All posts in Monitoring

Underwater Storytellers: Understanding Wetlands by Studying Aquatic Invertebrates

Beneath the surface of Alberta’s wetlands lives a diverse community of aquatic invertebrates. For most of us, the species that call wetlands home only become recognizable after individuals reach their adult phase, and take the form of flying insects like dragonflies and mosquitoes. Taxonomists, however, like those working in the ABMI’s Processing Centre at the Royal Alberta [...]

Wetland Monitoring at the ABMI

Wetlands provide numerous benefits to society, including clean and abundant water, flood mitigation, and habitat for wildlife. These benefits have become increasingly apparent, as wetlands are lost across Alberta resulting in greater risk to our infrastructure and biodiversity. Starting with agricultural settlement in southern Alberta, it’s estimated that approximately 64% of wetlands have been permanently [...]

Wetland Ecologist: Marie-Claude Roy

“It absolutely makes my day when I can look at a row of numbers and identify patterns that are ecologically meaningful.” – MC Roy, Wetland Ecologist, ABMI From an early age, it seems Marie-Claude Roy was destined to be a wetland ecologist. Now, as the resident wetland ecologist at the ABMI, Marie-Claude, or MC as [...]

Say ‘Cheese’! ABMI Implements New Monitoring Protocols Using Camera Traps

Gathering reliable measurements of animal populations is a long-standing challenge for wildlife biologists around the world. Estimating population size and density requires researchers to count individual specimens; this is an especially difficult task when working with species that move (sometimes over large geographic ranges) or live in difficult-to-traverse landscapes, like Alberta’s Rocky Mountains or its [...]

Finding Rare Plants in Alberta’s Northeast

This story originally appeared in the Alberta Native Plant Council‘s newsletter, Iris, published November 2014. If a botanist went for a walk in the Lower Athabasca region of Alberta, how likely would it be that he would encounter a rare plant species? How long in kilometres or time would she have to walk to find one? If [...]

Better Environmental Management Through Monitoring: The Story of the Yellow Rail in the Lower Athabasca

This story originally appeared in AEMERA’s Newsletter, published March 31, 2015. “The approval holder shall provide a plan or participate in the development of a plan for the monitoring and mitigation of the Yellow Rail (Coturnicops noveboracensis) by [given date] to the satisfaction of the Director…” – Approval condition for oil sands mine project The [...]

A Dragon in Alberta!? ABMI Vascular Plant Taxonomist Records New Orchid Sighting in Alberta.

It was a day like any other when Varina Crisfield, the ABMI’s Vascular Plant Taxonomist, showed up for work at the ABMI’s Processing Centre at the Royal Alberta Museum*. Little did she know, she was about to achieve something few Alberta botanists can expect to do these days: identify a new species record for the [...]

Bogs and Bison: My Week in Zama City – A Field Technician’s Experience of the 2014 Summer Shifts

There is a moment of panic that comes when you sink through a soft spot in a cattail marsh. Your first thought is, “how deep am I sinking this time?” followed by, “hopefully this water doesn’t go over my waders.” Your next thoughts are focused on getting out: “I’m only in up to my belly-button, [...]