, and helped us compile a list of additional geospatial information they need to better support their work. Of highest priority? Stakeholders were looking for information at higher spatial resolution, plus additional wetland and riparian data.

Stakeholder Needs Assessment Process

Overall, the Stakeholder Needs Assessment (SNA) process sought to evaluate the degree to which the ABMI has met its objectives to

  • (1) create data and information products that are relevant and accessible to stakeholders; and
  • (2) continuously engage stakeholders to determine whether ABMI data and information products meet stakeholder business needs, and mobilize stakeholder feedback into the product development process.

In June 2017, the SNA was formally launched with a kick-off meeting of the oversight committee, the Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG). SAG members (see list below) were chosen to represent a wide range of stakeholder groups, including those the ABMI has traditionally worked closely with, as well those with whom new opportunities have emerged.


Subsequently, ABMI staff interviewed SAG members to apprehend each sector’s current and future needs, and inform the development of a series of sector-specific facilitated workshops, which comprised the heart of the SNA process. These workshops aimed to elicit feedback on the ABMI’s products and services, and determine each sector’s biodiversity-related information needs going forward.

A survey was sent to participants in most sectors before each workshop to help customize presentations. ABMI staff compiled interview, survey, and workshop results into summary reports for each sector; these were combined into the final ABMI Stakeholder Needs Assessment Report, which was submitted to the SAG for review. The SAG met with an external facilitator and ABMI staff to discuss the report and generate its own recommendations report, which was then submitted to the Steering Committee overseeing the entire 10-year Review process. These recommendations are summarized below.


The SNA at a Glance


Interviews were conducted with the Stakeholder Advisory Group (the committee overseeing the Stakeholder Needs Assessment process) to develop a broad understanding of the awareness and relative value of the ABMI’s products and services to their respective sectors, and as a result to help guide the workshop agenda and activities. The results of these interviews are confidential.


Pre-workshop surveys were administered to assess the value and uptake by stakeholders of the ABMI’s core status and trend monitoring data and products. The survey results also helped guide workshop agendas and activities.


We held nine, one-day sector-specific workshops to assess the value and limitations of the ABMI’s core monitoring program and emerging ABMI products. Various engagement techniques were used to gather a variety of feedback from participants, including breakout groups, a “World Cafe”, and more.

view workshop-specific reports

Stakeholder Advisory Group

Tara Narwani (Chair)
ABMI Information Centre

Dr. Shannon White
Planning Branch
Alberta Environment and Parks

Dr. Anne Hubbs
Regional Resource Management
Alberta Environment and Parks

Craig Harding
Conservation Science and Planning
Nature Conservancy of Canada

Dr. Elston Dzus
Environmental Sciences
Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc.

Lori Neufeld
Land Use and Biodiversity
Imperial Oil Ltd.

Dr. Samantha Song
Wildlife and Habitat Assessment Section
Canadian Wildlife Service
Environment and Climate Change Canada

Carol Bettac
Alberta Innovates

Grant Pearsell
Parks and Biodiversity
City of Edmonton

Ted Nason
Formerly of Alberta Environment and Parks

Matthew Whitehead
Woodland Cree Nation

Dr. James F. Cahill
University of Alberta

Tasha Blumenthal
Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties

Fiona Briody
Crop Sector Working Group

Andrew Fehr
External Facilitator
North Raven Consulting

Full Committee Recommendations

Develop an explicit list of sectors/organizations that are considered to be stakeholders, differentiating between those whose needs the ABMI will endeavour to respond to directly and those who are incidental users of field data and information products.

Document the structures and processes used to manage against funder bias in data collection.

Make the methodologies employed for developing information products and collecting and managing field data available to stakeholders.

Collect field data and develop information products in a manner that helps stakeholders meet regulatory requirements.

Add additional attributes:

  • Date stamps
  • Regrowth of vegetation on human footprint
  • Names of infrastructure owners
  • Disaggregation of categories of disturbance
  • Certified reclamation sites

Explore data layers (e.g., understory) that provide vegetation features useful for biodiversity prediction.

Communicate about this information product in the context of conventional metrics of biodiversity.

Provide tools for stakeholders to develop their own indices of biodiversity.

Explore options for providing the precise locations of field data, especially observations made on public lands.

Make layers of climate data available so that stakeholders can show spatial shifts in biodiversity distribution in relation to a changing climate.

Ensure that ancillary activities support core activities and do not detract from them.

Expand focus of stakeholder engagement from communication with stakeholders to collaboration with stakeholders.

Adopt new methods of stakeholder engagement:

  • Universal user tool
  • Job shadow program
  • Customized webinar series
  • Knowledge exchange forum
  • Continuous stakeholder advisory group
  • “Lunch-and-learns” or similar
  • Newsletters

Have Questions or Feedback?

The ABMI’s 10-year Science and Program Review was built around listening to our partners and stakeholders. We welcome questions, comments, or suggestions about the review process or output.

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