Environment Department, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD, United Kingdom, email email@example.com School for Resource and Environmental Studies, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS B3H 3J5, Canada Department of Biology and Institute of Environmental Science, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6, Canada Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106-3060, U.S.A. TelferSchool of Management, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada Conservation Science Program, World Wildlife Fund, 1250 24th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20009, U.S.A. Department of Geography, York University, Toronto, ON M3J 1P3, Canada Center for Large Landscape Conservation, Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, P.O. Box 1587, Bozeman, MT 59771, U.S.A. Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada Policy Research Initiative, 56 Sparks Street, Ottawa, ON K1P 5A9, Canada Chaire de recherche du Canada en conservation des écosystèmes nordiques and Centre d'études nordiques, Université du Québec à Rimouski, Rimouski, PQ G5L 3A1, Canada Policy Research Initiative, 56 Sparks Street, Ottawa, ON K1P 5A9, Canada Labrador Institute, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Happy Valley - GooseBay, NL A0P 1E0, Canada Ocean Management Research Network, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada Centre for Global Studies, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC V8W 2Y2, Canada Council of Canadian Academies, 180 Elgin St., Suite 1401, Ottawa, ON K2P 2K3, Canada Sustainable Development Division, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Ottawa, ON K1A 0H4, Canada Department of Biology and Institute of the Environment, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities, University of Alberta, Camrose, AB T4V 2R3, Canada Commission for Environmental Cooperation, 393 St-Jacques Street West Suite 200, Montreal, PQ H2Y 1N9, Canada Department of Biology, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, NL A1B X Canada Department of Biology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS B3H 4J1, Canada Wildlife and Landscape Science Directorate, Science and Technology Branch, Environment Canada, Ottawa, ON K1A 0H3 Canada Research Branch, Agriculture and Agri-FoodCanada, Ottawa, ON K1A 0C5, Canada Department of Biology, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON K1S 5B6, Canada Canadian Federation of Agriculture, 21 Florence Street, Ottawa, ON K2P 0W6, Canada Ecological Integrity Branch, Parks Canada Agency, Ottawa, ON, Canada Oceans Directorate, Oceans Policy and Planning Branch, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa, ON K1A 0E6, Canada Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa, ON K1A 0E6, Canada National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, Montreal, PQ H3B 3K5, Canada Department of Biology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Ottawa, ON K1A 0Y9, Canada Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique - Institut Armand-Frappier, Université du Québec, Laval, & David Suzuki Foundation, Montreal, PQ H3B 1A7, Canada Policy Research Initiative, 56 Sparks Street, Ottawa, ON K1P 5A9, Canada.
Integrating knowledge from across the natural and social sciences is necessary to effectively address societal tradeoffs between human use of biological diversity and its preservation. Collaborative processes can change the ways decision makers think about scientific evidence, enhance levels of mutual trust and credibility, and advance the conservation policy discourse. Canada has responsibility for a large fraction of some major ecosystems, such as boreal forests, Arctic tundra, wetlands, and temperate and Arctic oceans. Stressors to biological diversity within these ecosystems arise from activities of the country's resource-based economy, as well as external drivers of environmental change. Effective management is complicated by incongruence between ecological and political boundaries and conflicting perspectives on social and economic goals. Many knowledge gaps about stressors and their management might be reduced through targeted, timely research. We identify 40 questions that, if addressed or answered, would advance research that has a high probability of supporting development of effective policies and management strategies for species, ecosystems, and ecological processes in Canada. A total of 396 candidate questions drawn from natural and social science disciplines were contributed by individuals with diverse organizational affiliations. These were collaboratively winnowed to 40 by our team of collaborators. The questions emphasize understanding ecosystems, the effects and mitigation of climate change, coordinating governance and management efforts across multiple jurisdictions, and examining relations between conservation policy and the social and economic well-being of Aboriginal peoples. The questions we identified provide potential links between evidence from the conservation sciences and formulation of policies for conservation and resource management. Our collaborative process of communication and engagement between scientists and decision makers for generating and prioritizing research questions at a national level could be a model for similar efforts beyond Canada.