CREDtalks (Columbia Region Ecological Discussions)
- Start Date: January 21, 2021
- End Date: January 21, 2021
- Time: varies
- City: wherever you are
- Venue: online
The Columbia Region Ecological Discussions include speakers addressing a diversity of topics such as science communication, active ecological management, citizen science, research skills and techniques, and applied ecological research projects. See below for a list of upcoming talks as well as past CREDtalks. Talk recordings are posted on this web page and available on our YouTube channel here.
Thanks to the Columbia Basin Trust for their continued support of this project.
CREDtalks: season 5
Donations towards this project warmly welcomed. A suggested donation of $10 for these CREDtalks would be very helpful. DONATE HERE
Tips and Tricks for the Organization and Analysis of Camera Trap Data
In this webinar we will take you on a whistle-stop tour through the process of getting a memory card out of a camera trap through to producing useful and simple data exploration in R. We will highlight some of the useful tips and tricks we have acquired from years of working with camera trap data. Participants will gain an understanding of what it takes to create a ‘good’ camera trap data set which is suitable for sharing with other researchers and collaborators. No experience in R is required to participate, but it will help!
This talk is co-hosted with the wildCAM network.
Rocky Mountain Mammal Communities: Camera Trapping Brings the Effects of Development into Focus
The east slopes of the Canadian Rockies face extensive disturbance from forest harvesting, energy extraction, roading, and largely unregulated intensive recreation pressure. The sum of these effects on mammal communities remain unknown, as do the prospects for these species under future plans to develop swathes of the slopes for coal mining. Camera trapping over the last decade has cast new light on the effects of disturbance, and highlight the need for integrated landscape management spanning all these sectors to maintain the mountain mammal biodiversity.
This talk is co-hosted with the wildCAM network.
This talk recording can be accessed here.
The Swallow Hotel: Compensation Habitat for Barn Swallows in the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area
Presenter: Blaire Smith, Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area
You probably already know that the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area (CVWMA) provides habitat for a variety of wildlife species, but did you know we are also in the barn swallow hospitality industry? Our “Swallow Hotel” provides nesting habitat for barn swallows and is one of only a few such structures. In this webinar, Blaire will describe the history leading up to the installation of the Swallow Hotel, explain why this compensation habitat was required, and provide an overview on monitoring and success to date.
This talk recording can be accessed here.
Climate Change and the Biodiversity Crisis
Presenter: Greg Utzig, MSc, PAg, Kutenai Nature Investigations, Kootenay Resilience
While the pandemic is creating a major crisis for Homo sapiens, climate disruption and the biodiversity crisis are affecting virtually all species. What do past experiences and current trends tell us about where we are likely headed in the next few decades? Are we living up to our Latin species and subspecies names?
A nice write-up on Greg Utzig can be found here.
This talk recording can be accessed here
What can we see from long term data on the Columbia River? Patterns of change through the Rainbow Trout Lens
Presenter: Robyn Irvine, PhD, Poisson Consulting
The abundance, distribution and genetics of the Rainbow Trout in the Lower Columbia River (from Hugh L. Keenleyside Dam to the U.S. Border) have been studied for over 25+ years. Dr. Robyn Irvine will describe some of the patterns observed and what might come next scientifically in this CRED talk.
Co-Authors: Jeremy Baxter, Joe Thorley, Mark Fjeld, and Phil Bradshaw.
This talk recording can be accessed here
CREDtalks: season 4
Ancient Inland Temperate Rainforest in the Monashee Mountains
Thu, Nov 7, 2019. 12pm. Revelstoke Community Centre, MacPherson Room
Presenter: Amber Peters, BSc, staff biologist for the Valhalla Wilderness Society.
In 2018 the Valhalla Wilderness Society sponsored a scientific expedition into the largest of two contiguous valleys to record an ecological inventory of plant, macrofungi and lichen species using standard sampling and photodocumentation methods. Biologists Toby Spribille, Curtis Björk, Wayne McCrory, Tyson Ehlers and Amber Peters conducted exploratory research to determine the ecological and inland rainforest values of the newly discovered wilderness. An impressive diversity of rare habitats and species were discovered, including abundant growth of oceanic lichen species indicative of a true rainforest ecosystem. Researchers have since concluded that the Rainbow-Jordan Wilderness harbours stands of some of the richest Inland Temperate Rainforest yet found in the province, making the unroaded and unlogged wilderness a valuable refuge for wildlife and sensitive plant communities. The presentation will include a summary of rare and at-risk species that have been inventoried to date, as well as photography by the researchers and by well-known professional photographer Douglas Noblet.
The Valhalla Wilderness Society have submitted a proposal for this area of land to be included in a protected areas proposal currently under review with the province of British Columbia and the Federal government.IMAGE: Douglas Noblet
Songbirds of Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks
Thu, Nov 28, 2019. 12pm. Revelstoke Community Centre, Boulder Room
Presenter: Lisa Larson, MSc., Ecologist Team Lead, Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Park, Parks Canada
Lisa will provide an overview of the Ecological Integrity Monitoring program for Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Park and highlight how songbirds fit into this program. She will also share bird monitoring results locally and more generally for the whole of the Mountain National Parks. IMAGE: Perisoreus canadensis, Parks Canada
We experienced technical difficulties with this talk recording, further editing required but will be posted soon.
What’s up with Wolverines? 10 years (and counting) of Wolverine Research in the Columbia Region
Thu, Jan 16, 2020. 12pm. Revelstoke Community Centre, MacPherson Room
Presenter: Mirjam Barrueto, PhD (candidate), University of Calgary
Wolverines are rare but insanely cool animals found in Canada’s north, but they also haunt the remote mountains of southern British Columbia. All recent research suggests that their populations throughout Canada are under pressure because of habitat fragmentation, habitat degradation, and locally high harvest rates. Let’s say we decide that we don’t want them to disappear from our mountains: Do we have the information we need to make a plan? What can we do to prevent them going the way of the caribou? IMAGE: Matt Kynoch
Wildlife Mitigations and Highway Improvements
Thu, Jan 23, 2020. 12pm. Revelstoke Community Centre, MacPherson Room
Presenter: Danielle Backman, Environmental Assessment Scientist,
Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks
In 2015, Parks Canada launched a significant infrastructure investment program. In Glacier National Park, through these investments and the environmental review process, several wildlife mitigations were recommended and included in project work. By the end of the 2019 construction season completed projects will include amphibian crossings, animal ramps off the snowsheds, concrete barriers to help keep goats off they highway, a wildlife underpass created from an existing large steel culvert, and several hundreds of thousands of dollars in investments to improve aquatic ecology (culvert improvements). These initiatives are novel, based on emerging science and represent significant environmental gains – while improving park roads and assets. IMAGE: Parks Canada
Pity the Analyst: Designing Camera Trap Software for Efficient Image Inspection
Thu, Feb 6, 2020. 12pm. Revelstoke Community Centre, MacPherson Room
Presenter: Saul Greenberg, Emeritus Professor, University of Calgary
This talk describes and explains design patterns for software that supports how analysts can efficiently inspect camera trap images and encode its data. Broadly speaking, a design pattern identifies a commonly occurring problem and a general, reusable design approach to solving that problem. A developer can then use that design approach to create a specific software solution appropriate to the particular situation under consideration. In particular, design patterns for camera trap image analysis address solutions to commonly occurring problems faced by analysts when inspecting a large number of images and entering data describing those images. We base our design patterns on our understanding of what analysts do, acquired over eight years developing and iteratively refining the freely-available Timelapse image analysis system. For each design pattern presented, we describe the problem, the design approach that solves that problem, followed by a concrete example of how Timelapse realizes that design pattern in practice. These design patterns can be used to inform the design of camera trap systems, or to help project managers decide between competing software products by considering if their interfaces include design pattern solutions relevant to the project.
Saul Greenberg is an Emeritus Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Calgary. He specializes in Human Computer Interaction, which places people at the center of system design. His interests go far beyond computing, where they should relate to this audience. He is an avid outdoor geek: backcountry skiing, mountain biking, hiking, and so on. His family all have worked for Parks Canada in positions ranging from Parks Planning, to Resource Conservation to Public Safety. He became interested in camera trap image analysis when he saw a biologist friend of his painfully entering tagging data on a spreadsheet while reviewing images. ‘Surely we can do better than that’ he thought.
Saul then designed and created the Timelapse, a system that supports how analysts tag camera trap images. He is currently collaborating with the Microsoft AI for Earth team (a Microsoft ‘AI for good’ initiative), where analysts can import image recognition data into Timelapse and use that as part of their workflow. It is currently used by various agencies and individuals around the world (including Parks Canada) to analyze their corpus of millions of images.
A recording of the content delivered at our CREDtalk can be found here. This is not the actual CREDtalk which was 1hr in length (too long to post), rather, this is a condensed version of the same subject matter.
Paper referenced in the above talk and during our CREDtalk: “User Interface Design Patterns for Wildlife-Related Camera Trap Image Analysis”
Link to the Timelapse web site, including software downloads, manuals, etc. is here
CREDtalks: season 3
Native Bee Fauna of the Columbia Mountains
Tue, June 18, 2019. 7pm. Revelstoke Community Centre – MacPherson Room
Presenter: Lincoln Best, Taxonomist with the Oregan Bee Project and Atlas at the Oregon State University, Corvallis in partnership with the Oregon Department of Agriculture. He instructs the Oregon Bee School, a course in taxonomy, and many other short courses and field courses. He spends his winters at University of Calgary where he is the pollinator taxonomist for the Ecologics Lab, generating biodiversity data for Landscape Ecology projects. Lincoln provides support to a large network of diverse clients in Canada and abroad.
Lincoln Best will introduce the native bee fauna of the Columbia Mountains and discuss their relation to regional flora, interesting species, and how we can enhance habitat to preserve them. This talk is co-hosted with the Revelstoke Local Food Initiative. IMAGE: Lincoln Best
Alternative Forest Harvesting Practices in Revelstoke
Wed, November 28, 2018. 12pm. Revelstoke Community Centre – MacPherson Room
Presenter: Kevin Bollefer, RPF, Revelstoke Community Forest Corporation, Revelstoke, British Columbia.
The Revelstoke Community Forest Corporation (RCFC) is a forest company owned by the City of Revelstoke. RCFC owns and operates a 120,000 hectare Tree Farm Licence (TFL 56) north of Revelstoke. Through a series of photos and a discussion, Kevin will talk about the trials and tribulations of alternative harvesting practices on TFL 56, looking at suitability, successes and lessons learned in partial cutting. IMAGE: Kevin Bollefer
50 Years of Habitat Change in the Revelstoke Reach
Presenter: Ryan Gill, RPBio, Wildlife Biologist
With the construction of the Hugh Keenleyside dam in Castlegar, 200km of
the Columbia river, and the Arrow lakes was inundated. Prior to
inundation, the valley bottom was a matrix of riverine, riparian habitat,
and rural development. Since impoundment, this landscape has gone
through significant changes, with subsequent changes to the wildlife
using habitat in the drawdown zone. There have been several studies on
almost all aspects of the effects of reservoir operation on the natural
environment of the Revelstoke Reach, this talk will be a high level view of those changes between 1969 and 2018. IMAGE: Harry van Oort
NOTE: Unfortunately the recording of this presentation did not work due to faulty equipment. You can access Ryan’s power point presentation HERE. Additional documents that may be of interest include the Arrow Lakes Reservoir Mid-Evaluation Scenarios Report, the feedback to this report, an updated report from June 2017, and an addendum to scenario 3.
Keeping Toads off Roads: Western Toad Ecology and Hwy 31A mortality at Fish & Bear Lakes
Presenter: Marcy Mahr, MSc, Senior Research Biologist, Valhalla Wilderness Society
Western toads by their very nature and lifecycle require both terrestrial hibernating and aquatic breeding habitats. Consequently, a highway running between these habitats can result in a lot of dead toads on the road during annual migrations. Marcy’s presentation will discuss how in a remote, mountain pass between Kaslo and New Denver in the south Selkirk Mountains, a population of western toads are getting some assistance from the Valhalla Wilderness Society to cross Highway 31A, a popular route for summer tourists. Over the past 4 years, researchers and volunteer Toad Ambassadors have been keeping thousands of adult toads and baby toadlets out of harm’s way while identifying highway crossing hotspots where toad underpasses and directional fencing could be installed. IMAGE: Marcy Mahr
Using eBird and DNA Analysis to Track the Evolution of BC’s “Whiskyjacks”
Presenter: Dr. John Woods, zoologist in Revelstoke
Biodiversity in British Columbia is nothing short of spectacular. Our latitudinal stretch, convoluted topography, medley of climates, and perch on the western rim of the continent, have given rise to a variety of species unparalleled within Canada. In this presentation, we’ll look at the intraspecific evolution and post-glacial dispersal of Canada Jays and find that our province is even more wonderful than we thought! IMAGE: Canada Jay, John G. Woods
CRED talks: season 2
The Columbia River Treaty and Options for Arrow Lakes Reservoir
Thu, November 16, 2017. 12pm. Revelstoke Community Centre – MacPherson Room
Presenter: Alan Thomson, MRM P.Eng. Water Resources Consultant, Mountain Station Consultants, Nelson, British Columbia.
In preparation for negotiations concerning the Columbia River Treaty with the United States, Alan and a team of Canadian Columbia River basin experts have studied Arrow Lakes Reservoir literature, data and operations to explore and develop alternative reservoir operation scenarios that may enhance ecosystem function while maintaining power generation and flood risk management functions. Their report is found on the provincial CRT blog site here.
Alan’s presentation will introduce the Columbia River Treaty, some of the environmental and other impacts due to operation on the Arrow reservoir for primarily hydrogenation and flood control purposes, and then summarize one Arrow Lakes reservoir operational scenario that shows promise for addressing some known environmental impact concerns in the reservoir. IMAGE: Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program
Why Invasives Matter – to all of us
Tue, November 21, 12:15pm. Revelstoke Community Centre – MacPherson Room
Presenter: Sue Davies, Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society, Program Coordinator.
Invasive species invade. Their invasion into new territory often creates negative impacts on the environment and those who live in it. So why should you care about invasives? Invasives can destroy habitat for native flora and fauna, but they can also damage our economy, disrupt tourism and recreation, and send our energy and utility costs soaring. Reducing the spread of invasives is in all of our best interests, and if we take some simple steps, we can often prevent the spread of these harmful invaders. IMAGE COLLAGE: Sue Davies
Mending the Meadows: Restoration on the Summit of Mount Revelstoke
Tue, November 28, 12pm. Revelstoke Community Centre – MacPherson Room
Presenter: Mindy Skinner, Parks Canada Resource Management Officer
Visitors from around the world are drawn to the summit of Mount Revelstoke every summer for the vibrant and colourful displays of subalpine wildflowers. Over the past 100 years, this influx of people has impacted the very thing they come to see. Through on-going restoration and monitoring, Parks Canada is protecting this incredible landscape for both the wildflowers and the people. The talk will provide an overview of the history of human impact on the summit, including more recent monitoring and future restoration efforts that are planned. IMAGE: Parks Canada
Ungulate Population Management, Value or Science Based?
Tue, December 5, 2017. 12pm Revelstoke Community Centre, MacPherson Room.
Presenter: Meghan Anderson, Wildlife Infometrics Inc.
Ungulates have important hunting and wildlife viewing values. We also value them for the ecological role they play. With caribou and moose populations declining across BC reflecting on historic population data to inform our opinions is a germane topic. IMAGE: Moose calves in Goldstream, Saakja Hazenburg
One Fish, Two Fish: Living like a Kokanee in our Reservoirs
Revelstoke Community Centre, MacPherson Room.
Presenter: Karen Bray, BC Hydro Natural Resource Specialist
The appearance of bright red fish in late summer signals the much anticipated and welcome start of the annual kokanee spawning run in streams around us. The abundance of this adaptable species is linked to the creation of large reservoirs and their life history can provide us valuable means to monitor changes in productivity that could influence both aquatic and terrestrial environments. IMAGE: Ben Meunier, FWCP
Nesting success of Breeding Birds within the Arrow Lakes and Kinbasket Drawdown Zones
Tue, January 23, 12pm. Revelstoke Community Centre, MacPherson Room.
Presenter: Catherine Craig, Wildlife Biologist with Cooper Beauchesne and Associates
Since 2008, Cooper Beauchesne and Associates Ltd. has monitored the habitat use and success of breeding birds nesting within the Arrow Lakes and Kinbasket drawdown zones. The fluctuating water levels within these reservoirs have the potential to impact the nest and post-fledging survival of birds nesting within them. This talk will provide an overview of the results so far, with a focus on recent research on the survival of juvenile Savannah Sparrows. IMAGE: Devon Anderson
Annual and seasonal survival of Yellow Warbler – Which Stages of the Annual Cycle are Most Costly?
Presenter: Michal Pavlik, PhD candidate with Simon Fraser University, Wildlife Biologist with Cooper Beauchesne and Associates
Yellow Warbler is a small passerine that visits British Columbia annually for about three months of the year. A small breeding population of these warblers which nest in the drawdown zone of Arrow Lake reservoir near Revelstoke has been monitored since 2004. While a lot of information has been acquired about their local breeding ecology, relatively little is known about how these birds survive the remaining 9 months of the year. As long-distance migrants, they face many challenges on both their breeding and wintering grounds, as well as during migration. In this talk, Michal will present part of his PhD thesis and talk about the annual and seasonal survival of Yellow Warbler with a focus on identifying stages of the annual cycle when mortality of these birds is the highest. IMAGE: Michal Pavlik
CREDtalks: season 1
Water Monitoring & Climate Change
Friday May 12, 2017. 7-8pm. Revelstoke Community Centre
Dr. Martin Carver will be presenting Columbia Basin Trust’s “Water Monitoring and Climate Change Report.” Water monitoring is particularly relevant to higher-volume water users such as communities, hydropower operators, agricultural producers, industrial operations and snowmaking at ski resorts, and can also benefit commercial and private recreational users.
The report provides a snapshot of current scientific knowledge about water resources within the Basin. It outlines:
– the state of water monitoring efforts
– how climate change is projected to affect various types of water resources such as snowfall, glaciers, rivers and lakes
– opportunities to strengthen understanding of water resources in the future.
For more information on the report, see here
This presentation was complimentary event to the “One River. Ethics Matter.” conference, taking place at the Revelstoke Recreation Centre on Saturday, May 13th, 9am – 4pm. For more information on the conference, see here IMAGE: Harry van Oort
KONELINE: Our Land Beautiful – Film Screening & Discussion with the film’s producer Nettie Wild.
Koneline: Our Land Beautiful, is a compelling art film which tells the story of the many different people who wander, work, dream, create, and conserve throughout Northwestern British Columbia and celebrates their common love and respect for the land. Set deep in the traditional lands of the Tahltan First Nation, Koneline (pronounced kona-leena) captures the beauty of the land while the wilderness undergoes irrevocable change. The film shares with it’s audience a different, non-lecturing, way of seeing and being – from hunters to miners, and guide outfitters to elders of the Tahltan First Nation, Koneline shares their stories of politics, drama, and humour displayed in a visually stunning and poetic presentation. The film smashes stereotypes of the people who work and live in the region: white hunters carry bows and arrows while members of the Tahltan First Nation hunt out of the back of a pickup truck with high powered rifles, both Native and caucasian diamond drillers reporting to work while elders blockade them, young Natives struggling to preserve their dying language and older white men sing to their stuffed moose. Although the film is set in a region outside of Revelstoke, the stories there reflect a common thread throughout BC – mixing resource extraction, with wilderness preservation, and an adventurous way of life.
The award winning film creates an experience full of complexity which parks all assumptions, shows the stories of the land from several perspectives, and compels the audience to look at their own journeys as a mutual project, working with everyone to create a sustainable planet – socially, economically, and environmentally.
Join us, along with our co-hosts: Revelstoke Community Forest Corporation, Revelstoke Snowmobile Club, and Monashee Outfitting Ltd on Thursday, March 9th at the Roxy Theatre Revelstoke, doors at 6:30pm. There will be a Q&A session with the film’s director, Nettie Wild, after the screening.
Advance tickets will be available at Valhalla Pure and Rough Country for $10 ($12 at the door).
Discovering Endangered Bat Species in the Nakimu Cave System, Glacier National Park B.C
Wednesday March 8, 2017. 12pm. Revelstoke Community Centre
Parks Ecologist Sarah Boyle from Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks will present a 20 minute lively talk to highlight the history of the Nakimu Cave System and the recent discovery of the bat species that call it home. IMAGE: B. Fenton
Whitebark Pine Restoration in Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks BC
Wedndesday Feb 22, 2017. 12pm. Revelstoke Community Centre
Natalie Stafl, Parks Canada Resource Management Officer will present an update on Whitebark Pine Restoration in Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Park.
Whitebark pine is a keystone sub-alpine species that is federally listed as Endangered under the Species at Risk Act. Come learn about the on-going initiatives in Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Park to protect, restore and enhance whitebark pine and associated habitat. Park staff will highlight elements of their whitebark pine conservation program including cone collection, disease resistance trials, prescribed fire and targeted planting in the parks. IMAGE: Parks Canada
The Western Painted Turtle: Revelstoke’s Resilient Reptile
We welcome Dr. Karl Larsen who will tell us about the Western Painted Turtle – a fascinating animal, which has adapted to tolerate harsh conditions. Because of its resilience, this species of turtle has managed to survive further north than any other turtle in North Ameica, with the population in Revelstoke representing one of the more extreme northern points in its range. The painted turtle population which inhabit the Arrow Lakes Reservoir are of particular interest since they are able to tolerate the climate of the area but can also the dynamics of the reservoir. Through partnerships between BC Hydro, LGL Ltd., the Okanagan Nation Alliance, and Thompson Rivers University (TRU), intense research on these animals has been brought to bear since 2010. Dr. Karl Larsen of TRU will provide an overview of this work, particularly that which was conducted by graduate students to improve our understanding of the Revelstoke turtle population, including their relationship to their environment and the potential threats to their long-term perseverance. This work shows the amazing resilience of these animals, and although certain knowledge gaps need to be filled, the animals appear to be handling life in the reservoir fairly successfully. Dr. Larsen’s presentation will also include a brief overview of how amphibians and reptiles deal with northern environments.
Karl Larsen grew up in Revelstoke, where he developed a life-long interest in wildlife. After graduating from Revelstoke Secondary School, he went on to compete BSc, MSc and PhD degrees at the University of Victoria and the University of Alberta. Along with the graduate students in his lab, he has studied a variety of animals, including snakes, badgers, spadefoot toads, mice, goshawks, pikas, pillbugs and squirrels. He currently teaches senior-level courses in wildlife conservation and management in the Department of Natural Resource Sciences at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops. IMAGE: Karl Larsen
Dr. Alan Burger, Renown Photographer and BC Nature President
Monday October 3, 2016. 7pm. Revelstoke Community Centre
To help kick off our series, we invite you to join recently retired seabird biologist, university professor, and BC Nature President Dr. Alan Burger, as he discusses his personal experiences aboard small adventure-tourism vessels to the Antarctic and Arctic as a naturalist and lecturer. His talk will focus on Global climate change and its unexpected effects on these polar regions and their wildlife, while touching on the impacts of climate change in BC.
Enjoy his photos of wildlife and spectacular scenery and learn how our activities affect life at the extremes of the earth.
As the President of of BC Nature, the federation of naturalist clubs in BC, he will discuss the possibilities of a Naturalist Club in Revelstoke supported by BC Nature. IMAGE: Alan Burger