Strong fall start for U-Links with 21 projects underway

U-Links has had an exciting start to the fall 2020 academic term, with a high number of community-based research projects matched with several departments at Trent University.
A total of 21 research projects involving 26 student researchers have been matched within Trent’s biology, history, school of business, and school of the environment departments for the fall semester. One project was also matched to Fleming College’s credit for product course.

The project cycle began with uncertainty due to the COVID-19 crisis, but research interest from community organizations, slight changes to project design, and the facilitation of low-risk essential student field placements within Haliburton County meant the project cycle was able to continue.
“We are thrilled that our community partners have continued to support us despite all of the uncertainties over the last few months, and that our staff team and management committee has demonstrated so much resiliency and creativity in adapting our services,” said Amanda Duncombe-Lee, program coordinator.
Project topic areas include biodiversity monitoring with the Haliburton Highlands Land Trust, the impacts of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit for job seekers for the City of Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton County Poverty Reduction Roundtable, and correlations between dental caries and diabetes in low income families for Haliburton County Volunteer Dental Outreach.

Approximately half of the projects were designed to be completed remotely, where students can access resources and attend meetings online from home or school, with the Community Benthos Biomonitoring Program projects requiring a combination of both fieldwork and remote instruction. All essential fieldwork was successfully completed by students and U-Links staff before the Thanksgiving weekend.
U-Links would like to sincerely thank all community hosts, students, and faculty for their time, commitment, and ongoing support for community-based research and student experiential learning. A special thank you goes out to all participating lake associations for stepping up to provide safe work environments and travel for students doing fieldwork on our beautiful lakes.

U-Links is currently accepting research project proposals for the winter academic term. Community organizations can contact Amanda Duncombe-Lee, program coordinator, at or call the office at 705-286-2411.

Submitted by U-Links Centre for
Community-Based Research