It's the little things that matter

Miner bee on wild strawberry (Photo by Marika Olynyk/NCC staff)

Miner bee on wild strawberry (Photo by Marika Olynyk/NCC staff)

A trip to the cottage is often a reminder to stop and enjoy the small things in life. And the small things can be rather small indeed. On any given summer day, we are surrounded by thousands of pollinating insects going about their business. The...

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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)

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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Tap into the power of maple trees

Sugar maple (Photo by Liz West)

Sugar maple (Photo by Liz West)

With maple tree tapping (sap extraction) season now underway, it’s the perfect time to talk about maple trees. I have fond childhood memories of maple trees, and I have witnessed the growth of a maple tree in my front yard over the...

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So many species, so many ways to study them

Spotted salamander (Photo by Rosemary Mosco)

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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Heard it from a Scout: How climate change affects maple syrup production

Scouts pouring hot maple syrup on snow to make maple taffy (Photo by Andrea Burbidge Photography)

Scouts pouring hot maple syrup on snow to make maple taffy (Photo by Andrea Burbidge Photography)

Climate change is one of the great challenges of this century. From major natural disasters to large-scale shifts in weather, it's easy to forget about the other ways that climate change is affecting our world. One is on our breakfast...

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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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Look for these first signs of spring across Canada

Red-winged blackbird (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Red-winged blackbird (Photo by Bill Hubick)

With the springing forward of our clocks and increased daylight, many Canadians are getting antsy for the arrival of spring, perhaps especially for our friends in the Atlantic provinces (darn you, Nor’easter!). What can be more delightful...

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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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Heard it from a Scout: Lessons learned while tree planting in Fort McMurray

St. Albert and Fort McMurray Scouts planting a symbolic tree (Photo by Shayne Kawalilak)

St. Albert and Fort McMurray Scouts planting a symbolic tree (Photo by Shayne Kawalilak)

In early 2017, my mom presented an idea to our St. Albert, Alberta, Scout troop — an idea that I didn’t realize would result in our small group doing something really big. My mom is a leader with Scouts Canada and she planted a seed...

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Manitoba's amazing ash forests, invasive emerald ash borer and how you can help

Emerald ash borer adult (Photo by by U.S. Department of Agriculture)

Emerald ash borer adult (Photo by by U.S. Department of Agriculture)

Buy local. Burn local. Don’t move firewood. This is not just another green slogan put out by conservationists in the new year. Allow us to explain… Many people have heard about how non-native invasive species, including insects and...

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