Environment Canada and York University – Converging Worlds of KMb

Following a successful and enjoyable visit to Environment Canada’s Canada Centre for Inland Waters in Burlington, ON, it was York’s KMb Unit who played host to Environment Canada staff on Monday, July 26.
Four members of Environment Canada’s Science & Technology Liaison team visited York:
Sheila Allan – A/Senior Science Policy Analyst, Environment Canada
Kristin May – Science and Technology Liaison Officer, Environment Canada
Courtney Price – Science and Technology Liaison Officer, Environment Canada
Scott Unger – Science and Technology Liaison Officer, Environment Canada
The morning consisted of an introduction and orientation to York’s technical collaboration and social media site within the O3 network. KMb Officer, Andrei Sedoff, provided a comprehensive overview of the KMb units’ space on O3 which includes profile pages for members, document sharing capability, wikis, calendars, blogs and much more. The team was highly impressed by Andrei’s easygoing but professional style and had these enthusiastic remarks:
“Andrei did a fantastic job explaining this powerful collaboration tool. This ‘Facebook for researchers’ is definitely something we can relate to.”
“The O3 demonstration offered exciting insight into how Ontario’s research community could collaborate and improve communication. At a time when such focus is put on web 2.0 techniques, it is good to know that an applicable and relevant tool is out there.”
“O3 is obviously a very powerful tool for helping create links between scientists and science users and we look forward to working with York’s KMb Unit in the future and seeing more of what O3 has to offer.”
The chance to preview and explore York’s collaborative technology space also made EC’s team very optimistic about the possibility of using O3 to share information and stimulate dialogue surrounding the Special Workshop on Knowledge Translation and Brokering.” EC is organizing the event under the auspices of the Canadian Science Policy Conference and in partnership with ResearchImpact, the Canadian Water Network and other collaborators.

Matthew Shulman

Our federal friends also participated in the afternoon’s clear language writing and design workshop, which was the seventh such workshop which York’s KMb Unit has offered over the years. Given EC’s prominent role in communicating scientific research findings to a broad policy audience, and efforts to help link research into practice, the workshop was informative and relevant.
“The most interesting thing about the clear language and design workshop was the emphasis on design. We give a lot of thought as to who our audience is when we write. The presenter demonstrated how structure of the text and overall layout are just as important in increasing the likelihood your message will be understood.”
All in all, the day reflected the emerging relationship between our two respective offices. Informative, enjoyable and mutually rewarding are descriptors that come to mind. After all, in the ever-growing world of KMb we’re both learning it is important to have peers from which to learn and share experiences.
This blog was co-authored by ResearchImpact, York KMb and Environment Canada’s S&T Liaison Team.