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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Cruising for birds

Our 14-deck mammoth cruise ship ― Costa Pacifica (Photo by Rob Alvo)

If you want to see many species of birds, you will undoubtedly be faced with a choice: visit only one or two sites to maximize the chances of seeing what is present, or visiting many sites to maximize the number of species that don’t require...

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Recovering the American chestnut

American Chestnut (Photo by Norfolk County)

American Chestnut (Photo by Norfolk County)

The Canadian Chestnut Council (CCC) is a volunteer-run scientific and charitable organization. Now in its 29th year, CCC's goal is to save the endangered American chestnut from extinction. The American chestnut was once the dominant hardwood...

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Bringing communities together: The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

Hauling foam, a buoy and other marine debris during a 2016 Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. (Photo courtesy of Rachel Schoeler)

As an avid open water swimmer, I learned to respect our waterways while fighting through the smack and splash of ocean waves during long training swims. I fell in love with our waterways during calm, quiet morning swims out on the lake. And I...

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Josh Noseworthy: Conservation is not about wildlife, it’s about people

Josh Noseworthy and a snapping turtle, Tusket River Headwaters Nature Reserve, NS (Photo by Frank Merill)

Josh Noseworthy and a snapping turtle, Tusket River Headwaters Nature Reserve, NS (Photo by Frank Merill)

“Conservation isn’t about wildlife, it’s about people. If you’re serious about conserving wildlife, you need to understand how people work.” – Josh Noseworthy Imagine walking through woods thick with ancient,...

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Buzzing down the house: Determining the habitat for declining bumble bees

Bumble bee foraging on red clover (Photo by Amanda Liczner)

Bumble bees are important pollinators of crop plants and wild plants. Unfortunately, bumble bee species are declining globally. These declines are likely due to several factors, including climate change, a pathogen spread from imported bees,...

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How getting outside can help with the winter blues

Winter bud (Photo by Amanda Cashin Photography)

Winter bud (Photo by Amanda Cashin Photography)

In 2012, Statistics Canada and the Canadian Community Health Survey on mental health conducted a survey on the Canadian population living with mental illness. The survey showed that 5.4 per cent of Canadians, aged 15 and older, had experienced...

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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)

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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Lovebirds: The day I broke a turkey's heart

Wild male turkey (Photo by Wayne Dumbleton, CC-BY-NC-SA 4.0)

One of my favourite field work stories comes from my very first field season. I’ll be the first to admit that I had no idea what I was doing back then. I couldn’t identify most plants, was slightly scared (ok, terrified) of dragonflies...

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