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Media 2020

50th Anniversary of the Status of Women Report

The Roberta Bondar Foundation
Toronto Ontario
Dec 7, 2020

To mark the 50th Anniversary of the Status of Women Report, Dr. Roberta Bondar lends her voice to Canadian Partnership for Women and Children’s Health.

As the world’s first neurologist & the first Canadian woman in space, Dr. Bondar encourages us to continue the fight for gender equality so that gender and race do not dismiss opportunity.

Dec 4, 2020

This is Canada NICE | Explore Canada

Ottawa Ontario
Tourism Canada

The official Tourism Canada YouTube channel features a new short animation “Helmed by the creators of the Broadway musical Come From Away, Irene Sankoff and David Hein” featuring the voices of well-known Canadians.

Your Challenge, if you choose to accept it, is to locate Roberta’s character and to recognize her voice!

How many Canadian references do you “get”?
Some helpful clues…

December 4, 2020

EcoSchools Canada teams up with The Roberta Bondar Foundation to expand The Bondar Challenge to all Canadian schools

Students across Canada can now participate in Dr. Roberta Bondar’s nature photography challenge in their journey to EcoSchools certification.

EcoSchools Canada is teaming up with The Roberta Bondar Foundation to give students across the country the opportunity to support their EcoSchools certification application by participating in the school-based Bondar Challenge. The nature photography challenge is inspired by the remarkable work of Dr. Roberta Bondar, the world’s first neurologist and first Canadian woman in space, distinguished astronaut, medical doctor, scientist, and photographer.

This partnership is being launched on Dr. Bondar’s 75th birthday, and celebrates her ongoing contribution to inquiry, creativity, and conservation of the natural world.

“We’re thrilled to collaborate with Dr. Bondar and her Foundation to make the Bondar Challenge available to schools across the country as a part of the EcoSchools certification program. Providing students and educators an opportunity to connect to nature, wildlife and our environment, is critical to developing a strong foundation for environmental learning, advocacy and action.”

– Lindsay Bunce, Executive Director, EcoSchools Canada

The Roberta Bondar Foundation has been inspiring and informing individuals and communities about the beautiful and complex web of life on our planet for 11 years, and the Bondar Challenge is a perfect example of its approach—one that combines both science and art to promote curiosity, creative expression, and respect for the natural environment.

As the largest bilingual, environmental certification program for kindergarten to grade 12 schools in the country, EcoSchools Canada hopes to invite more schools to join the Bondar Challenge by making the program available to schools across the country and allowing schools to claim points for the Challenge in their online EcoSchools certification application.

“This is a wonderful way to expand the reach of our program to be even more accessible, and we are pleased to join forces with EcoSchools Canada in our efforts to promote curiosity, creativity and conservation. Getting youth outside to explore the world around them through photography contributes to their overall wellness and mental health.”

– Dr. Roberta Bondar, President, The Roberta Bondar Foundation

If you are a student or teacher who would like to know more about how to participate in the Bondar Challenge with EcoSchools Canada, please visit the Bondar Challenge web page.

To learn more about The Roberta Bondar Foundation, you can visit


For more information about this initiative, please contact:
EcoSchools Canada
Galen Drinnan
Communications Manager

The Roberta Bondar Foundation
Joan Hamilton
Director, RBF Board of Directors

Oct 28, 2020



It is with deep sadness, we announce the death of our belovèd Professor Betty I. Roots. An accomplished scientist, photographer and intrepid traveller, Dr. Betty Roots lived and died fearlessly, surviving V2 rockets, desert adventures, titanium knees, and more.

Betty (NOT Elizabeth) practiced attention to detail in her well-received scientific, photographic and editing work. Her unpublished memoirs paint a personal and professional history ripe with humour, curiosity and, inevitably for a female scientist of her time, gender bias that diminished the options open to women at the end of WWII, and decades later.

From BSc (Special Honours) to PhD in Zoology (Comparative Physiology), University College, University of London, England she cut a trail through decades of academic appointments in departments of Physiology and Biophysics, Neurosciences, & Zoology from London, England to California to Illinois to Toronto, Ontario. She was as at home intriguing children with the wonders of Science as she was leading her colleagues as first female Chair of Zoology at the University of Toronto.

Her work and leadership were acknowledged in awards from the prestigious DSc degree from the University of London, England, for her achievements (research in comparative physiology and neurobiology) and numerous other honours, Fellowships, and medals.

Betty was an active Founding Director of this, her much beloved Roberta Bondar Foundation. Roberta, first PhD student, and her loyal friend for over 50 years was a source of inspiration, energy and pride. Full obituary notice.

With gratitude, we acknowledge the condolences, articles and notes from:
Neil Macpherson, Department of Cell & Systems Biology, University of Toronto
In Memoriam: Professor Betty Ida Roots

Image of Dr. Betty Roots
U of T Tweet for Dr. Betty Roots
American Society for Neurochemistry memoriam for Dr. Betty Roots
American Society for Neurochemistry

May 15, 2020

Our Latest Newsy Bits!

Toronto Ontario
The Roberta Bondar Foundation

Image of two Whooping Cranes

Check out our latest newsletter to see how we:

Our grateful thanks to those who support our work – from dedicated teachers and camp staff to our wonderful donors. Your confidence in our mission drives and inspires us.

May 12, 2020

Words of Support and Encouragement

Toronto Ontario
The Roberta Bondar Foundation

In these difficult days of living within the current COVID-19 pandemic, we work as safely as we can to keep ourselves, our families, friends, and colleagues safe.

As our President provides care advice to us within this Foundation, she is also sought out by others to share her views and wisdom and to provide reassurance to others.

Some examples of these include:

April 22, 2020

For #EarthDay50 – our new Online Bondar Challenge!

Toronto Ontario
The Roberta Bondar Foundation

Today we’ve launched our Online Bondar Challenge – to give youth, their families and the public a chance to explore some of the acclaimed learning resources and activities we created for schools and several types of outdoor camps.

This selection is now available online FOR FREE.
Integrative and Engaging

All are welcome to use our resources. Being indoors and trying to cover lessons can be tough for both kids and parents/guardians.

C’mon! Connect with the world thru #NaturePhotography. Get outside — in a yard or on a walk (with physical distancing). Discover how science, art, math, and language are woven into a single program.

Online Bondar Challenge poster

Only the Optional Competition has a fee.

#Education #Homeschool #ExperientialLearning #STEAMlearning #InquiryBasedLearning

April 22, 2020

Pandemic? Another Earth Day

Toronto Ontario

Today, Dr. Roberta Bondar made an appearance for Army of Masks, for a special message on this special 50th anniversary of Earth Day. From her own self-isolation, Dr. Bondar spoke quietly about the need for her fellow Canadians to stay home, keep calm, wear a mask in public, and maybe even make a mask or two…

February 9, 2020

Dr. Roberta Bondar: Astronaut, neurologist and friend to birds everywhere

Toronto Ontario
The Warren Weeks Show

On this podcast, Warren Weeks interviews Dr. Roberta Bondar to discover what drives her and what she has learned from career challenges she faced as a woman, her advice for young people, and the important work she’s currently doing regarding the study of birds and much more.

Image of Roberta Bondar in a helicopter with soundwaves overlaid

January 20, 2020

Canada’s 90 Greatest Explorers: Vital insights

Ottawa Ontario
Canadian Geographic .CA

2020 is the 90th anniversary of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society. In selecting Dr. Roberta Bondar for her continued natural world exploration & communication skills to represent all Canadian astronauts, RCGS Explorer-in-Residence Jill Heinerth launched the first section in a series of men & women who have made “major contributions to our understanding of Canada’s history and geography.”

Image of Roberta Bondar in space

Fellow of the Royal Canadian
Geographical Society, Dr. Bondar, FRCGS, “inspired a new generation of explorers, who are able to communicate about our natural world through science and fine arts.” Canada’s 90 Greatest Explorers: Vital insights

Selecting Canada’s 90 Greatest Explorers Explore ALL 90 of “Canada’s Greatest Explorers”

January 8, 2020

Our Avian Field Research Continues

The Roberta Bondar Foundation
International Field Work

In December, our Foundation’s International Field Work continued its current research project Protecting #SpaceForBirds.

Our field observers working in the barrier islands and protected areas on Florida state’s western coast found government maintained habitats busy with various migratory birds.

The estuaries and predominantly mangrove swamp system of the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge Complex provide a vital mix of islets, tidal flats, marshes, even an upland hardwood forest.

The mix of avian species of specific interest to the Foundation’s research project, designed by Dr. Roberta Bondar, are nearctic-neotropical migratory birds, along with the flyways they travel.

The team is presently processing images and observation data for its next AMASS report.

Poster for fieldwork at JN Ding Darling NWR