Four ways I’m making 2016 a year for nature

American tree sparrow (Photo by NCC)

American tree sparrow (Photo by NCC)

Ah, January! Time for a new year, a fresh start and a list of resolutions to be forgotten by February. Not so in 2016! This year, I’ve decided on a resolution that will not only be beneficial for my physical and mental well-being, but also...

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You too can be a citizen scientist! Join a Christmas Bird Count this year

Volunteers with binoculars at Codroy Valley Fall waterfowl Survey, NL (photo by NCC)

Volunteers with binoculars at Codroy Valley Fall waterfowl Survey, NL (photo by NCC)

Citizen science monitoring is an unspeakably important part of conservation, and I would encourage anyone who hasn’t tried it out yet to get involved. Christmas Bird Counts in particular are a great excuse to catch some sunshine and exercise...

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Cave diving in the Ottawa River, Canada

Dressed and ready to enter the water - note the yellow loggers on my right. (Photo by Cheryl Buzzacott)

Dressed and ready to enter the water - note the yellow loggers on my right. (Photo by Cheryl Buzzacott)

Before coming to Canada I contacted renowned Canadian cave diver David Sawatzky, whom I knew had mapped these caves in the 1990s before moving to Nova Scotia. David kindly sent me his detailed map and some background information, including that...

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Jasmine's day at the Carden Alvar Butterfly Count

Jasmine at the Carden Alvar Butterfly Count. (Photo by Mary Kennard)

Jasmine at the Carden Alvar Butterfly Count. (Photo by Mary Kennard)

My name is Jasmine and this summer I went to the Carden Alvar Annual Butterfly Count in Kirkfield, Ontario. I counted butterflies with my mom and Aunty Mary. I caught an eastern comma butterfly in my net. I caught three butterflies, my mom and...

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Share your love of nature with your love, in nature

A pair of cedar waxwings (Photo by Brendan Toews)

A pair of cedar waxwings (Photo by Brendan Toews)

Behold! The year’s (supposedly) most romantic day is coming up! Whether you see it as a cash grab for makers of V-Day buys or a necessary observance, it’s easy to get swept up in the fuss. But of all the roses, chocolates and candle...

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Doing Science that Matters: Engaging with Communities in Collaborative Scientific Research

University of Victoria student Megan Adams monitoring hair snags near Wuikinuxv Village, BC (Photo by ACS lab)

University of Victoria student Megan Adams monitoring hair snags near Wuikinuxv Village, BC (Photo by ACS lab)

I should have known I would become an ecologist. As a child, I always seemed to catch a salamander while waiting for the school bus, or bring home precious flowers to press through the seasons. I could stare from the bus window out into the...

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The Ontario BioBlitz Program

Dave Ireland (Photo by Tallie Garey)

Dave Ireland (Photo by Tallie Garey)

A bioblitz is a biodiversity snapshot: an intensive survey of all living things in a given area within a set time, usually within the span of 24 hours. Biologist E.O. Wilson helped make the concept mainstream in 1999 when he suggested that citizen...

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Where the bears are: An update on the Wuikinuxv grizzly bear project

Grizzly bear (Photo by Vince Heney)

Grizzly bear (Photo by Vince Heney)

In the spring of 2013, I approached the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) about a project in Wuikinuxv Territory, in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest, where grizzly bears and humans have shared the same riverbanks for thousands of years,...

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My 2013 Christmas Bird Count story: Why I've become a regular CBC participant

Snowy owl (Photo by Chris Moncrieff)

Snowy owl (Photo by Chris Moncrieff)

There is a very cohesive feeling that comes with participating in a Christmas Bird Count. For more than 100 years, citizens across the Americas have been coming together between December 14 and January 5 to spy, spot, listen for, photograph and...

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Of bugs and slugs: Pint-sized citizen scientist discovers a strange blue slug, far from home

Blue-grey taildropper (Photo courtesy of Habitat Acquisition Trust)

Blue-grey taildropper (Photo courtesy of Habitat Acquisition Trust)

My seven-year-old son Malcolm was excited about going on the Slug & Snail Walk at Chase Woods. He loves hiking, and I hadn’t the heart to tell him that there likely wouldn’t be a lot of actual hiking on this field trip. Slugs and...

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