The hurdles of the charisma-challenged

Eastern mole (Photo by Bert Cash, CC BY 4.0)

Eastern mole (Photo by Bert Cash, CC BY 4.0)

What do dodgeball and charisma-challenged species have in common? In elementary school, I was always, by far, the shortest kid in the class, and I barely cracked 80 pounds. In gym class, I was pretty much the last player chosen for the dodgeball...

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Why I welcome a conservation plan for the Great Sand Hills

A tree sunken into the sand and snow at the Great Sand Hills, SK (Photo by Bill Armstrong)

A tree sunken into the sand and snow at the Great Sand Hills, SK (Photo by Bill Armstrong)

Fifteen years ago, I signed up for a photography workshop at Saskatchewan’s Great Sand Hills, a place I’d heard about from other photographers but had never visited. I remember the first morning of the workshop, watching the rising sun...

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Nature-based solutions for an uncertain future

Bow Lake, AB (Photo by Sarah Boon)

Bow Lake, AB (Photo by Sarah Boon)

Here in Canada, it’s a luxury to not think about water. Most of us watch it come out of the tap and go down the drain without considering its source or destination. But many people in the world don’t have taps or drains. In fact, over...

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Canada's splendid sparrow crew

Dark-eyed junco (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Dark-eyed junco (Photo by Bill Hubick)

Sparrows often don’t get enough credit. Many don’t have flashy plumage like jays, orioles or cardinals, or melodic songs like thrushes or meadowlarks; however, sparrow species are often fairly distinct (once you get to know them) and...

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The magic of seaweed

Kelp forest (Photo by Robert Schwemmer/NOAA via Wikimedia Commons)

Kelp forest (Photo by Robert Schwemmer/NOAA via Wikimedia Commons)

Along the Pacific Northwest, there are over 640 different species of seaweed. They come in many different shapes and sizes. However, they’re commonly grouped into three colours: brown, green and red. While these different species of seaweeds...

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Do you get enough Vitamin N?

Father and child by the lake (Photo by Laubenstein Karen, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons)

Father and child by the lake (Photo by Laubenstein Karen, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons)

You find yourself breathing more deeply, taking in the sharp scent of pine and the sweet mustiness of leaves returning to dust on the forest floor beneath your feet. For a moment, the quiet is broken only by birdsong — the notes that...

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What will we save? The conservation decisions we make today will impact Canada’s wildlife forever

Next Creek alpine lake (Photo by Steve Ogle)

Next Creek alpine lake (Photo by Steve Ogle)

Nature conservation often means making tough decisions. The conservation that does, or doesn’t, happen today will have a big impact on the future of wildlife here in Canada and beyond. Canada is a large and vast country, and we are one of...

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Heard it from a Scout: Leaving only footprints in nature

View from the top of Eagle Bluffs, BC. (Photo by Emilie Diver)

View from the top of Eagle Bluffs, BC. (Photo by Emilie Diver)

The view was incredible and the challenge of the hike up to the Eagle Bluffs in North Vancouver made it even more worthwhile. Ruby, my yellow lab, was happily sitting and begging for food from me and my Scout troop. Her behaviour was in stark...

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Interns and olives

Autumn olive (Photo by James H. Miller)

Autumn olive (Photo by James H. Miller)

When I started my Canadian Conservation Corps internship (a three-part program funded in part by the Canadian Service Corps, a youth-focused nature and conservation experience) with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) as a conservation...

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This Groundhog Day, it's all relatives

Groundhog (Photo by Cephas/Wikimedia Commons)

Groundhog (Photo by Cephas/Wikimedia Commons)

Tomorrow marks Groundhog Day, a North American tradition dating back to 1888. The groundhog, also called the woodchuck, is the largest member of the squirrel family and one of four marmot species that live in Canada. Rather than just focusing on...

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