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What can the eggs tell us?

If you have ever had the opportunity to go behind the scenes at a museum you may have seen many, many cabinets filled with artifacts that aren’t on display. Even just working at our local nature centre, I always found it kind of incredible to look through the different drawers and see what was there. … Continue reading

How much do humans impact floods and droughts?

We know climate change leads to more floods and droughts. We also know that humans can change the flow of streams and rivers. But what happens when we put these two things together? Singh and Basu (2022) investigated seasonal flow in natural and managed watersheds in the US and Canada. A watershed is an area … Continue reading

What does the label actually mean?

Anyone else confused by the stamps on different types of plastics? You know the ones that look like a recycling symbol with a number inside? What about the idea that a plastic is biodegradable but only under certain conditions? Or perhaps which ones are going to breakdown into microplastics? I work into sustainability and about … Continue reading

Hiding behind multiculturalism

I remember the multicultural day in school. For one day in the year, my classmates got to share parts of their culture and for the rest of the time we studied the Western science, grammar, music, art, and history. This day showed that we were better than many other countries because we embraced other cultures. … Continue reading

Communities for Sustainability

I’ve worked with many different communities in the past, both communities made up of people who live near each other and those that are centered around common interests. Both types share common characteristics or interests among the members. The interesting thing is that there seem to be communities of interest that will rise up with … Continue reading

Sustainability needs diverse groups of experts to solve climate change

I teach a course on sustainability challenges. Students work in groups to help community partners with projects relating to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The students come from many different areas of study and collaborate on developing meaningful projects. According to a recent report by Cole et al (2022) working with diverse teams is … Continue reading

Does changing one food item a day make any difference?

In the past few years I have changed my diet to be (mostly) a weekday vegetarian. If I’m honest this change was aided by also switching to one of the weekly meal kit boxes. I signed up for the vegetarian box and through it gained many delicious vegetarian recipes. Vegetarian on its own isn’t automatically … Continue reading

What does “green infrastructure” actually mean?

I hadn’t really given this question any thought if I’m honest. I assumed green infrastructure included things like street trees, parks, stormwater retention facilities, and probably green roofs. As it turns out, I’m a little more inclusive in my definition compared to many and I may have thought about it more than many US municipalities. … Continue reading

Trees store air pollutants

I’ve written before about the role of urban trees. They contribute to a number of positive outcomes. A newer area of research is whether the trees actually absorb air pollutants. Klingborn et al (2022) examined the levels of a specific type of pollutant in both deciduous (leafy) trees and coniferous (cone bearing) trees. They found … Continue reading

When it’s -40 is a heat island a good thing?

We are having some extreme cold temperatures this week, with wind chills consistently sitting between -30 and -40°C. This is warmer than it is in the surrounding rural areas thanks to the urban heat island effect (UHI). UHI is typically discussed when we think of warm temperatures. Basically, the impact of heat leaking from buildings … Continue reading

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