Recognition of Achievements

Emerald Award 1996

Order of the Bighorn: Government of Alberta 1984

Environment Canada, Certificate of Merit 1980

Government of Alberta Heritage Award 1980

Calgary Board of Education Certificate of Appreciation

Blood (Kainai) Tribe Certificate of Acknowledgement


Cochrane Ecological Institute Partnership

  • University of Calgary, Faculty of Communications and Culture

  • Association canadienne-française de l’Alberta ,

  • Canada World Youth

  • Banff Education Centre,

  • Calgary Board of Education,

  • Calgary Catholic School District,

  • Cochrane Family & Community Support Services

  • Weaselhead/Glenmore Park Preservation Society,

  • Alberta Wildlife Rehabilitators Association

  • Blood Tribe Land Administration


Cochrane Ecological Institute Memberships

  • National Swift Fox Recovery Team

  • Society of Educational Resource Groups (Associate member)

  • International Union for the Conservation of Nature IUCN: Species Survival Commission

  • IUCN Reintroduction Specialist Group

  • Alberta Council for Environmental Education,

  • Calgary Science Network,

  • Alberta Environmental Network,

  • Alberta Council for Environmental Education

  • Canadian Environmental Network,

  • Y2Y: Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative,

  • WSPA Member Society Network 

  • IUCN-SSC Otter Specialist Group (OSG)

Record of Cochrane Ecological Institute Achievements

1972 to1986 In B.C.*, CEI initiated a schools Program (initially funded by the Federal Government of Canada) to teach environmental studies matched to the requirements of the curricula *2009  program presently being re-established in B.C.

1971- to date: CEI established and implemented a wildlife rehabilitation and release program. This program has resulted in the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of over 8,000 injured or orphaned wildlife

1972 -1976 The CEI initiated the concept of ecosystem restoration through reintroduction of an extirpated (COSEWIC 1978) indigenous species (swift fox, Vulpes velox) in Canada

1972 CEI imported first founder swift foxes into Canada from the USA to establish the swift fox breeding colony.  The swift foxes came from the USA as there were no swift foxes left in Canada.

1977 the CEI laid the groundwork for the establishment of the Swift Fox Recovery team by signing a Co-operative Agreement with the University of Calgary

1986-to date: Initiated and implemented WHALEFORCE an International Cetacean Survey using racing & cruising yachtsman

1983- 1997 The first reintroduction program of an extirpated (extinct in Canada) indigenous canid (swift fox) was undertaken in partnership with the Provinces and the federal government of Canada. Of the 1000 swift fox reintroduced to the Canadian plains during that period, 847 were bred and provided to the Canadian swift fox reintroduction program by the CEI.

1993-1997: CEI developed and implemented a new reintroduction method for releasing swift fox which resulted in substantial documented survival post-release of the reintroduced animals
1993: CEI provides DNA samples of swift fox to UCLA

1993 to date: all CEI swift foxes have their DNA registered at the natural resources DNA & Forensic Profiling Centre in Ontario, this is a first for swift fox.

1994: CEI, under permit from South Dakota Fish & Game, collects hair samples of wild swift fox from the Pine Ridge reservation & South Dakota badlands to send to Dr. Robert Wayne, UCLA, at his request for DNA analysis, and to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for a comparative analysis of selenium levels in south Dakota swift fox and CEI Canadian bred swift fox.

1995: CEI came up with the concept and laid the groundwork for the non-intrusive identification of the sex and individuality of wild swift fox through the analysis of their mating call (lubricious bay), this method was applied in the field and demonstrated its validity as a non-intrusive survey method, this successful survey methodology proved to be a first for small canids.  . This has resulted in M.Sc and Ph.d. research which confirmed the theory.

1999-2000: CEI develops a non-intrusive method of collecting hair for DNA analysis from wild swift foxes. This method was a proven success and is a first for non-intrusive DNA sample collection in wild canids. DNA samples collected from wild animals  have the ability to provide information on individuality, sex, stress levels and parentage

1986-2006: CEI undertook orphaned bear cub rescue, rearing release and post release monitoring programmes in B.C. and Alberta.  These are the first post release monitoring studies of released black bear cubs in western Canada.

1986-1999 CEI undertook otter releases in B. C.

1993-to date: CEI provides Field Station facilities for under graduate, graduate, and  post- graduate research.  CEI provides experiential- learning environmental programmes for communities and community groups.

1998  Swift fox reintroduction Program in Canada was an acknowledged success as the species was reclassified from  extirpated in Canada (COSEWIC 1978) to ENDANGERED in Canada (COSEWIC 1998). This was the first successful small canid reintroduction in Canada

1991 to date; in Alberta, CEI initiated a Schools Programme to teach environmental studies matched to the requirements of the curricula

1997-2002 In partnership with the Blackfeet Nation, the CEI and the Blackfeet Nation undertook the first reintroduction of an extirpated indigenous species (swift fox) in the USA.

1996- to date: CEI has been  working with sustainable building and ecologically sound life style, to achieve these aims:

·                           The CEI has built a demonstration straw-bale construction Interpretive Centre

·                           The CEI is in the process of completing a unique straw-bale construction 400m. long by 2.5 m high Landmark Wall illustrating ancient rock art, illustrating the geological history of the area, types of rocks and fossils, and enabling visitors to view free undisturbed wildlife through windows of tempered glass incorporated within the wall

·                           The CEI is also building, with the help of the Federation of Alberta Naturalists, illustrative gardens of useful (edible, medicinal, plant technology, and beautiful) indigenous plants.

2003: Dawn Locke of the CEI, sponsored by the M.D. of Rocky View, produced a centennial CD (From Wilderness to the Alberta Advantage) on evolution of the  Municipal District over the past 100 years

2000 – 2006 At the instigation of the Elders of the Kainai (Blood) Tribe of Alberta the CEI, in partnership with Blood tribe Administration implemented the first Canadian endangered species reintroduction by an Aboriginal people on Aboriginal lands  This was the first such program in Canada to incorporate Traditional Aboriginal Environmental Knowledge and botanical knowledge transfer

2004-2007 CEI undertook technological exchange & capacity building programmes for Blood Tribe Land Management ( GIS, endangered species, radio telemetry, water management)

2006: Ken Weagle of the CEI was a requested delegate for the initial set up of the Water for Life programme.

2007:  CEI undertook and evaluation of the status of Horse Creek as a part of the Water for Life programme

2007: CEI published a cetacean I.D. book (WhaleForce Quick Cards) specifically designed to enable cetacean identification from the deck of a boat ( you only have a maximum of 5 minutes while the animal is on the surface and you only see a minimum of the cetacean)

2007: CEI invited to provide WhaleForce seminars to Class Afloat (Cartagena Spain) 2007 Blue Water Circumnavigation Rally (Lanzarote, Spain) 2007 Atlantic Rally for Cruisers, AEC, (Las Palmas Spain.)

2008: Campbell River, B.C. branch of the CEI established by Dawn Locke.  Dawn will now be implementing school programmes in B.C. and managing WHALEFORCE. Dawn managed and implemented the CEI Educational programmes in Alberta before moving to Campbell river. Interested schools can contact Dawn by e-mail at

2007 to date (and beyond): CEI implementing the construction of the Landmark Wall, an educational construction which is 400m long by 2.5 m. high, and, when completed, will incorporate experiential learning on the environment, wildlife, and art and culture. Once completed this structure will be the longest artwork in western Canada.

2008:  work of the CEI acknowledged by the International SPCA.

2008-2010: CEI has designed, developed, and implemented unique and innovative French and English language program L’ECOLOGIE, C’EST POUR TOUS (The Environment is Yours)
An integral part of L’ECOLOGIE, C’EST POUR TOUS will be the employment of Experiential Learning methodology.  Experiential Learning methodology, as applied by the CEI, will celebrate the merging of intellectual, interpersonal and community engagement in the ecology and Cultural Heritage of western Canada.