Northern Alberta Institute of Technology

A true champion of Alberta boreal forest reclamation

How NAIT's partnership with industry leads to advances in reclamation


Restoring forests and reclaiming lands that have been used by industry is a passion that Dr. Jean-Marie Sobze shares with his colleagues at NAIT’s Boreal Research Institute – a 9,000-square-foot (836-square-metre), state-of-the-art research facility in Peace River.

It is an important part of the institute’s work to ensure Alberta’s forests and lands are returned to long-term health following activities such as conventional oil and gas, oilsands, forestry and utility projects. The applied research chair and program lead sees NAIT as uniquely positioned to grow and deliver native plants that will contribute to restoring the vitality of the ecosystem.

Specifically, Sobze and his team focus on the flowering plants, grasses and shrubs that make up the understory of the forest – plants that tend not to be available in commercial nurseries.

“We work with industry partners, private business and government to deliver solutions.”

“We develop strategies to collect, treat, enhance and deliver plants for forest and peatland reclamation,” says Sobze. “We work with industry partners, private business and government to deliver solutions.”

It’s applied research directly guided by local needs.

“Our forest cleans our air and produces habitats for our wildlife,” says Sobze. “This is crucial and important for us and for future generations.”


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