Thursday, March 17, 2016

Integrated Environmental Planning Class Open House


Great turnout for the IEP programs Rossland Life and Environment Action Plans Open House on Monday March 14, at the Old Fire Hall. Here are our student reps thanking the crowd that provided input to the student's plans over a two hour period. Great job, all!

Wolverines!

Awesome talk by Nikki Hiem in early Jan on her MSc work on the cumulative effects of landscape disturbance, climatic conditions, interspecific species interactions and more. Nikki finished our RFW program in 2004, volunteered on a variety of research projects, finished her degree at TRU and completed her masters at UVIC. She now works in Banff National Park. Nice to see that our past grads are getting into interesting research!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Interesting talk in the ADGIS lab today, with Will Burt, Regional Geomatics Analyst Kootenay Boundary Region, Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (MFLNRO). He talked about the role GIS plays in forest fire management, and about the kinds of things you do, day to day, in an Incident Command Team



It was a nice connection to where some of these students will go - several past grads have had coop jobs at the the Southeast Fire Centre. Also it was nice to see a number of the students in this group that have come through the geomatics courses that our two year diploma students take.

Rena Vandenbos instructing a second year forestry GIS lab



Thursday, January 8, 2015

We're almost at the New Year here, but there's been a lot of interesting events our SEG students have experienced over the last four months, and I though I should mention at least a few of them!

Doris Hausleitner and I took the 2nd year IEP students up to Stagleap Provincial Park to help monitor whitebark pine population health, and to look at the change in forest structure over an elevation gradient (from the Pass car park to the top of Cornice Ridge).
Cornice Ridge leads up from the right to the little peak above the van
Like last year, we hoofed it up to the top of the ridge for a view. Then we set up fixed area plots to record tree density and other measures of forest structure.

The class on the top of Cornice Ridge

Students getting to work recording forest structure data on the site
 An important part of the lab is to assess the extent of blister rust infection in the whitebark pine population. This species of pine is listed as endangered in Canada, and I've worked on it's conservation and restoration it's high elevation habitat since 1997. It's great to get students introduced to, and working on this problem every year.
Looking  at infected whitebark pine saplings 


Monday, October 27, 2014

Here's a little Castlegar News piece from a week ago week when the Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens' Services stopped by the College for a look at the Selkirk Geospatial Research Centre (SGRC) and the Rural Development Institute (RDI). I was out of town, but apparently Andrew Wilkinson was impressed by the research and innovation efforts he saw (how could he not?). Hats of to Ian, Terri, and their respective teams!


Tuesday, October 21, 2014







I went out recently with SEG's fisheries biologist/instructor Rena Vandenbos to prepare for RFW field lab. We when back to the same area up the Kootenay River north of Castlegar and set traps up Glade Creek. Here's Rena and our young assistant placing several of the traps.


Adriana tying in a submerged trap

Chief trap setter finishing one of the placements.

Here's what the trap looks like in situ.


On our way the last trap placement, Adrian spotted this locally rare bull trout. Got to love water resistant cell phones... I'm using a Samsung S5, and I've been pretty happy with the camera results. This is in a forest with low Fall evening light and me just holding the phone under and clicking - no post production.


















The end result was for the lab was no bull trout caught in the traps, but lots of rainbow fry. Always pays to keep your eyes open for other information outside of your experimental design - makes for some great new questions to ask.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Catch up!

Catch up.
Ok, one a year does not make a blog! So much happened over the last year at the College and the applied environmental field in the Kootenays, it's a bit over whelming to report out on, but there is lots of cool stuff that I've meant to share, so I'm going to take a few posts here to show off, mostly with images. Here we go...

Every fall instructors in our RFW program have to get ready for fall RFW field school. Part of these 10 days are spent working on measuring fish populations.
Rena and her young research assistant, Adriana, setting up minnow traps


In October last year, Doris Hauslietner and I took her IEP 260 class up on Cornice Ridge in Stageleap Provincial Park to do some vegetation monitoring with with the Parks staff, and to assess the whitebark pine population health in that area.

Unloading at top of the Salmo-Creston Pass

Students getting to more open vegetation on Cornice Ridge.

Doris and her students assessing blister rust damage on whitebark saplings in one of the vegetation plots.
Students setting up a plot and assessing vegetation cover using a line intercept method. 
Don't do this unless you work for Parks! Here's an old unexploded avalanche bomb. First one I've come across in many years of vegetation monitoring in that area. 
IEP class of 2013/14!