Media Archive 2019-2020

A sample of media articles about The Roberta Bondar Foundation, its educational programs and activities along with some of Dr Bondar’s public appearances that reference The Foundation from 2019 to 2020:


Toronto Ontario
The Roberta Bondar Foundation
Dec 7, 2020

50th Anniversary of the Status of Women Report

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.



Ottawa Ontario
Tourism Canada
Dec 4, 2020

This is Canada NICE | Explore 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…



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

December 4, 2020

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


Toronto Ontario
The Roberta Bondar Foundation
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

Dr Betty I Roots at her desk [UTM archive]
Dr Betty I Roots at her Electron Microscope [UTM archive]

American Society for Neurochemistry



Toronto Ontario
The Roberta Bondar Foundation
May 12, 2020

Words of Support and Encouragement

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:

Dr Bondar speaks to Army of Masks
Dr Bondar speaks to citizens of Sault Ste Marie
Former astronaut, Dr Roberta Bondar, shares a tip about self-isolation



Toronto Ontario
The Roberta Bondar Foundation
April 22, 2020

For #EarthDay50 – our new Online Bondar Challenge!

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.

Only the Optional Competition has a fee.

#Education #Homeschool #ExperientialLearning #STEAMlearning #InquiryBasedLearning



Toronto Ontario
April 22, 2020

Pandemic? Another Earth Day

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…


Toronto Ontario
The Warren Weeks Show
February 9 2020

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

Dr Roberta Bondar documenting migratory flock from helicopter with sound file base 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, the important work she’s currently doing regarding the study of birds and much more.



The Roberta Bondar Foundation
International Field Work
Jan 8, 2020

Our Avian Field Research Continues

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.



Gatineau Quebec
Canadian Museum of History
Royal Canadian Geographical Society
Nov 21, 2019

Royal Canadian Geographical Society Celebrates Its 90th Anniversary

Celebrating its 90th Anniversary, the Royal Canadian Geographical Society held its College of Fellows Annual Dinner in the Canadian Museum of History.
The day featured honours and medal presentations that recognized exploration in several forms and provided a chance for some of the Fellows to get together throughout!



International Space Station Research
November 14, 2019

Science Around the Planet Uses Images of Earth from the Space Station

Among the scientific research studies NASA referenced in this article is The Roberta Bondar Foundation’s current research project, Avian Migration Aerial Surface Space [AMASS].

AMASS field crews work part of their ecological study in collaboration with the Crew Earth Observations facility on NASA’S International Space Station [ISS]

From the ISS orbit view, crew observation images contribute a space-eye perspective to track bird migration routes, habitat conditions, and the effects of changes occurring along those routes. Example ISS images on our Foundation’s website include the following from our Biomes page:

Lesser Flamingo Feeding and Resting Habitat, Rift Valley Lakes – Kenya from NASA ISS

Aransas NWR, TX – USA from NASA ISS


London Ontario
Western University
Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences
Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry
Oct 18, 2019

Continuous Change ~ the Great Enabler

The Department of Clinical Neurological Sciences within Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, hosts a Scientific Symposium and dinner Gala to celebrate its 50-year Anniversary. Dr. Roberta Bondar will be presenting the Keynote Address at the Gala Dinner.

As the world’s first neurologist in space, Dr. Bondar is recognized for her contributions to space medicine. On the Space Shuttle Discovery, she conducted scientific experiments on human subjects in the First International Microgravity Laboratory. Then, for more than a decade, collaborating with NASA, she headed an international space medicine research team, to study astronauts recovering from the microgravity of space. This work has implications for neurological illnesses here on Earth, including stroke and Parkinson’s disease.

Our Brains, Our Future: 50 Years of CNS – Scientific Symposium and Gala and Photos.


Peterborough, Ontario
October 10, 2019

STEAM – Infinite Possibilities

World’s first neurologist in space, Dr. Roberta Bondar, launched the #FemSteamPtbo initiative with her keynote about the infinite possibilities open to STEAM minds. FemSTEAM of Peterborough hosted girls from Grades 7 and 8 girls at Whetung Theatre, Fleming College.
Based on the concept and vision – “If You Can See Me You Can Be Me” – Peterborough’s women in STEAM have organized to inspire and assist improving the awareness and resources to young females in the Greater Peterborough region about education and career options in STEAM and Skill Trades.


Oct 11 2019
Jessica Nyznik, Examiner Staff Writer
Opportunities out of this world, former astronaut Roberta Bondar tells girls Great photos by Clifford Skarstedt, Examiner

Oct 11 2019
Noor Ibrahim, CHEX News Global Peterborough
Hundreds of girls encouraged to follow their “STEAM” dreams


Toronto Ontario
University of Toronto
The Faculty Club
Oct 2, 2019

A Layered Perspective of Bird Migration

With different views of the planet beneath them, astronauts in space and migrating birds fly across geo-political boundaries that are for the most part, invisible. In an effort to reconnect people to the natural world and the challenges that migrating birds face, Dr. Roberta Bondar presented her current research project Protecting #SpaceForBirds delivering three visual perspectives to evoke curiosity and a commitment to conserve essential habitats needed to fulfill the life cycle of exemplary avian species.


Red Deer, Alberta
RedDeerAdvocate .com
September 13, 2019

Shifting Perspective ~ Bringing it down to Earth

World’s first neurologist in space, Dr. Roberta Bondar, will keynote a fundraising event for the Red Deer Hospital: a Red Deer Regional Health Foundation “Lunch Box” Experience.

As the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation and Dr Bondar worked on keynote ideas, an 11-year-old Red Deer student emailed the former astronaut with questions about being in space.

Red Deer Advocate writer, Sean McIntosh reports what happened next…


Sep 23 2019
Josh Hall, rdnewsNOW .com
11-year-old has a blast meeting Dr. Roberta Bondar

Sep 13 2019
Josh Hall, rdnewsNOW .com
Red Deer girl over the moon to meet astronaut hero


Maclean’s Space Issue
Aug 24, 2015

Roberta Bondar’s ‘naked’ truth

Today, MacLean’s writer Genna Buck continues her Question and Astronaut series pursuing answers with Question and Astronaut: Roberta Bondar article. Finally, she exposes Dr Bondar’s ‘naked’ truth revealed to the Cosmos!


St John’s, Newfoundland
Memorial University
August 9, 2019

Memorial University Engineering 50th Anniversary

We need to be diligent and not deselect any population based on an engineering design. Diversity makes us strong and we must be inclusive if we are to solve the large and small challenges facing humanity.
Dr. Roberta Bondar

Dr. Roberta Bondar joined the 50th Anniversary celebration of Memorial University’s Faculty of Engineering & Applied Science as the Faculty’s guest speaker. At the Emera Innovation Exchange, Signal Hill Campus, Memorial University, Dr. Bondar inspired her audience with her keynote Illuminating the World, spark by spark.


Sault Ste Marie, Ontario
July 15, 2019

Memories of Apollo 11 Moon Landing

On Moon: Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 [NASA photo]As the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11’s moon landing approaches – July 20 – Dr. Roberta Bondar adds her Where-I-was moment to other Saultites’ memories. Reporter Darren Taylor captures that share of moon moment recall from 1969.


Toronto, Ontario
June 2, 2019

Dr. Bondar Shares Ergonomic Space Tales

At the opening of the ergoCentric flagship store in Toronto, Dr. Roberta Bondar related some of the ergonomic challenges she worked through during her training and space flight. Leading Edge exploration has leading edge risks!


Sault Ste Marie, Ontario
May 29, 2019

Canadian Bushplane Heritage Fête

Dr. Roberta Bondar, a dedicated supporter of the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre, helped celebrate its 30th anniversary. The Centre features the only exhibit of Dr. Bondar’s space flight artifacts.


Toronto, Ontario
Ontario Science Centre
May 16, 2019

Summer of Space

Helping celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Ontario Science Centre, Dr. Roberta Bondar joined the “Summer Of Space” launch, that features four months packed with space-themed exhibitions, IMAX® films, hands-on & immersive displays,space-themed exhibitions, IMAX® films and a planetarium show.

Ontario Science Centre: #SummerOfSpace panel
Ontario Science Centre: Standing by their #WomenInSpace Posters - Dr Shawna Pandya, Dr Roberta Bondar, Natalie Panek


May 20 2019
Heather Greenwood Davis Blogarama .com
Ontario Science Centre: Summer of Space


Ottawa, Ontario
Rideau Hall
May 8, 2019

Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, invested 3 Companions, 9 Officers and 27 Members into the Order of Canada during a ceremony at Rideau Hall. The ceremony was streamed online.



Roberta Lynn Bondar, C.C., O.Ont.
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

As a scientist and environmental advocate, Roberta Bondar continues to inspire Canadians. Following her pioneering spaceflight, she remained active in international space medicine, notably leading a research team at NASA that drew connections between astronauts’ recovery from microgravity and neurological illnesses on Earth. A world-acclaimed photographer, she has demonstrated commitment to environmental sustainability through her stunning works that reconnect people to our natural world. Leading by example with the establishment of her eponymous foundation, she is a champion of education and the environment.

This is a promotion within the Order.

Motto of the Order of Canada:
“They desire a better country”



May 9 2019
CBC News
Roberta Bondar named Companion to the Order of Canada

May 9 2019
CTV Northern Ontario
New honour for Dr. Roberta Bondar

May 9 2019
Craig Huckerby, SaultOnline .com
Bondar Achieves the Highest Level


Canadian Geographic
Royal Canadian Geographic Society
Apr 25, 2019

David McGuffin Talks With Dr. Roberta Bondar

RCGS Fellow and veteran broadcast journalist David McGuffin poses thoughtful and insightful questions to Dr. Roberta Bondar in this Canadian Geographic podcast.


Ottawa, Ontario
Ingenium Channel
Apr 17, 2019

Bondar Soaring Beyond

If you ever attended a school named after a person, you often wonder why that person. Like, so what?

Roberta Bondar Public School, Ottawa-CarletonWriter Nathaniel Neil Whelan attended Ottawa-Carleton’s Roberta Bondar Public School. Here are his thoughts on his public school days and behind-the-name meaning he continues to learn.


University of Saskatchewan
The Whelen Lecture
& Women in Science Speaker Series
Saskatoon, March 26, 2019

Sustaining the Future of Our Planet and Ourselves

Speaking as the world’s first neurologist in space and Canada’s first female astronaut, 2019 Whelen Lecture PosterDr Roberta Bondar presented her view on Sustaining the Future of Our Planet and Ourselves. Bondar included her personal take on where we are as inhabitants of our planet and some of the challenges we face in sustaining our future.
Before she delivered The Whelen Lecture, Dr Bondar participated in:

  • a Round Table that explored how individual disciplines can work more holistically and effectively across academic boundaries to address issues of the environment, health and food security and
  • a Fireside Chat with a Q & A session that discussed challenges and opportunities of career pathways that transcend boundaries like Dr Bondar’s.

The Whelen Lecture was video-conferenced to the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy’s University of Regina campus.

The event was supported by Western Economic Diversification Canada and Innovation Saskatchewan.



March 27 2019
University of Saskatchewan News
Canada’s first female astronaut delivers lecture at USask

March 26 2019
Amanda Short, Postmedia News Service
Canada’s first female astronaut gives talk about work and experiences

March 26 2019
Ashleigh Mattern, CBC News
Canada’s first female astronaut in Saskatoon to share perspective gained in space: Roberta Bondar speaking at Women in Science Speaker Series on March 26

March 26 2019
Leisha Grebinski, Saskatoon Morning CBC Radio
Roberta Bondar reveals she is not surprised by the cancellation of an all woman space walk


Ottawa, March 8, 2019
Life Reflected — National Arts Centre

Life Reflected posterOn International Women’s Day, the NAC Orchestra will present its signature creation, Life Reflected, a richly emotional and immersive orchestral experience to reflect musical portraits of four exceptional Canadian women: Roberta Bondar, Rita Joe, Alice Munro, and Amanda Todd.

Staged with eye-filling projections, composers Zosha Di Castri, Jocelyn Morlock, Nicole Lizée, and John Estacio teamed with photographers, singers, actors, stage, sound, & lighting designers create an audience immersion of integrated sounds, motion picture, and graphic design.

Life Reflected is what we at The Roberta Bondar Foundation call a Fusion Adventure — collaborations that merge the science in Arts + the art in Sciences. You can catch some of our Fusion Adventures here.



Windsor, Ontario
University of Windsor
February 28, 2019

Infinite Possibilities

As part of the University of Windsor’s Science Society Speaker Series, Dr. Roberta Bondar talks about the “Infinite Possibilities” she considers valuable for our future lives and career paths.

“Having Roberta Bondar at the University of Windsor is going to give students and community members alike the opportunity to learn from one of the most decorated Canadian female scientists of our time,” said Anshika Jain, VP External for the University of Windsor Science Society. “These kinds of events are crucial to inspiring the next generation of young scientists and we are very excited to be a part of that.” [via City Desk @TheWindsorStar 2019-0226]



March 1 2019
Sharon Hill, WindsorStar .com
Never stop learning, don’t eat yellow Jell-O in space — astronaut Roberta Bondar


Ottawa, Ontario / International Space Station [ISS]
January 22, 2019

Exploring Earth

In a live-streamed event, the astro launch team of David Saint-Jacques (on ISS), Roberta Bondar and Jenni Sidey-Gibbons (Ottawa) introduced Exploring Earth – an educational project using photos from space for
an interactive map revealing images of geological and man-made features taken by Dr. Saint-Jacques from space. Dr. Bondar contributes blog entries on migratory bird habitats – wetlands, their biodiversity and avian species – along with her images and video clips from her surface and helicopter vantage points.

Additionally, part of this mission is to provide film and data for the Roberta Bondar Foundation’s current AMASS/Protecting Space For Birds research project.

New multi-media content is added weekly as map features are written by experts in several fields: water bodies, terrestrial biomes, the cryosphere, weather, the human footprint, and more!

Dr. Bondar wished Dr. Saint-Jacques well on his voyage and thanked him “on behalf of the Roberta Bondar Foundation for participating in our migratory bird project. Hopefully we’ll be able to show people the vast distances that birds also have to fly over the surface of our planet across borders that they can’t see (the way you can’t see them from space).”

Speaking from the ISS, Saint-Jacques thanked her for the opportunity to contribute [to the AMASS project], saying, “It’s a beautiful project and we share this planet with many other species and we have a responsibility to share it, to be decent roommates with the other species on our planet.”



February 11 2019
Elizabeth Howell, SpaceCom
European Space Agency Celebrates Women in Science with Astro Pi Challenge; Sidey-Gibbons said her main inspiration for becoming an astronaut was a female role model: former Canadian spaceflyer Roberta Bondar

January 26 2019
Elizabeth Howell, SpaceCom
Canada’s First Woman in Space Reflects on the Milestone Year That Is 2019

January 25 2019
Paul Nicholson, Special to Postmedia News
The World Outdoors: Roberta Bondar connects view from space to bird migration

January 24 2019
Tanya Kirnishni, Canadian Geographic online
Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques launches a new educational initiative — from space

January 22 2019
Leah Larocque, CTVNews (Ottawa)
Out of This World Conversation

Christopher Whan, GlobalNews (Ottawa)
Canadian Space Agency launches new interactive activity at Science and Tech Museum

PR Newswire Markets/Business Insider
David Saint-Jacques: Dare to explore… Earth! – New initiative teaches about Earth using pictures taken from space




Media Archive 2017-2018

Media Archive 2015-2016

Media Archive 2012-2014


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