Latest posts in Notes from the Panther Lounge

Volunteers in Action: Meet Estelle

May 20, 2016 | Leave a comment
Photo: Volunteers in Action: Meet Estelle

By Jennifer Rodriguez, Volunteer Engagement Specialist

Estelle loves to learn. A researcher since 2009, she's used tree rings as natural archives of forest disturbances such as wildfires and insect outbreaks to assist forest management. Her curiosity has also taken her to remote locations in North and South America, Europe and Australia, and to volunteer with the International Union for Conservation of Nature's forest conservation program.

Eager to learn more about marine ecosystems, Estelle joined the David Suzuki Foundation as volunteer archivist for the Healthy Oceans Program on the Sustainable Howe Sound campaign early in 2014. For two years, she researched the environmental and social history of the Howe Sound region, gathering key historical facts and creating a chronological timeline from the Pleistocene until today. Estelle also contacted local and regional libraries, museums and media outlets to access archive materials from the early 1900s until today and compiled a list of about 500 historical photographs and 200 other documents including maps, videos, newspaper articles, microfilm captures, research papers, reports and theses.

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Mindfulness in nature: dysbiosis, bathing in biodiversity and making the most of 30x30

May 9, 2016 | Leave a comment
Photo: Mindfulness in nature: dysbiosis, bathing in biodiversity and making the most of 30x30
Photo credit: Mandy from North Battleford, SK

By Susan L. Prescott and Alan C. Logan

Our first meeting was on a bus in Tokyo, Japan, in 2003. We began talking about the influence of mindfulness and natural environments on human health. Microbes are an unseen part of nature, and an essential part of the biodiversity that sustains life. Thus, we wondered about the relationship between biophilia and the hygiene hypothesis.

Biologist Edward O. Wilson proposed biophilia as rich, natural pleasure derived from being surrounded by living organisms, including a diversity of plants and animals. The focus was on visible forms of life. The hygiene hypothesis (and its variants) suggests global elevations in non-communicable diseases could be related to diminished early-life opportunity exposure to a diversity of microbes via sanitization and modernity.

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Fort McMurray wildfires

May 9, 2016 | 1 comment
Photo: Fort McMurray wildfires

Photo: Government of Alberta — Alberta Wildfire Info

By Peter Robinson, CEO

Like many Canadians, we at the David Suzuki Foundation are following the wildfires in the Fort McMurray area with deep concern and sympathy for those who live there. It has been tragic and terrifying for the people of Fort McMurray, many of whom had to flee quickly, leaving all they've worked for to the consuming inferno.

Coming on the heels of an already difficult downturn in the oil industry, the wildfires were an especially cruel blow. It's a testament to the courage, kindness and community spirit of the people of the area — and the firefighters and rescue workers, along with local First Nations that stepped up to offer shelter — that the evacuation has been carried out quickly and carefully.

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REaDY Summit 2016 focuses on hope and action

April 21, 2016 | Leave a comment
Photo: REaDY Summit 2016 focuses on hope and action

Richmond Earth Day speech contestants at city council chamber

By Winnie Hwo, Senior Public Engagement Specialist

Protecting the environment is a family affair, and there is nothing more telling than the excitement and pride students and their parents shared at the annual REaDY Summit speech contest. Typically, the speech contest takes place a month before the April 23 half-day event. This year's theme is "Change happens now; our future is rooted in our backyard."

"We need to save our planet, so when future generations grow up and become parents, their children will not have to face the problems we fear today," Abbas Bimji, a Grade 7 student from Water Lee Elementary, told the audience at the speech contest in a packed council chamber in early March. "We won't let our nightmares get to us. United, we can save our earth."

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Volunteers make our work possible

April 13, 2016 | Leave a comment
Photo: Volunteers make our work possible

(Credit: Janice Williams via Flickr)

By Jennifer Rodriguez, Volunteer Engagement Specialist

Volunteers are the roots of strong communities — that's the theme of this year's National Volunteer Week. At the David Suzuki Foundation, we couldn't agree more.

Our volunteers are not only the roots of their communities, they are also the Foundation's branches, bringing our message to people across the country.

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