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Sustainability

This category contains 73 posts

Why is the water so brown?

When you’re used to clear water coming out of the tap it’s easy to make assumptions about how clean a water body is based on how clear it is. This means that most people assume that the North Saskatchewan River through Edmonton, Alberta, Canada is pretty dirty, particularly in the spring. The visible brown colour … Continue reading

Biology as Ideology: The Doctrine of DNA – A Review

This is an excerpt from a paper I wrote for a class during my PhD so it is a little more academic sounding than most of my posts, but I am constantly being reminded of this book and how it broadened my perspective and awareness of how society shapes science but then how the science … Continue reading

Everyone allowed… Or not

Nature should invite everyone, but it doesn’t. National parks have a long history of excluding Indigenous peoples. A group of teenagers walking through the woods is viewed with suspicion. Women fear being alone in nature because of who might come around the corner or out of the bushes. Dog walkers and cyclists have a long … Continue reading

Why we need parks

With the Alberta Government planning to get rid of a long list of provincial parks of various forms, I thought it was worth revisiting the benefits of parks. There are multiple types of parks that vary in the balance between conservation and human recreation. But if the presence of a tree on my street can … Continue reading

Save our brains!

I’ve heard about the challenges of indoor air quality a few times. I’ve worked in buildings that had reputations as sick buildings. And oh my word, I’ve been questioning the quality of my home air since moving to working from home. While there are factors that impact our indoor air quality that are independent of … Continue reading

Please let the babies be

I used to run a nature information line and in the spring we would have any number of people calling with concerns about “abandoned” baby animals. I didn’t mind the phone calls to be honest as it meant the person called before taking action. Generally the advice is the same, look for actual signs of … Continue reading

Do I walk because I’m healthy or am I healthy because I walk?

I remember when the office I was working in was moving. We were moving from an industrial area with ample free parking to the centre of downtown with no free parking. I was thrilled. The transit access was going to be much better and there were safer bike routes. But not everyone felt the same. … Continue reading

Fun animal facts

Okay so I just needed something happy for this week as I enter my third full week of isolation (thanks Covid-19 pandemic). I used to work at my local zoo as an interpreter. I joked that I interpreted the animals for the people and the people for the animals. Zoos have some negative history to … Continue reading

Can geese change when they lay their eggs?

It is later in March and it is currently snowing. Sure, we get late snowstorms, but there’s still several feet of snow, the river is still frozen, and the daily temperatures still sit below freezing regularly. This is definitely a late spring. But the Canada geese are back from their yearly migration, searching for food … Continue reading

How does soap work?

I’m purposefully choosing to write about topics that aren’t specific to the biology and epidemiology of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2, ie., the virus that causes coronavirus-19) for a few reasons. First, I typically post once or twice a week but things with this virus are changing daily so I won’t be able … Continue reading

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