TORONTO -- The Royal Canadian Geographic Society (RCGS) and the U.S. National Geographic Society announced a renewed partnership Wednesday that they say will work towards making lasting positive changes to the health of the planet.

The first phase of this partnership includes the newly conceived Trebek Council, a grant-making fund that will “support the innovative and ambitious work of Canadian scientists, explorers, storytellers and educators who are revealing, examining and celebrating the natural world.”

The council is named after Alex Trebek, the beloved host of the TV quiz show Jeopardy! Trebek is a longtime supporter of the RCGS and serves as the organization’s honorary president. He was also the face of the National Geographic Bee, an annual geography contest, for 25 years.

"The study of geography helps us gain an appreciation for the natural world around us and how to interact with, and better utilize, our planet and its resources," Trebek said in a news release. "It provides a framework for how we care for the Earth. Most importantly, because it encompasses both the social and natural sciences, the study of geography helps us build a deeper understanding of how we live together, providing us a clearer and necessary sense of direction for the future."

The council says it will fund research that celebrates the Canadian wilderness and the species that call it home. They also hope to increase the public’s awareness of geography on both sides of the border.

"Canada has a quarter of the world's wetlands and vast tracks [sic] of boreal forest that allow species migration," John Geiger, RCGS CEO, said in the release. "With resources from the Trebek Council, our wilderness areas can be further investigated so these lands can be valued and preserved — not just for Canadians, but for the important roles these landscapes play in global environmental health."