The International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE; 2007–2009), declared by the United Nations to increase awareness of Earth and environmental sciences, has inspired a great variety of outreach projects across Canada. Under the theme of “Water, Hazards, Energy, Resources and Environment” (WHERE), Canada's IYPE outreach tag lines include “WHERE on Earth?” and “WHERE in Canada?”
Development of Canada's IYPE program began with a solicitation of proposals in 2007 from the grassroots Earth science community. Many proposals were received, vetted, and transformed into projects for which funds were then sought, mostly in the private sector. Under the auspices of a national committee chaired by Calgary-based geophysicist John Boyd, both large and small projects were developed. Small projects, such as speaker series and workshops for teachers held in individual municipalities, were handled at a local level. By contrast, larger and more expensive projects were implemented nationally under the basic philosophy that they should provide a legacy that will last well beyond IYPE.