Muddy Boots Blog

Muddy Boots is our internal blog where our staff members share experiences getting their boots muddy with on-the-ground conservation research! You can find our contributions to external blogs and Op Eds here.


Muddy Boots

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Frozen Toes, Wet Sock, and Icy Boots - Studying Bats in the Canadian Winter

Frozen Toes, Wet Sock, and Icy Boots - Studying Bats in the Canadian Winter
(February 26, 2015)   -   As the pouring rain changed almost instantly to snowfall, I wrung out my mitts and watched the water dent the snow.  I was soaked to the bone but had to keep moving to stay warm.  The bats didn't seem to mind the hideous weather.

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Unexpected Gifts: What the Christmas Bird Count taught me about Science, Conservation, and Community

Unexpected Gifts: What the Christmas Bird Count taught me about Science, Conservation, and Community
(February 12, 2015) ~ Contributed by Hilary Cooke, Associate Conservation Scientist, Whitehorse, YukonCanada 1973 Christmas Dove StampI stayed in my northern home of Whitehorse, Yukon this past holiday season. It was the first of 41 years that I hadn't spent Christmas with family and, with no plans aside from Christmas dinner, I was feeling conflicted about spending it alone. I was, however, participating in the Christmas Bird Count and what I didn’t realize was the sense of community I would experience, and ...

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Happy New Year from WCS Canada

Happy New Year from WCS Canada
(January 05, 2015)   -   Dr. Sue Lieberman, Chair, WCS Canada, reflects on our conservation programs from the past year and looks forward for an exciting year of biodiversity conservation to come.

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Reindeer - an Enduring Holiday Icon - Face Increasing Threats

Reindeer - an Enduring Holiday Icon - Face Increasing Threats
(December 16, 2014)   -   Reindeer are an enduring and beloved Christmas icon. Although Dasher and Dancer only slightly resemble their wild cousins, caribou are strong and graceful. Letting our imagination run wild, we might be forgiven for thinking that reindeer – or caribou as they’re called in North America –seem to “fly” as they run across frozen lakes.

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Field Journal

Field Journal
(December 01, 2014) I was always a curious child, interested in new places and new adventures. I didn't travel much as a child but instead went outside and explored ─ in the nearby pond, under logs, up a tree.  The natural world didn't scare me; in fact, unexpected observations and encounters were the most exciting parts of exploring. The more I looked around, the more questions I had: why does moss grow only on the north side of those trees, what do those tiny frogs eat, who make...

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A picture paints a thousand words, but a map paints a million!

A picture paints a thousand words, but a map paints a million!
(November 19, 2014)   -   Today is International GIS Day!  A day to celebrate geography and geographic information systems (GIS) around the world by show casing real-world GIS applications to students and the general public. You can find more details on events occurring around the world (displayed, fittingly, on a map).

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Lessons learned in not being "such a scientist"

Lessons learned in not being "such a scientist"
(October 30, 2014)   -   Some months ago, in a meeting with First Nations leaders, I was asked what the difference between a reindeer and caribou was. Pleased at this invitation to share my knowledge, I naturally launched into a concise speech about their genetics being the same even though behaviourally they were quite different.  When I was politely told it was because reindeer could fly, I knew I'd been caught talking like a scientist in public again.  

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Is Ontario’s Live Bait Industry Worth the Risk to our Lakes and Rivers?

Is Ontario’s Live Bait Industry Worth the Risk to our Lakes and Rivers?
(October 09, 2014)   -   About a year ago, I read something on a fisheries blog that piqued my curiosity: Ontario anglers were being fined on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River for fishing with live bait. I was surprised to learn that it wasn't just Quebec that placed restrictions on the use of live bait – most provinces and all territories prohibit or restrict its use. Ontario and Nova Scotia are the exceptions.

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Sachs Harbour Diary: August 2014

Sachs Harbour Diary: August 2014
(September 18, 2014) ~ Contributed by Steve Insley, Sachs Harbour, NWTIt’s mid-August and I’m flying in to Sachs Harbour in the ISR (the Inuvialuit Settlement Region), a small hamlet in the western Canadian arctic. As the twin-engine turbo-prop’s drone finally changes pitch with our descent, I’m jumping from window to window scanning the ocean for any sign of my buoy. What I’m really after is the several-thousand dollar instrument attached to it. Not a thing. Two weeks earlier I had hea...

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How does a scientific society stay relevant in Canadian conservation?

How does a scientific society stay relevant in Canadian conservation?
(August 20, 2014)   -   No mud, no boots. Yet just like a field expedition, I’m primed for discovery, and I know my eyes will be opened by what I observe. But this time I’m approaching the conference as I would a trip to my study sites – with a research question in mind. Or rather, a series of related questions I’ve never thought to ask, but questions I think need asking. 

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Photo credits: Banner | Lila Tauzer © WCS Canada

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