ISFORT is a university research institute attached to the Gatineau campus of the University of Quebec in Outaouais. It’s the first institute in Canada dedicated to the study of the temperate forest. Its diverse research topics at ISFORT focus on problems associated with i) ecosystem function, ii)characterization and use of natural resources, and iii) the development of innovative approaches for establishing the value of the natural resources of the temperate forest.
The research at ISFORT strives to study and understand the natural processes which govern the functioning of the forest ecosystem towards maintaining the forest in terms of quantity, quality and diversity. Another focus is to find solutions which take into account the multiple perceptions and use of the forest by the population in order to create and develop a socio-economic fabric around this forest biome.
Although deeply concerned with the research needs of Quebec, the research at ISFORT is also international in its scope, and is directly involved with the challenges facing forest ecology and forestry around the world.
Finally, research at ISFORT promotes collaboration between diverse scientific disciplines. This multidisciplinary approach allows for new avenues of research to emerge which have not previously been considered. Likewise, the research is based on the principles of compagnonnage scientifique / scientific collaboration allowing all the stakeholders in the area of forestry to readily participate.
Founded in 2012, ISFORT was created following a financial entente between UQO, MELS (startup grant) , and MDEIE (grant for renovation and expansion). In effect, ISFORT is the result of a partnership which has existed since 2002 between UQO and IQAFF (Institut Quebecois d’Aménagement de la Foret feuillue), a non-profit research organization founded in 1989 focussing on both deciduous and pine forests. Originally located in Messines (Quebec), IQAFF moved to Saint-André-Avellin (Quebec) in 1996, and was finally established in Ripon (Québec) in 2003, where it acquired a heritage building in which to establish its offices. Thanks to this UQO-IQAFF partnership, the idea of developing a natural sciences department at UQO was born. With its creation, ISFORT and the department of natural sciences benefitted from 20 years of research and de compagnonnage / scientific collaboration which had been put in place at IQAFF, allowing them both a national and international dimension.