naturenanaimo

President’s Perch: Looking ahead to another successful year.

The summer is drawing to a close, although you would be hard pressed to realize that given the near record temperatures the last few days. We have had another mild summer, but thankfully have been spared from smoke this year. That does not mean that the environment is not under severe stress. Salal and western …

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Unfolding Climate Science and Powering the Future with Erik Krough – May 16, 2019

    A review of the scientific method with an emphasis on the human element of problem solving and particular reference to the challenges of understanding complex natural systems like the Earth’s climate. The presentation emphasizes the central role of observation, measurement, imagination, critical thinking and reproducibility.  We will describe the physical basis radiant energy absorption …

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Harewood Plains – Nanaimo’s flowering jewel!

A Blog Post by Staffan Lindgren Click on Staffan’s blog post below to read about his recent visit to Harewood Plains and see his wonderful photographs of the flora which can be discovered at this hidden gem in Nanaimo, BC:Cinnabar Reflections – Harewood Plains – Nanaimo’s flowering jewel!

Club Project: Western Purple Martin Nest Boxes

Staffan Lindgren Purple Martins, Progne subis, are the largest swallows in North America. The Western Purple Martin subspecies, Progne subis arboricola, is distinct from its eastern cousin in several respects. It originally nested in available cavities made by Northern Flicker and other primary cavity nesters in snags. Due to on-going clear-cut forestry practices and agricultural …

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Using DNA to help conserve the Vancouver Island marmot with Jamie Gorrell – April 18, 2019

Note: Dr. Jamie Gorrell is a faculty member with the Department of Biology at Vancouver Island University. Jamie presented a similar version of his talk at the VIU Science and Technology Lecture Series on March 13, 2019. This report is a synthesis of both talks. Jamie introduced his topic with a brief discussion of extinction …

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Brant in the Bay with the Arrowsmith Naturalists – Mar. 31, 2019

Eight members from the Nature Nanaimo club ventured up to Parksville to experience part of the annual Brant Wildlife Festival. Hosted by the Arrowsmith club, Brant in the Bay featured a number of scopes that visitors could use to view a gaggle of Brant geese feeding in a sheltered coastal lagoon in Parksville Bay, at …

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When the Unexpected Happens: Impact of the Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease (RHD) Outbreak on VIU’s Feral Rabbit Population

VIU Science and Technology Lecture Series, March 27, 2019 Liz Gillis, Department of Resource Management and Protection, Vancouver Island University by Lance Nordstrom Dr. Gillis opened her lecture with an introduction to wildlife epidemiology, the science that seeks to understand the spread of disease in wild populations. She emphasized the challenges faced by researchers in …

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Milner Phenology

Nature Nuggets – Mar. 21, 2019 At the March 21st meeting, Kidston Short and Larissa Thelin from the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Research Institute (MABRRI) provided an overview of the Plant Phenology Research and Monitoring Project. This project is a collaborative effort between MABRRI, Milner Gardens and Woodland, the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations …

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Salish Sea Nearshore Habitat Restoration with Nikki Wright – Mar. 21, 2019

Nikki talked about the five-year nearshore habitat restoration work taking place within the Salish Sea funded by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Pacific Salmon Foundation and the Sidney Anglers Association. Nikki works with others to take what has been learned locally about eelgrass and marine riparian restoration and supports other coastal communities in B.C. …

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VIU Bird Banding Project: Engaging Students in Research

VIU Science and Technology Lecture Series, March 20, 2019 Eric Demers, Department of Biology, Vancouver Island University by Lance Nordstrom Dr. Demers introduced his topic by describing the current status of breeding bird populations in Canada, noting that numbers have decreased 12% since 1970. About 40% of bird species are in decline. In particular, populations …

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Nature Ramble to Rathtrevor Beach – Mar. 9, 2019

Lance Nordstrom, with contributed photographs by Bob Harvey Braving a rather chilly wind, a dozen Nature Nanaimo members ventured out onto the mud flats at Rathtrevor provincial park to view migrating Brant and other shore birds, including Surf scoters, Glaucous-winged gulls, California gulls, Mew gulls, Dunlins, Mallards, Common goldeneye, Black oystercatchers and several other species. …

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Reading the Fossil Tea Leaves: New Perspectives from BC’s Eocene Floras

VIU Science and Technology Lecture Series, February 20, 2019 David Greenwood, Department of Biology, Brandon University by Lance Nordstrom Professor Greenwood presented a lively and entertaining lecture about ancient plant life in the Eocene epoch 56 to 40 million years ago. At that time the earth was much warmer, with no polar ice caps. Although …

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Nature Ramble to Morrell Nature Sanctuary – Feb. 2, 2019

On a sunny but slightly chilly morning, 15 Nature Nanaimo members gathered for a walk around the trails of Morrell Nature Sanctuary. Lance Nordstrom led us up the Tranquility trail towards Morrell Lake. A few minutes in a Barred Owl called its typical “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all?” Shortly thereafter we heard …

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