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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Adventures in the night: My foray into astrophotography

Located on Plymouth's doorstep, Dartmoor National Park is a vast moorland known for its forests, rivers, wetlands and tors (rock formations). This photo is of Great Staple Tor with me in the foreground. (Photo by Esme Batten/NCC staff)

Located on Plymouth's doorstep, Dartmoor National Park is a vast moorland known for its forests, rivers, wetlands and tors (rock formations). This photo is of Great Staple Tor with me in the foreground. (Photo by Esme Batten/NCC staff)

“Are we almost there?” I ask my new friend Matt as we wander along a sea cliff on the north coast of Cornwall, U.K., shivering, in search of our shooting location for the evening. Although by Canadian standards the evening was balmy at...

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The future of conservation is female (part two)

Esme Batten (Photo by Esme Batten)

Esme Batten (Photo by Esme Batten)

In honour of International Women’s Day (March 8), over the course of the month, we are celebrating three young women working for the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) Ontario Region. We speak with them to learn more about...

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My bucket list adventure in the Galapagos Islands

Kristyn Ferguson in the Galapagos Islands (Photo by Jeff Verberne)

Kristyn Ferguson in the Galapagos Islands (Photo by Jeff Verberne)

For many biologists, the Galapagos Islands are usually near the top of their list of places to see in this lifetime. On my bucket list they were annotated with an “!”. When my mentor and good friend James Duncan passed away suddenly in...

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A trip to dive for

Diving next to the Cozumel sign (Photo by Stephen Mancuso)

Diving next to the Cozumel sign (Photo by Stephen Mancuso)

Last November, I went to Cozumel, Mexico, on a scuba diving trip. This Caribbean island is a diver’s paradise and is renowned for its crystal clear, aqua-coloured waters, pristine coral reefs and drift diving, a type of scuba diving where...

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A city for nature lovers

Downtown Vancouver (Photo by Adam Hunter/NCC staff)

Downtown Vancouver (Photo by Adam Hunter/NCC staff)

Last September I travelled to Vancouver, BC. It was my first time on Canada’s West Coast, and I was really impressed. While I enjoyed exploring the city itself, it was the nature activities that really stood out for me. Stanley...

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Exploring Canada’s wild west

Me in Jasper National Park (Photo by Tazim Hunter)

Me in Jasper National Park (Photo by Tazim Hunter)

Last September I went on a week-long road trip through Alberta with my mom. We flew to Edmonton and then drove past wilderness to Jasper, Banff and Calgary. This was my first time visiting this part of Canada, and I still can’t get over its...

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Life on the tundra

Arctic poppy in the snow (Photo by Teva Harrison)

Arctic poppy in the snow (Photo by Teva Harrison)

Icebergs. Polar bears. Frozen expanses of windy rock & snow. Scurvy-riddled explorers. Dogsleds... What do you picture when you think of the Arctic? A few summers ago, I had the opportunity to travel north by ship into the Northwest Passage...

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Connecting to nature and my ancestry from the stern of a canoe

Me at the mouth of the Voyageurs and Old Voyageurs channels (Photo by Christine Beevis Trickett/NCC staff)

Me at the mouth of the Voyageurs and Old Voyageurs channels (Photo by Christine Beevis Trickett/NCC staff)

This story is about my experiences on and personal connections to what is now known as the French River, in Ontario. Long before European settlers came, this area was occupied by Indigenous Peoples. The original caretakers of the land, this is the...

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Tails from the Field: On the trail for wonder

The Forks Prairie Garden is a great outdoor classroom. (Photo by Thomas Fricke)

The Forks Prairie Garden is a great outdoor classroom. (Photo by Thomas Fricke)

There are many kinds of nature trails, for many kinds of nature lovers. Some people are happy to scramble over rocks, cut across shallow rivers or squeeze past thorny vegetation during their hike. Others prefer terrain that's a bit more level,...

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