Call of the Wetland

Volunteers search the wetland shoreline for amphibians. (Photo by Melanie Rathburn)

Have you ever heard frogs or toads calling in an urban environment? Or spotted a secretive salamander as it makes it way to an urban pond? If you live in Calgary, the Miistakis Institute is interested in your observations! With Miistakis’...

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Heard it from a Scout: Wonderful wetlands

Forested wetlands in summer (Photo by Mary Gartshore)

Forested wetlands in summer (Photo by Mary Gartshore)

Wetlands are a pivotal part of Canada’s environment. They play a vital role in maintaining the natural balance of ecosystems. Wetlands are areas of land that become submerged or saturated with water either year-round or throughout part of...

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Bidding farewell to National Poetry Month with a nod to science-inspired poets

Composite of book covers (Photo by Science Borealis)

Poets need scientists. And some might argue that scientists need poets. In the second semester of my master’s of fine arts program in writing (studying poetry and creative non-fiction), I began thinking about how a lack of basic scientific...

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The Swishwash Island bioblitz

L-R: Shannon, Robin and Dave (Photo courtesy of BCIT students)

We are three students in our final year of the fish, wildlife and recreation program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. We were excited to choose Swishwash Island for our final research project because it gave us the opportunity to...

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Growing with nature

Children exploring the outdoors (Photo by Nature Office for the International Day of Forest Kindergarten)

While the move toward using digital media in education reached universities and schools years ago, the educational concept of forest kindergartens is recently gaining more and more attention worldwide. This model for early childhood education...

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Himalayan blackberry and English holly and Japanese knotweed…oh my!

East bank of Centre Creek overrun by dense Himalayan blackberry (Photo by Lynn Pinnell)

As part of my bachelor’s degree at the University of British Columbia, I had the honour of doing an independent research project with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC). For the project, I mapped all occurrences of invasive species at...

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Naturalists notice nature – even in winter

There may be a lot more happening than meets the eye in the dead of winter (Photo by Dispatches from the Field)

For some, it is easy during cold, snowy days (when it’s supposed to be spring!) to curl up with a cozy blanket, a good book, and a hot cup of tea. But where does the wildlife go at this time of year? Sure, some animals migrate to where it is...

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Earth Day 2018: Buddies, boundaries and nearby nature

Red trillium (Photo by Sherry Nigro)

Earth Day is a good time to think about the future. How do we ensure our children grow up healthy and happy? Research suggests that the answer is right outside our back door: help them connect with nature. Benefits of time in nature Spending...

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So many species, so many ways to study them

Spotted salamander (Photo by Rosemary Mosco)

I have the best job in the world. I encourage people to get excited about nature. I’m a science communicator — someone who bridges the gap between scientists, the media and the public, helping us understand each other better. One way...

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Manitoba's mystery stonefly

An example of a classic spring. Tufa spring, Fort Ellice, MB (Photo by NCC)

Everyone enjoys a good mystery, even entomologists. During my early years of teaching a course in aquatic entomology at the University of Manitoba, the name Capnia manitoba kept appearing in the list of stoneflies in the province. It was a...

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