Listening to the answers hidden in frog calls

Western chorus frog (Photo by Ryan Bolton)

Taking the time and effort to listen is essential to fully experiencing the outdoors. As a biologist, I am always keeping an eye and ear out for anything out of the ordinary, such as a rare frog, plant or bird species I’ve been hoping to...

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Magic shrubs: How to master live staking

Willow live stakes (Photo by NCC)

Willow live stakes (Photo by NCC)

I remember raising my eyebrows skeptically when my colleagues from the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority told me that we were going to be cutting branches off of shrubs and hammering them into the ground along the Nottawasaga River to...

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Observing the pollinators of the prairie

Prairie crocus finishes flowering in early May (Photo by Diana Robson)

Summer is in full bloom at the Yellow Quill Prairie Preserve, and once again, I’m studying pollinators at this Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) property, just south of Canadian Forces Base Shilo in Manitoba. Last year I made the mistake of...

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Nature through the eyes of young Canadians

Students from John Norquay Public School, Nature Days Vancouver (Photo by HSBC Bank Canada)

Students from John Norquay Public School, Nature Days Vancouver (Photo by HSBC Bank Canada)

When I set out to research young Canadians’ views of nature and their childhood experiences within nature, I had no idea that the results would be only the beginning of a larger conversation about the difference between attitude and...

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Flattening a prairie province's misconceptions

Missouri Coteau, Saskatchewan (Photo by Branimir Gjetvaj)

Missouri Coteau, Saskatchewan (Photo by NCC)

Growing up, I learned a lot about my home province, Saskatchewan, from my fellow Canadians. I was told that the land — limited to fields of wheat and canola — is tabletop flat and devoid of trees. I heard that our towns, villages and...

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Song of Northern Superior

White-throated sparrow (Photo from Wikimedia Commons)

It was a chilly April morning in southern Ontario, so all of the windows in my house were closed. But I could still hear something outside. I quickly pushed open the window and listened. There it was — the cheery song of the white-throated...

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There are bears on Prince Edward Island

Marine tardigrade, known affectionately as a 'water bear'. (Photo by Emma Perry)

What’s that, you say? There are bears on PEI? Yes! Well, sort of. Tiny, microscopic water bears! I live in Prince Edward Island, the smallest Canadian province, with the highest population density. We have a long history of humans living on...

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Feeling happy about conservation

Kristyn Ferguson, spring monitoring, ON (Photo by NCC)

The toque did not stay on long during our third monitoring visit! (Photo by NCC)

I was 21 years old, and I was going to save the world, starting with one particular forest. In 2004, during my third year of an undergrad degree at the University of Guelph, I took a course called "Problem-solving in Environmental Biology." My...

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I did not fall into a burning ring of fire

A black line is established before prescribed burn begins. (Photo by NCC)

I was several hours into my first major, fully equipped prescribed fire when I promised myself I wouldn’t cry. I was tired, it was getting dark and, to be honest, I wasn’t really sure where I was; but the real reason I was trying not...

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Internal parasites and the conservation of birds

Mosquito (Photo from The Weather Network)

Most people, especially Canadians, know how annoying being swarmed by mosquitoes in the early summer can be. There is nothing quite like braving clouds of host-seeking insects while exploring our beautiful forests. However, while most of us can...

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