SSHRC Partnership Engage Grant Awarded: Fostering the Socio-Economic Resistance of a Maple Syrup Operation

Dr. Sonia Mastrangelo (Associate Professor, Education) is a co-investigator on a research project that has been awarded a SSHRC Partnership Engage Grant. Sonia is working alongside Principal Investigator Dr. Gerardo Reyes (Assistant Professor, Biology, Lakehead University) and an interdisciplinary team on the research project entitled: Fostering the Socio-Ecological Resilience of CCO's Maple Syrup Operation in the Face of Climate Change.

The team’s research examines a maple syrup sugarbush operation at Camphill Communities Ontario (CCO), a not-for-profit organization in Simcoe County that provides support services to adults with intellectual disabilities. Using a socio-ecological perspective, the research examines:

  • adaptive strategies to reduce the sugarbush operation’s vulnerability to climate change. Maple syrup production is intimately tied to climate change, as increases in temperatures and changes to the frequency, timing, and duration of precipitation events and freeze-thaw cycles have altered sugar maple’s cycles of production;
  • the impacts of the sugarbush operation on tree health, syrup quality, and productivity;
  • the benefits of the sugarbush operation to the CCO community. In particular, the research examines which aspects of the social enterprise activities provide the most benefit to adults with developmental disabilities (e.g., acquiring new skills, improving self-esteem, etc.), which will help shape current and future practices in the sugarbush operation.

Together, these multiple layers of information will help to shape socio-ecological adaptation strategies to climate change, and thus, ensure that the sugarbush operation continues to meet CCO’s mission “to enrich society by creating meaningful opportunities to live, learn, and work together.”

Pictured below: Dr. Sonia Mastrangelo (left) with Principal Investigator Dr. Gerardo Reyes