Measuring what matters: Biocapacity and ecological footprint

Participants of the joint Global Footprint Network and York University workshop (Photo courtesy of Martin J. Bunch, PhD)

Participants of the joint Global Footprint Network and York University workshop (Photo courtesy of Martin J. Bunch, PhD)

The most-used measure of a country’s progress is its gross domestic product (GDP) — the value of the goods and services produced over a period of time, such as a year. A huge drawback of GDP, however, is that it does not fully reflect...

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Antlers of the East: Tracking the decline of the Atlantic-Gaspésie caribou (part one)

Woodland caribou at the summit of Mont Jacques-Cartier, tallest among the Chic Choc Mountains of Gaspésie National Park, QC. (Photo by Zack Metcalfe)

Woodland caribou at the summit of Mont Jacques-Cartier, tallest among the Chic Choc Mountains of Gaspésie National Park, QC. (Photo by Zack Metcalfe)

It was August 18, 2017, when I gained the summit of Mont Jacques-Cartier, an alpine peak of shattered stone and meager vegetation some 1,270 metres above Quebec’s Gaspé Peninsula. Several stones were organized into mounds, marking the...

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Carbon and wetlands: So what's the big deal?

Wetlands can support lots of plants and vegetation. (Photo by Amanda Loder)

Wetlands can support lots of plants and vegetation. (Photo by Amanda Loder)

Wetlands can support a lot of plants and vegetation, which take up carbon from the atmosphere. What's unique about wetlands is that they enable dead plant material and the carbon they contain to be buried in their soils without being released into...

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Botanizing by Lake Ontario: An Australian visits the Nature Conservancy of Canada

Left to right: Cheryl Reyes, Jane Gilbert, Amanda Tracey and Kate Cranney at Presqu'ile Provincial Park (Photo by NCC)

Left to right: Cheryl Reyes, Jane Gilbert, Amanda Tracey and Kate Cranney at Presqu'ile Provincial Park (Photo by NCC)

We looked suspect at best. Picture this: three cars parked in an isolated part of Presqu’ile Provincial Park. Ten people huddled together against the wind and rain. One woman picking something from the ground, holding it up to the light....

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Climate change, fire and their implications for species

Will forest fire hazard signs be over into the red more often because of climate change? (Photo by Aaron H Warren CC BY-ND 2.0)

Will forest fire hazard signs be over into the red more often because of climate change? (Photo by Aaron H Warren CC BY-ND 2.0)

The role of fire in forest ecosystems Forest fires are powerful and devastating. But they are also necessary for the rejuvenation of some ecosystems. Many plants are well adapted to fire. Some trees have dense bark or shed their lower limbs to...

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Five facts about grizzly bears that will surprise you

Grizzly bear (Photo by Caroline Henri)

Grizzly bear (Photo by Caroline Henri)

Perhaps no other animal symbolizes the stunning beauty of the Canadian wilderness as much as the grizzly bear. A type of brown bear, grizzly bears occur in the wilderness of western and northern Canada. The species' scientific name, Ursus...

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Puttin’ the boots to junk at Shoe Lake

Conservation Volunteers at the Shoe Lake West property (Photo by Bill Armstrong)

Conservation Volunteers at the Shoe Lake West property (Photo by Bill Armstrong)

Sometimes the best way to show your appreciation for critters and their habitat is to clean up what us humans have left lying around. That about sums up the purpose of a late-August Conservation Volunteers (CV) event at a Nature Conservancy of...

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How to prepare for your next hiking trip

Hiking is a great choice for enjoying an adventure that contributes to physical and mental fitness (Photo by Simon CC0)

Hiking is a great choice for enjoying an adventure that contributes to physical and mental fitness (Photo by Simon CC0)

Hiking is a great choice for enjoying an adventure that contributes to physical and mental fitness. Whether you're an expert hiker or a novice, you'll want to accomplish two things: having lots of fun and staying safe. Here are some helpful tips...

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Heard it from a Scout: Discovering the winter night sky

Discover the winter night sky (Photo by Steve Owst CC0)

Discover the winter night sky (Photo by Steve Owst CC0)

One of my most relevant memories during my Scouting years happened at a winter camp in E. C. Manning Provincial Park in BC on a frigid February night. Our patrol was made up of a group of eight Scouts, between 11 and 13 years old, camping in a...

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Sudbury lakes are becoming less acidic

Common loons moult their feathers, starting at the base of their bills, before autumn migration in September. (Photo by Robert Alvo)

Common loons moult their feathers, starting at the base of their bills, before autumn migration in September. (Photo by Robert Alvo)

In my July 5, 2018, blog, I summarized my findings of over 25 years of examining the effects of lake acidification on common loon breeding success in the Sudbury region of Ontario. Although Sudbury's lakes have improved after decades of sulphur...

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