People are central to achieving conservation goals, and ownership leads to action.

The Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley empowers local residents, businesses and visitors to be active environmental stewards. We do so through targeted education, research, and community engagement.


The Biosphere Institute addresses two major challenges affecting the Bow Valley:
human-wildlife coexistence and climate change.

We use a range of educational tools to build a culture of responsible behaviour, including classroom presentations, how-to workshops, and in-depth collaborations with volunteers who educate their fellow citizens. We conduct targeted research to understand interconnected social and ecological questions, such as development trends in Canmore and how to balance human activity and wildlife conservation. We engage citizens in tangible, community-led projects.

Our programs aim to incorporate best practices and promote innovative approaches to conservation in the Bow Valley.



The WildSmart Community Program teaches youth, residents, local businesses and visitors how to coexist safely with grizzly bears, cougars, wolves, elk, coyotes and other wildlife, promoting a culture of safety and respect for our wild neighbors.



Through workshops, newsletters, and community-led projects, Bow Valley Shift inspires residents and businesses to take action on climate change, and arms them with the tools to do so.


Canmore Community Monitoring

For nearly 20 years, the Biosphere Institute has monitored trends in the Town of Canmore’s demographics, economy, social fabric, and environmental sustainability.


 Resource Centre

The Biosphere Institute serves the Bow Valley community as a Conservation Resource Centre. We maintain a library that provides public access to thousands of references about ecology, natural history, and land and wildlife management in the Bow Valley.