While the environment isn't the first thought that comes to mind when one hears "mathematics", that doesn't seem to bother DSF volunteer, Yuri. She came from Mexico eight years ago to pursue a PhD in math at the University of British Columbia, and has since accomplished so much more.
After growing up in a small, rural village surrounded by cacti, rivers and farms, the big city doesn't seem to intimidate Yuri. She loves "how urbanity and nature can share the same space" in Vancouver. Upon arrival, she quickly found her passion for city cycling and rides those two wheels wherever she goes, experiencing first-hand what nature has to offer, rain or shine.
She hopes to connect her love for both math and programming to help solve environmental problems either in B.C. or back in her home country. She's volunteered here since October as part of our Community Giving Team while studying business analytics at the British Columbia Institute of Technology.Continue reading »
When a tailings pond broke at the Mount Polley gold and copper mine in south-central B.C., spilling millions of cubic metres of waste into a salmon-bearing stream, B.C. Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett called it an "extremely rare" occurrence, the first in 40 years for mines operating here.Continue reading »
by Scott Wallace, senior research scientist
Green is usually a good thing when talking about the environment, but not when talking about the invasive European green crab, which is becoming more common in B.C.'s intertidal zones. In mid-August, I was kayaking in one of the most remote areas of Vancouver Island when I observed my first green crab up a narrow inlet and above a traditional First Nations fish weir. I've been casually looking since 1999 when I first heard of their presence on the coast. Now, without really looking, I came across two live crabs and a recent moult (they shed their exoskeletons when growing) within a few minutes.Continue reading »
How neighbourly are you?
Before you approach neighbours about the leaves they don't rake, their scented dryer sheets, second-hand smoke wafting into your bedroom window or the car abandoned in their yard, ask yourself these questions:
- Are you coming from a place of judgment?
- Are you prepared for the outcome? Are you prepared to change? (They might say something you don't want to hear.)
- Is the issue important enough to risk the relationship and potentially create conflict?
And if you have 14 minutes and 47 seconds, this video by Leo Busgaglia reveals a thoughtful analysis of human relationships, including a neighbourly incident that you no doubt can relate to. Leo once asked, "What are we doing stuffing facts into people and forgetting that they are human beings?" He also taught a university class titled "Love" where there were no grades!Continue reading »
Last summer, David Suzuki Foundation scientist Faisal Moola asked me why I became an environmentalist. We were discussing a topic for this blog, and his question was a good starting point.
I didn't know what to tell him.
You'd think I'd know the answer. Many environmentalists recall the precise moment that launched them into activism. For some, it's a book or film. Others are changed after a conversation with a friend or teacher, or when they witnessed environmental devastation first-hand.
I couldn't recall my moment. When I was younger, I lived with chronic pain, which affected my ability to remember my teen years.
By all accounts, it's a wonder that I'm an environmentalist at all. As a teen, I lived with my family on an organic farm, but I hated farm life. All of my camping experiences were horrible. I much prefer being inside than out. And, I never enjoyed science classes.
When we elect people to office, we give them power to make and enact decisions on our behalf. They should have a vision that extends beyond the next election and the latest Dow Jones average — to our children and grandchildren.Continue reading »
A bioblitz marries two of my favourite things: identifying birds by song AND a healthy dose of competition.
It's a 24-hour, round-the-clock race to count as many plant and animal species as possible for a particular area. And it's not only a way for folks wielding biology degrees to geek out — it's also family-friendly.
A bioblitz is perfect for you if you:
- Like free events
- Want your kids to touch a snake (and you don't have to)
- Want to have fun
- Are curious about biodiversity in your community
- Want to meet other nature nuts