Resources

CSEB Webinar Archive

Since October, 2016, the CSEB has been hosting a series of webinars featuring topics of interest to Canadian environmental biologists. You are welcome to view archives of these webinars, below. Announcements for upcoming webinars are posted on this CSEB website under News, Webinars and Events.

Sept 19, 2021: Western red cedar dieback and community science in the Pacific Northwest

Presented by Dr. Joseph Hulbert, Puyallup Research and Extension Centre, Washington State University.

For more information and to register and view the recording of this webinar now, please follow this link.

 

Sept 5, 2021: Investigating White Pine Blister Rust in Strathcona Park

Presented by Researcher Kaitlyn Kuzma-Wellsker, Undergraduate Student (B.Sc. Biology, Environmental Studies) University of Victoria.

Abstract: Ms Kuzma-Wellsker describes the history of the introduction of this fungus, Cronatium ribicola, to North America, its life cycle, impact on native pine and possible solutions.

For more information and to register and view the recording of this webinar now, please follow this link.

May 9, 2021: Citizen Science Engagement in the Survey of Bryophytes and Lichens in Strathcona Park

Presented by Dan Tucker, graduating student at the University of Alberta.

Abstract: Strathcona Provincial Park is the largest wilderness area on Vancouver Island which spans more than 250,000 hectares of the rugged snow-capped mountains, sub-alpine, and coastal temperate rainforest. Although the wilderness of Strathcona Park has been the subject to many botanical surveys since the 1880s the level of scrutiny has been inadequate considering the heterogeneity and inaccessibility of the landscape. Bryophytes and Lichens are among the most neglected due to their cryptic nature, taxonomic difficulty, and the research bias towards vascular plants. App-based citizen science programs such as iNaturalist are effective tools to enhance awareness of biodiversity, address gaps in floristic data, and monitor rare plant populations. We used iNaturalist as a repository for tracking the Strathcona Wilderness Institute’s bryological and lichenological surveys of Strathcona Park during July-August 2019, and 2020. We found 186 bryophyte species, and 165 lichens. These surveys increased the known lists by 61 species of bryophytes (total 304), and 140 species (total 170) of lichens. These curated projects used conjunction with surveys conducted by the Strathcona Wilderness Institute establish a functional floristic baseline essential for species conservation and increase public awareness of these marginalized groups.

For more information and to register and view the recording of this webinar now, please follow this link.

(Note: Due to a technical problem, the presentation begins about 8 minutes into the recording.)

April 20, 2021: Incorporation of Ecosystem Services into Conservation Planning in Canada.

Presented by Dr. Matthew Mitchell, Faculty of Land & Food Systems at the University of British Columbia

Abstract:  Dr. Mitchell outlines new research that identifies priority areas in Canada for ecosystem service conservation and how this can help inform national conservation planning.

For more information and to register and view the recording of this webinar now, please follow this link

April 18, 2021: Watermelon Snow – Science, Art, and a Lone Polar Bear

Presented by Dr. Lynne Quarmby, Chair of the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at Simon Fraser University

Abstract:  Dr. Quarmby presented her recently released book “Watermelon Snow” published by McGill University. She presents a unique human and scientific perspective on climate change. It has been described by one reviewer as: “one scientist’s rediscovery of what it means to live a good life at a time of increasing desperation about the future.”

For more information and to register and view the recording of this webinar now, please follow this link.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to a technical glitch at the beginning of the recording, you should skip to about 08:35 minutes in the recording for the presentation. (We were unable to edit the recording to correct this….)

April 15, 2021: The Mount Polley Mine Disaster: An Ecotoxicological Perspective

Presented by Dr. Greg Pyle, University of Lethbridge

Abstract: On Aug. 4, 2014, a tailings dam failed at the Mount Polley copper and gold mine in the Cariboo region of BC and spilled 25 M cubic metres of contaminated tailings into nearby aquatic ecosystems, including Quesnel Lake—the deepest fjord lake in the world, and the fifth largest lake in BC. This presentation examines the disaster from an aquatic ecotoxicological perspective.

For more information and to register and view the recording of this webinar now, please follow this link.

April 14, 2021: Indigenous Systems of Management for Culturally and Ecologically Resilient Pacific Salmon

Presented by Dr. Will Atlas, Spencer Greening and Dr. Andrea J. Reid

Abstract: The authors describe how colonization disrupted Indigenous-led management of salmon, initiating changes in ecosystems and management that have driven the collapse of these iconic species. Amidst this crisis, time-tested Indigenous systems of management and local governance grounded in multi-generational relationships of reciprocity provide an example for transformation of salmon fisheries that can promote the recovery of salmon populations and the wellbeing of human communities.

For more information and to register and view the recording of this webinar now, please follow this link.

April 6, 2021: Impacts of Forest Harvesting on the Supply of Bear Dens in Coastal BC

Presented by Helen Davis with Artemis Consulting.

Abstract: Coastal bears need large old-growth structures such as hollow trees for winter dens. In most of coastal BC, these structures are not protected and are disappearing due to forest harvesting. Implications of this was discussed by Ms Davis, a Registered Professional Biologist who has developed and implemented conservation programs for a wide variety of wildlife, including research and conservation of black bears, grizzly bears, and species at risk.

For more information and to register and view the recording of this webinar now, please follow this link.

March 21, 2021: The Pacific Salmon Explorer: a novel tool for mobilizing data on salmon and their habitats.

Presented by Dr. Eric Hertz with the Pacific Salmon Foundation.

Abstract: Dr. Hertz is a post-doc at UBC and an analyst for the research unit  of Pacific Salmon Foundation.  The tool is an attempt to “democratize” all available data on the state of pacific salmon and their habitats, based on DFO’s parameters. Salmon are a critical species in British Columbia, however understanding their status is hampered by limited access to data. The Pacific Salmon Explorer is a novel tool that democratizes salmon data, with many potential uses.

For more information and to register and view the recording of this webinar now, please follow this link.

March 16, 2021: Has Ontario Abandoned Integrated Watershed Planning?

Presented by Dr. Anne Bell (Nature Ontario) and Dr. Anastasia Lintner (Canadian Environmental Law Association).

Abstract: Drs. Bell and Lintner discuss the “Legal and Environmental Significance of Changes to Ontario’s Conservation Authorities”.

For more information and to register and view the recording of this webinar now, please follow this link.

February 26, 2021: Archaeology of Herring in the Salish Sea (Lazo Herring Workshop)

Presented by  Dr. Iain McKechnie (University of Victoria and the Hakai Institute).

Abstract: For many Indigenous peoples, the right and ability to fish is inseparably linked to their history, social relations, economy, and physical well-being. In British Columbia, salmon are iconic and have greatly enriched perspectives on the importance and antiquity of these fish for people’s livelihoods and life on the coast. However, in archaeology, an emphasis on salmon has received much attention relative to other species, particularly as small fish such as herring, anchovies, and smelts tend to not be as readily recovered during excavation and screening. In this presentation, I describe zooarchaeological fisheries records from over 222 heritage sites from Alaska, British Columbia, and Washington to provide measures of Indigenous fisheries catches spanning the past several millennia. In particular, I observe that herring (not salmon) are the most common and abundant fish in the majority of zooarchaeological assemblages (NISP) but particularly in the Salish Sea. I advocate for consideration of archaeological datasets for contemporary management and harvesting plans and for considering the restoring the past abundance and former spawning locations of herring.

For more information and to register and view the recording of this webinar now, please follow this link.

February 25, 2021: Unlocking Canada’s Potential for Abundant Oceans (Lazo Herring Workshop)

Presented by  Dr. Robert Rangely (Science Director, Oceana Canada).

Abstract: Healthy fish populations are critical to healthy ecosystems and coastal communities. Our oceans are facing growing threats and greater uncertainty, putting the marine life we all depend upon at risk. Bob will summarize the current state of Canada’s fisheries and fisheries management recommendations for restoring abundance to our oceans.

For more information and to register and view the recording of this webinar now, please follow this link.

February 24, 2021: Assessing seabird ecological correlates to inform conservation (Lazo Herring Workshop)

Presented by  Dr. Ignacio Vilchis (San Diego Zoo Conservation Programme).

Abstract: Seabirds are known indicators of ecosystem status and change in marine environments. This is because most marine birds are long-lived, migratory, and at upper levels of food webs and therefore ideal indicators of changing productivity and ecosystem structure across broad spatial and temporal scales. In addition, marine birds are highly visible in habitats where most other animals are underwater, making them much more accessible to count than other marine life. In this seminar I will argue that marine monitoring programs assessing ecosystem-wide trends in biodiversity and abundance of entire communities can reveal important clues about the commonalities of species that are more likely to stop frequenting an ecosystem. And that this is particularly true for seabirds, as syntheses of long-term trends in a marine predator community will not only provide unique insights into the types of species that are at risk of extirpation and why but can also inform conservation measures to counteract threats—information that is paramount for species-specific and ecosystem-wide conservation.

For more information and to register and view the recording of this webinar now, please follow this link.

February 23, 2021: The Legal Protection of Forage Fish Beaches

Presented by   Ellen Campbell, Ian Bruce, Jacklyn Barrs, Calvin Sandborn QC and Megan Buchanan (Environmental Law Centre, University of Victoria).

Abstract: Discussion of the ELC report, Saving Orcas by Protecting Fish Spawning Beaches—including necessary law reforms and field measures to protect forage fish spawning habitat.

For more information and to register and view the recording of this webinar now, please follow this link.

February 22, 2021: Salish Sea Herring 101; Biology, Human Use, Status and Management. (Lazo Herring Workshop)

Presented by Dr. John Nielson (DFO retired).

Abstract: One of the first signs of spring in the Salish Sea is the arrival of spawning herring, and they are almost here! Comox Valley Nature has organized a series of talks concerning Pacific herring and other fish in the region. In this talk, John provides an introduction to Pacific herring, the critical foundation of the Salish Sea marine ecosystem. John discusses its biology, recent human use, and the current status of the resource. He concludes by describing how Pacific herring will become one of the first Canadian fish stocks to be managed using the so-called Precautionary Approach, and what that means for the future.

For more information and to register and view the recording of this webinar now, please follow this link.

February 21, 2021: Genetic Risks of Hatchery Enhancement for Pacific Salmon

Presented by  Dr. Carrie Holt (Pacific Research Station).

Abstract: Dr. Holt describes the genetic risks of hatchery production when it is used as a conservation tool for wild populations. She also describes different approaches to mitigate these risks.

For more information and to register and view the recording of this webinar now, please follow this link.

January 18, 2021: Restoration Effectiveness of Living Shorelines in the Salish Sea

Presented by Jason Toft, Senior Research Scientist, School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle.

Abstract:

Shoreline armoring has altered many intertidal beaches. Living Shoreline techniques aim to improve shoreline conditions by re-creating some of the functions of natural shorelines. Recent design implementations include complete removal of armoring, as well as eco-engineering approaches. Learn about how ecological monitoring of these sites can inform shoreline planning now and into the future.

Jason Toft is a senior research scientist at the University of Washington School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, focusing on nearshore restoration and effects of shoreline armoring in Puget Sound.

For more information and to register and view the recording of this webinar now, please follow this link.

Sept. 20, 2020: Update on Vancouver Island Canada Jay Research.

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Presented by Dan Strickland, former Chief Naturalist at Algonquin Provincial Park (retired, but still conducting research!).

Abstract: The Canada Jay has three recognizable races that all meet in British Columbia. The one in the mountains of Vancouver Island and the mainland coast is the most distinct and for 60 years was even considered to be a distinct species called the Oregon Jay. Presenter Dan Strickland began a study of a population of these jays at Paradise Meadows in 2016 and in the last four years has learned that they are even more distinct than we realized, not only in appearance but also in their social organization and nesting. Dan will tell us what he has learned in this 2020 update on his work and speak about the possible restoration of these Pacific Coast birds to the status of separate species.

For more information and to register and view the recording of this webinar now, please follow this link.

(Note: Presentation begins about 3 minutes into the recording.)

May 14, 2020: Discovery with Citizen Science – the BC Parks iNaturalist Project.

Presented by Dr. John Reynolds,  Simon Fraser Univ., Chair of COSEWIC.

Abstract: The iNaturalist Project. Citizen science projects are changing the way we document biodiversity, leading to discoveries that can have direct implications for how we protect and enhance wild nature. The BC Parks iNaturalist project provides an example of how we can harness the enthusiasm of volunteers to photograph plants and animals through the global iNaturalist platform.

For more information and to register and view the recording of this webinar now, please follow this link.

April 28, 2020: Key Findings from Canada’s Changing Climate Report.

Presented by Dr. Barrie Bonsal with the Watershed Hydrology and Ecology Research Division of Environment and Climate Change Canada, Saskatoon.

Abstract: Canada’s Changing Climate Report was released on April 1st, 2019.  Led by Environment and Climate Change Canada, this is the first report to be released through the national assessment report series: Canada in a Changing Climate: Advancing our Knowledge for Action. The report provides comprehensive information on how and why Canada’s climate has changed, and what changes are projected for the future. This talk will present results from the report on changes across Canada in temperature, precipitation, snow, ice, and permafrost, freshwater availability as well as in Canada’s three oceans. Changes in Canada’s climate will be considered within the broader context of global-scale changes, with a focus on recent results from the IPCC Special Report on The Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate.

For more information and to register and view the recording of this webinar now, please follow this link.

March 29, 2020: Cetacean Research and Citizen Science

A partner webinar – Comox Valley Nature

Presented by Aaron Purdy, Program Coordinator of the South Vancouver Island Cetacean Research Initiative

Abstract: Mr. Purdy describes the BC Cetacean Sightings Network, some basic information about whales and the threats they face and what members of the public can do to aid cetacean research and conservation.

For more information and to register and view the recording of this webinar now, please follow this link.

December 10, 2019: Exploring and Monitoring Arctic Biodiversity Using DNA Barcodes

Presented by Dr. Alex Borisenko from the University of Guelph.

Abstract: Tracking the state of Arctic ecosystems hinges on our ability to understand shifts in biological diversity and its components, which was traditionally hampered by the lack of specialized taxonomic expertise required to identify most organisms. DNA barcoding provides a new digital framework for rapid biodiversity assessments, boosting the speed and efficiency of species identifications by making use of recent advances in DNA sequencing and informatics technologies. This presentation provides background on the scientific basis and technological potential of DNA barcoding and outline the scope of its current and prospective applications, ranging from baseline ecological surveys and environmental impact assessments to conservation and wildlife health. It also highlights relevant research initiatives, including the Arctic BIOSCAN project (ARCBIO) which aims to develop the capacity for near real-time DNA-based biodiversity monitoring in the Canadian Arctic.

For more information and to register and view the recording of this webinar now, please follow this link.

October 9, 2018: Fall Update and Implications of the Fisheries Act Review (Bill C68) Implementation.

Presented by Rick Kiriluk, Fish Habitat Biologist, Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans (Burlington)

Abstract: Pursuant to the work of the 2016 ministerial Standing Committee, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans presented changes to The Fisheries Act in February 2018. In order to assist professional biologists in their practice, Rick provided an overview of the amendments and presented the current status of the implementation of Bill C-68. The three files below were referenced during this webinar;

Overview_of_FA_Amendments_(July_2018) 625KB

Proposed Updates to the Applications for Authorization -Aug2018 nsp   298KB

fisheries-act-lois-des-peches-consultation-report-rapport-eng   6.5MB

For more information and to register and view the recording of this webinar now, please follow this link.

April 19, 2018: Changes to Federal Environmental and Regulatory Legislation

Presented by Keith Bergner (LL.B.), Head of Aboriginal Law for Lawson Lundell LLP.

Abstract: In June 2016, the Federal Government began a formal review of its regulatory and environmental review processes. In February 2018, the Federal Government introduced Bill C-68, (Fisheries Act) and Bill C-69, (Impact Assessment Act, Canadian Energy Regulator Act, and Navigation Protection Act). This presentation will focus on the proposed new and amended federal environmental and regulatory review processes, including the Impact Assessment Agency, the Canadian Energy Regulator (former National Energy Board) process, and touch briefly on the changes to the federal Fisheries Act and Navigation Protection Act.

For more information and to register and view the recording of this webinar now, please follow this link.

March 29, 2018: Contaminants, Climate, Food Resources: Biological Responses to Changing Ecosystems

Presented by Dr. Kirsty Gurney, Research Scientist with Environment and Climate Change Canada and Adjunct Professor with the University of Saskatchewan.

Abstract: Human-caused and natural changes in ecological systems (i.e., environmental stressors) can affect wildlife both directly and indirectly. Identifying such impacts is critical to predicting the effects of environmental change on wildlife and ecosystems, but cause-effect relationships in complex natural systems are difficult to determine. To inform decisions that help to conserve healthy ecosystems, my research aims to improve our understanding of how organisms respond to different types of ecological disturbances. I focus on three environmental stressors – acting singly or in combination – that can alter ecosystem structure and function and will describe current studies related to each of these factors.

For more information and to register and view the recording of this webinar now, please follow this link.

March 15, 2018: Species at Risk – Prioritizing Threats and Addressing Management Needs in the Fraser Estuary.

A partner webinar – South Coast Conservation Program (SCCP)

Part 1 about prioritizing threats is presented by Dr. Laura Kehoe, Baum Lab at University of Victoria and Martin Conservation Decisions Lab, University of British Columbia

Part 2 (at 29:20 min.) about recreational disturbance to coastal birds is presented by James Casey, Manager of the Fraser Program at Bird Studies Canada.

For more information and to register and view the recording of this webinar now, please follow this link.

February 28, 2018:Environmental Risk – When and How to Apply the Precautionary Principle

Presented by  John Donihee of Willms and Shier Environment, Indigenous and Energy Law.

Abstract: The Precautionary Principle is intended to protect the environment when decisions must be made in the absence of scientific certainty. This principle has been widely and inconsistently applied in Canada by decision-makers ranging from environmental tribunals and decision-makers to our Courts. This presentation will review the adoption and application of the principle in Canadian law and environmental decisions. It will describe the use of the principle in Australia and New Zealand and argue that a more systematic and rigorous approach is needed to ensure that environmental protection results from the application of the principle in Canada.

For more information and to register and view the recording of this webinar now, please follow this link.

February 13, 2018: Climate Change – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

Presented by Dr. James Byrne, Professor at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta.

Abstract: In summer 1988, The Toronto Conference on the Changing Atmosphere Report stated “Humanity is conducting an unintended, uncontrolled, globally pervasive experiment’s whose ultimate consequences could be second only to global nuclear war.” Where are we thirty years later? This webinar will include a brief historical perspective on climate change, and look at challenges, risks and opportunities humanity faces associated with a rapidly warming Global climate.

For more information and to register and view the recording of this webinar now, please follow this link.

January 11, 2018: Community-Based Conservation of an Arctic Char Run in Nunavut, Canada.

Presented by Dr. Cameron Stevens, Aquatic Biologist with Golder Associates’ Aquatic Division in Edmonton, Alberta.

Biography: Dr. Cameron Stevens

Abstract: The Coppermine Inuit are concerned about the current state of the Arctic Char fishery in the Coronation Gulf in northern Canada. In 2012, the Kugluktuk Hunters and Trappers Organization (HTO) initiated a conservation program for an Arctic char population identified by Traditional Knowledge as having a declining spawning run. Annual data from spawning fish showed that low flows and elevated water temperatures reduce migration success of fish navigating the naturally shallow, boulder strewn creek. Traditional rock weirs and instream engineering were tested to enhance the conditions for fish passage. Learn more about this community-based approach  to increase the productivity of this northern fishery.

For more information and to register and view the recording of this webinar now, please follow this link. 

October 3, 2017: Groundhog days – Vancouver Island Marmot Decline and Recovery.

Presented by Adam Taylor and Cheyney Jackson of the Vancouver Island Marmot Recovery Foundation.

Abstract: Learn about the natural history of the Vancouver Island marmot (Marmota vancouverensis) and efforts to recover this critically endangered species from the brink of extinction. Once, the marmot numbered fewer than 30 individuals in the wild. Today, the population has recovered to over 150 animals, but challenges remain before this Canadian endemic has secured its place in the wild.

For more information and to register and view the recording of this webinar now, please follow this link.

June 6, 2017 — Nutritional Limitations on Caribou Summer Ranges in Montane and Boreal Plant Communities of Northeastern British Columbia

Presented in September by Dr. Kristin Denryter, University of Northern BC and University of Wyoming.

Biography: Dr. Kristin Denryter

Abstract: Woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) are declining throughout much of their range and the role of nutrition in these declines is poorly understood. We used tame caribou to assess the nutritional value of summer habitats in northeastern British Columbia. We quantified food habits, diet quality, and intake rates by caribou at 135 sites and found caribou were highly selective foragers, ≤50% of available vegetation was ‘food’, and many plant communities failed to provide caribou with enough daily energy and protein intakes to support lactation, growth, and accretion of body reserves. This work has direct implications to caribou conservation and management.

For more information and to register and view the recording of this webinar now, please follow this link.

June 13, 2017: North American Green Sturgeon: Status and Recovery Efforts

Presented by Dr. Phaedra Doukakis-Leslie, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration-Fisheries

Biography: Dr. Phaedra Doukakis-Leslie

Abstract: First of two webinars on Green Sturgeon recovery. Conservation of the anadromous North American green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris) is an endangered species in the U.S. and Canada. The green sturgeon ranges from Mexico to at least Alaska in marine waters, and forages in estuaries and bays ranging from San Francisco Bay to British Columbia. Covering status and recovery efforts, this tw0-part webinar will focus on biology, ecology, conservation efforts and research needs (Part 1) and an overview of the U.S. recovery plan , which will be presented once plans are finalized (Part 2).

For more information and to register and view the recording of this webinar now, please follow this link.

May 16, 2017: A Forensic Investigation of Crude Oil and Saline Spills: Detecting Fiction, Determining Facts

Presented by Dr. Kevin Timoney, Treeline Ecological Research.

Biography: Dr. Kevin Timoney

Abstract: Crude oil and saline water spills are common in Alberta. This study examined four questions: (1) Are reported spill and recovery volumes accurate? (2) Is there evidence of residual contamination and biological effects persistent after spills? (3) Are data on spill cleanup efficiency and rates of environmental damage credible and supported by science? (4) Is the regulator protecting the environment? The regulator’s data on spill volumes, recovered volumes, recovery efficiency, and environmental effects are neither accurate nor credible. An energy industry disturbance signature exists in the form of persistent changes in vegetation and soils relative to natural controls. Pervasive and persistent spill effects combined with missing or inaccurate information on energy industry spills present significant social and environmental liabilities.

For more information and to register and view the recording of this webinar now, please follow this link.

May 3, 2017: Food webs, resiliency and functioning of coastal ecosystems under threat from multiple anthropogenic stressors

Presented by Dr. Brent Hughes, Duke University / University of California, Santa Cruz.

Biography: Dr. Brent Hughes

Abstract: One of the most pressing issues in ecology is determining the drivers of ecosystem functioning and stability. Researchers and managers of ecosystems and populations of concern are often faced with determining the relative effects of top down forces, such as top predators and lower level consumers, and bottom up forces, such as nutrient loading and climate, on the stability of ecosystems. Here I show that the recovery of top predators, sea otters, through the restoration of food webs can lead to dramatic changes to coastal ecosystems, which often benefit their functioning and stability. I also demonstrate that anthropogenic nutrient loading and subsequent hypoxia in estuaries can propagate to adjacent ocean ecosystems with consequences to important ecosystem services, namely fishery production, which in turn is mediated by climatic forcing. These results demonstrate that both top predator recovery and climate can regulate ecosystem functioning and stability in the face of extreme anthropogenic stress.

For more information and to register and view the recording of this webinar now, follow this link 

April 25, 2017: Marine Plastic Litter in Nova Scotia

Presented by Ashley David, Nova Scotia Environment.

Biography: Ashley David

Abstract: This presentation provides an overview of a study examining the current state of marine litter in Nova Scotia, primarily through analyzing litter collection data provided by the Vancouver Aquarium. Although this study focuses on Nova Scotia, it also considers research that has been generated globally to establish an understanding of trends and threats that marine litter poses. A critical review of the regulatory environment pertaining to marine litter is also completed to identify gaps and opportunities. The presentation concludes with recommendations to address marine litter in Nova Scotia’s marine waters and coastlines.

For more information and to register and view the recording of this webinar now, follow this link… 

April 20, 2017: Whales of the Rainforest: Strategies of habitat use by sympatric whales in the Kitimat Fjord system, B.C.

Presented by Dr. Eric Keen, Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Biography: Eric Keen

Abstract: The identification of “critical habitat” for threatened marine predators is complicated by their cryptic and far-ranging strategies for foraging and habitat use. In an ecosystem survey spanning three summers, I assessed the ecological pathways that couple rorqual whales (f. Balaenopteridae) to their habitat within the Kitimat Fjord System, British Columbia. Contrary to the typical depiction of large whales as blundering giants, I observed complex foraging behaviors and patterns of habitat use that were spatiotemporally structured, perennially persistent, and remarkably attuned to the dynamics of fjord oceanography.

For more information and to register and view the recording of this webinar now, follow this link 

March 15, 2017: The Consequences of Plastic Debris in Aquatic Habitats

Presented by Dr. Chelsea Rochman, University of Toronto

Biography: Chelsea Rochman

Abstract: In aquatic habitats, plastic pollution is reported globally in lakes and marine coastal and pelagic habitats from the surface waters to the benthos. This material is associated with a cocktail of contaminants, including those that are added during manufacturing (i.e. BPA, PBDEs, phthalates, lead) and those that sorb to the material from ambient seawater (e.g., DDT, PCBs, PAHs, copper). It is now understood that several marine organisms across multiple trophic levels ingest plastic debris in nature. This includes fish and bivalves that we purchase for our own consumption. As such, there is concern regarding how this material may pose a threat to wildlife and human health. Using recent insights from field and laboratory experiments, this presentation will include information regarding the sources, fate and impacts of plastic debris and associated priority pollutants in aquatic habitats.

For more information and to register and view the recording of this webinar now, follow this link 

January 26, 2017: Using Sediments to Study the Effects of Natural and Anthropogenic Stressors on Lakes in a Multiple-Stressor World

NSERC_AWARDS_2012-13Presented by Dr. John Smol, Queen’s University

Biography: John Smol

Abstract: Lake managers and other environmental scientists face many new challenges, not least of which is determining how multiple environmental stressors affect aquatic resources. The situation is often complicated by a lack of systematic long-term monitoring data, making it difficult to determine the nature and timing of ecosystem changes. Furthermore, as environmental assessments are typically performed after a water quality problem is identified, critical data regarding pre-disturbance (or reference) conditions are rarely available. This presentation summarizes recent research from my lab investigating the effects of multiple stressors on lake ecosystems using paleolimnological approaches. Examples include ongoing work on the identification of new environmental problems (such as calcium declines in many softwater lakes) and the long-term impacts of industrial oil sands activities in northern Alberta. The challenges faced when dealing with multiple stressors will be highlighted.

For more information and to register and view the recording of this webinar now, follow this link 

December 6, 2016: Styrofoam Degradation by Mealworm Beetles and Other Good News.

peterheulePresented by Peter Heule, Royal Alberta Museum

Biography: Peter Heule

Abstract: Styrofoam and plastic biodegradation: Good News! Two materials formerly believed to be non-biodegradable and ubiquitous in consumer and construction waste can be broken down by the common mealworm beetle and naturally occurring bacteria, respectively. Plastic water bottles and Styrofoam are not as permanent as we thought, some bacteria are able to reduce them into less persistent constituents, giving hope for reducing the amount of plastic pollution in the environment and our landfills. The implications for further research and development of biodegradation techniques for problematic pollutants using insects and bacteria are discussed.

For more information and to register and view the recording of this webinar now, follow this link 

 

November 9, 2016: Canadian Water Quality Guidelines for the Protection of Aquatic Life.

uwe_schneider2Presented by Uwe Schneider, Environmental Consultant.

Biography: Uwe Schneider

Abstract: Uwe Schneider, Co-lead of the Canadian Water quality Guidelines will present the technical rationale for current guidelines. The Canadian Environmental Quality Guidelines are nationally approved, science-based indicators of environmental quality, nationally mandated by the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA, 1999). They are recommended numerical or narrative limits for a variety of substances and environmental quality parameters, which, if exceeded, may impair the health of Canadian ecosystems.

For more information and to register and view the recording of this webinar now, follow this link…  The PowerPoint presentation, without the audio, is available here.

October 17, 2016: Microplastics in Marine Food Chains

Presented by Dr. Sarah Dudas, Centre for Shellfish Research, University of Vancouver Island, Nanaimo, B.C.

dudas

Biography Dr. Sarah Dudas

Abstract: The impact of micro-plastics ingested by marine organisms is a growing recent concern. Relatively little is known about the fate of micro-plastics and their ultimate potential impacts on marine food chains. The ability of micro-plastics to sorb a large variety of chemicals makes them a potential danger for natural ecosystems and human health. Dr. Sarah Dudas , together with Dr. Katie Davidson, is the author of one of the few recent in-depth study on the presence of micro-plastics on manila clams in Baynes Sound and potential impacts of micro-plastics. (Katie Davidson and Sarah Dudas (2016) Archive for Environmental Contaminants and Toxicology (2016) 71:147–156). She is currently undertaking a project to monitor some 3,000 shellfish in the Salish Sea. The webinar will be a review of her research micro-plastic impacts.

For more information and to register and view the recording of this webinar now, follow this link