All posts in Monitoring

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 [...]

From Boreal Bog to Prairie Pasture

How the ABMI successfully reaches all four corners of Alberta’s wilderness to collect biodiversity data. Before dawn, the early spring morning is tranquil. Mike Boucher, ABMI terrestrial field coordinator, carefully manipulates his truck down a narrow and winding logging road, which is still illuminated by the nearly full moon. Having left his temporary field base [...]

What It Takes to Monitor Alberta’s Biodiversity

“I try to remind everybody to take a step back and look at the magnitude of what we’re doing. I think people on the ABMI staff take a lot of pride in that.” Colin Twitchell, Director, ABMI’s Monitoring Centre Every spring, in the final weeks of April, ABMI’s Monitoring Centre in Vegreville could be mistaken [...]

A Few Crossings Go a Long Way: Caribou Report Available

Oil sands extraction is booming in the province of Alberta. Much of the province’s oil sands resource, however, lies in the province’s northeast–territory that the boreal woodland caribou depends on for survival. Environment Canada recently released a recovery strategy for boreal woodland caribou, which are designated as “threatened” under the Canadian Species at Risk Act­­­­. [...]