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Paul F.J. Eagles
Professor Paul F. J. Eagles

Paul Eagles is an environmental planner with a broad interest in the application of ecology and planning theory to environmental conservation and park management. Professionally, as a planner, he has a long standing interest in the planning of national parks and other forms of protected areas. He maintained a professorial cross-appointment to the School of Planning, as well as his primary appointment in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies at the University of Waterloo from 1979 to 2014. From 2013 to 2015 he is appointed as the Walter Murdoch Adjunct Professor in the School of Environmental Science within Murdoch University’s Faculty of Science and Engineering in Perth Australia.

In 1972 he earned a B. Sc. in Biology from the University of Waterloo. He received an M. Sc. in 1976 from the University of Guelph in Zoology and Resource Development. In 1980 he completed a Ph. D. in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Waterloo. He has taught at the University of Waterloo from 1975 to 2015. From 1975 to 1979 he taught part time in the Department of Man and Environment Studies, and from 1979 onward in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies. In 2014 he was awarded membership in the 35 year club due to full time employment from 1979 to 2014. He is now Professor Emeritus at the University of Waterloo.

Research Interests

His research interests lie within the wide range of subjects involved with environmental planning. These include specific interests in park planning and management, applied ecology, ecotourism, park tourism, outdoor recreation, environmental assessment and resource management, as well as outdoor and environmental education.

Paul Eagles works in the field that connects theory in science to public law and policy. Over his long career, he has been involved in research and professional practice in many aspects of environmental policy development and implementation. Four examples will be provided below.

Example 1: Environmentally Sensitive Area Planning in Ontario

Throughout the 1970s he was intimately involved in the development and implementation of Environmentally Sensitive Area Planning in Ontario. This effort, which started in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo in Ontario, spread through Ontario, Canada and ultimately worldwide. This was one of the first major efforts to include conservation biology principles in municipal land use planning in the world. His publications were critical to the initial development of this planning policy.

Example 2: Carolinian Canada

During the 1980s he was heavily involved in the early development of the concept of Carolinian Canada. This effort concentrated on two major efforts. The first was to identify the most significant, unprotected natural areas in the Carolinian Lifezone of Southern Canada. The second was to identify the major research gaps and the to fulfill these gaps. These two efforts ultimately lead to the development of the Carolinian Canada conservation initiative that is still ongoing. This was another major effort that took conservation biology principles and developed institutional arrangements that enabled these principles to be operationalized at a regional scale.

Example 3: Visitor and Tourism Management in Parks and Protected Areas

From 1990 onwards he became involved in the field of visitor and tourism management in parks and protected areas. What had started as an interest in Ontario Provincial Parks in the 1970s later developed in a global effort, with work in over 25 countries. This effort involved bringing an overall coherent view of management principles to visitor and tourism management. With the assistance of colleagues in many countries and through the auspices of the World Commission on Protected Areas he coordinated a global effort to better understand this management and then to assist in the development and implementation of best practice. This effort led to many publications, the most important of which was prepared for the United Nations Special Year of Ecotourism in 2002. This book, Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas: Guidelines for Planning and Management, was distributed worldwide and translated into many languages.

Example 4: Movement from the Theory of Linkages and Buffers to Application in Urban Planning

From the mid 1990s he was active in the interface between theory and policy in regards to the issue of linkages and buffers in urban planning. This work involved many planning projects and several graduate theses. Most of this work took place in the Province of Ontario.

Selected Publications



Students and Former Students

Personal Interests


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Launched December 2000
Last updated: 18 June 2015