On a quest for the alluring swift fox

Swift fox cub and its mum (Photo by Catriona Matheson, Cochrane Ecological Institute)

Cub and mum. (Photo by Catriona Matheson, Cochrane Ecological Institute)

My unsuccessful search for the elusive swift fox has spanned nearly a decade.It was 2008, the winter semester of my first year at Lakeland College in Vermilion, Alberta, when I first learned about the history of swift foxes in Canada. The smallest...

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Badgered into respecting the wild

American badger (Photo by Max Allen/Shutterstock)

It was my co-worker Emily's and my first day out in the field without a manager — the training wheels were off. We were bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to impress the property land managers with a thorough property inspection. This...

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What a difference a year makes

The summer-blooming showy goldenrod, being visited by a bee fly, was less abundant than the spring-blooming flowers. (Photo by Diana Robson)

One of the first papers on pollination I tried to publish was rejected because it contained data from only one field season. I withdrew the paper, and did another year of research. Why is having two years of data so important, you may ask?...

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One volunteer's view of Wideview

Conservation Volunteer Peter at Wideview (Photo by Bill Armstrong)

During a lunch break at a Conservation Volunteers event at the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s (NCC’s) recently acquired Wideview property, I asked another volunteer, Peter Tucker, what attracted him to the event. Peter told me he had...

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The melancholy mantra of the mourning dove

Fairy Hill property (Photo by Bill Armstrong)

Fairy Hill property (Photo by Bill Armstrong)

Your imagination can, at times, completely devour your inhibitions to a point where those thoughts intensify and manifest in your brain. In this moment, you don’t know where reality ends and fantasy begins. Today was such a day. It was a...

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Observing the pollinators of the prairie

Prairie crocus finishes flowering in early May (Photo by Diana Robson)

Summer is in full bloom at the Yellow Quill Prairie Preserve, and once again, I’m studying pollinators at this Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) property, just south of Canadian Forces Base Shilo in Manitoba. Last year I made the mistake of...

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I did not fall into a burning ring of fire

A black line is established before prescribed burn begins. (Photo by NCC)

I was several hours into my first major, fully equipped prescribed fire when I promised myself I wouldn’t cry. I was tired, it was getting dark and, to be honest, I wasn’t really sure where I was; but the real reason I was trying not...

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Pricing the priceless: How the economics of natural capital can help us all better value nature

Walking through Emma Young forest, ON (Photo by Mike Dembeck)

Putting a price tag on nature is challenging. Some people don’t believe it can be done. Some people hate the idea of it. Most will have no idea what it means. But there are new and emerging approaches to help us put a price on the services...

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Nature Conservancy of Canada: Canada’s Agriculture Day is a time to celebrate environmentally sustainable agriculture

Wideview Complex (Photo by Calvin Fehr)

On Canada’s Agriculture Day, I want to talk about environmentally sustainable agriculture. As a professional agrologist working for a conservation agency, my perspective on how the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) operates often includes...

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Out of sight, out of mind

Greater sage-grouse (Photo by Gordon Sherman © Audubon Canyon Ranch)

Now and then, I look out my living room window and begin to search. I am not searching for anything in particular, it is simply by habit. I can spend 20, or even 30, minutes just gazing here and there at just about anything. Little brown birds...

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