All posts in Monitoring

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, [...]

Bird recorder in field

Bird Songs and Sunrises – A Field Technician’s Experience of the 2014 Spring Shifts (Part 1)

“I’m Cody Pytlak, bringing you this morning’s bird calls for June 1st, 2014. It’s sunrise here in Peace River and the time is 5:08 am. Enjoy the birds!” I shout into the microphone, ten feet away, and for the next ten minutes I sit still in a small woodlot, headphones pressed to my ears, listening to [...]

ABMI Logistics Coordinators: The Wind Beneath our Wings

Field season. It is the means by which the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI) keeps its metaphorical finger on the pulse of Alberta’s many diverse species and ecosystems. Each spring and summer, the ABMI launches an enormous effort to monitor Alberta’s biodiversity across the province, from boreal bog to prairie pasture. Field season involves some [...]