Alvar explorations of a wandering biologist (part two)

Esme on the alvar in Malham Cove, U.K. (Photo by Esme Batten/NCC staff)

Esme on the alvar in Malham Cove, U.K. (Photo by Esme Batten/NCC staff)

In part one, I explained what alvars are, where they occur and their importance. Now, I talk about my alvar explorations in the U.K. On Boxing Day in 2018, I set off early in the morning from Cornwall, in the southwest end of the U.K., to drive...

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Restoration is super cool... literally!

Left: An image of a restored field on an NCC property in 2013. Right: A thermal image of the same field taken in 2008. (Images by Google Earth and USGS Landsat 5)

Left: An image of a restored field on an NCC property in 2013. Right: A thermal image of the same field taken in 2008. (Images by Google Earth and USGS Landsat 5)

Restoration of woodland begins with site preparation and seeding, but monitoring is needed after that to make sure the restoration stays on track for the next 40 plus years. This blog post explains the application of thermodynamic theory to the...

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We can recover Canada’s wildlife: Five examples of species NCC is helping save

Small white lady's-slipper (Photo by Melissa Grantham)

Small white lady's-slipper (Photo by Melissa Grantham)

These are tough times for many wildlife species and their habitats. Over three-quarters of Earth’s terrestrial ecosystems (excluding Antarctica) have been directly modified by human activities1 , and most of our shrinking global wilderness...

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Alvar explorations of a wandering biologist (part one)

Esme on the alvar in Malham Cove, U.K. (Photo by Esme Batten/NCC staff)

Esme on the alvar in Malham Cove, U.K. (Photo by Esme Batten/NCC staff)

“You are going to drive seven hours away to go walk around on flat rocks?” my Grandad asked when I told him about my planned trip to Malham Cove in the U.K. at the end of 2018. To most people, alvars, or limestone plains, as they are...

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Game of Toads: How nature intersects with fantasy

Eastern wolf (Photo by Manuel Henriques)

Eastern wolf (Photo by Manuel Henriques)

As Thronies everywhere prepare for the new season of Game of Thrones tonight, I can’t help but notice how nature continues to influence fiction and fantasy. While there are no magical, fossilized dragon eggs waiting to hatch in fire out in...

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Digging into soil health

Left: new undies; right: official SCCC undies dug up at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum in Ottawa, ON (Photo by CNW Group/Soil Conservation Council of Canada)

Left: new undies; right: official SCCC undies dug up at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum in Ottawa, ON (Photo by CNW Group/Soil Conservation Council of Canada)

Across the country, people have been digging up buried underwear. In fact, they buried the underwear themselves to learn more about soil health as part of the Soil Your Undies campaign from the Soil Conservation Council of Canada. This backyard...

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Gardening with native plants this spring

Wild bergamot (Photo by Sarah Ludlow/NCC staff)

Wild bergamot (Photo by Sarah Ludlow/NCC staff)

I love to garden. I excitedly begin planning for the next year as soon as the autumn chill settles over the prairies. I’m always impatient for spring to arrive, and it doesn't help when the seed catalogues start arriving in November. I find...

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Innovative learning experiences are putting the art back in science

The Herbarium Project, 2017, Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC (Photo by Four Eyes Portraits)

The Herbarium Project, 2017, Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC (Photo by Four Eyes Portraits)

If you’ve heard the terms “science art” or “sciart,” you’re probably familiar with the idea of using visual art to represent, explain or bring attention to some aspect of science. The wonderful realm of science...

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Slow down, and connect

Colleen Dale believes the best way to educate Canada’s future conservationists is by taking them to explore her favourite place in nature: Ontario’s Backus Woods. (Photo by Neil Osbourne)

Colleen Dale believes the best way to educate Canada’s future conservationists is by taking them to explore her favourite place in nature: Ontario’s Backus Woods. (Photo by Neil Osbourne)

Ontario’s Backus Woods is a stellar example of one of Canada’s most diverse life zones. Growing up in a time without the internet, Colleen Dale learned about nature the old-fashioned way: getting out into it. “I can remember...

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Invasive phragmites in a wilderness paradise

Cockburn Island, Manitoulin Islands Archipelago (Photo by NCC)

Cockburn Island, Manitoulin Islands Archipelago (Photo by NCC)

Cockburn Island is a paradise for nature lovers, and we can prove it! Only one person lives on the island year round, with his dog, Max. The rest of the island is left as a wilderness paradise for the bears, wolves, coyotes, deer and the small...

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