Project Update: Catching Deer

Catching deer in the boreal forest is hard. It just isn't feasible to try to just search by snowshoe, truck, or even helicopter because of the vast tracts of wilderness and dense tree cover. But we want to fit 20 with GPS collars so we can track their movement for our cutblock project. So, ever since we rang in 2019, we've been in the field setting up bait sites and building traps. When a hungry…

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Women in Science 2019: Siobhan Darlington

For 2019’s Women in Science Day, wildlife biologist Siobhan Darlington shares how she got into science, what the job is like, and what advice she would give other women considering a similar career. By Siobhan Darlington I didn’t excel at biology in high school but I knew that I was interested in making a difference in the environment and I was interested in animals. I did a double major in Biology and Environmental Sustainability, &…

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Habitat States Change Detection Tool

By Dan Wismer, GIS Analyst Backed by peer-reviewed research, GBtools were developed to help support grizzly bear conservation efforts and land management decisions. GBtools consist of a series of python scripts that accept user-input and are designed to run in ArcMap. As old code is refactored and new add-ons developed, GBtools have evolved to narrow down the question resource managers ask the most—how does a proposed development project effect grizzly bear habitat? The Habitat States…

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Update: Co-existence of Grizzly Bears with Quarry Mining

In January 2018, the Grizzly Bear Program started a new project that took us into new territory. The actual science is right in our wheelhouse. It’s about bear use on a working landscape, and it deploys methods that the team has used and refined over many field seasons: barbed wire, scent lures, and DNA. We’ve used these techniques to study the effects of things like forestry, oil and gas development, and roads. But last year,…

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Preparing for the next regional plans

The Land-use Knowledge Network expands as the province develops more regional land use plansBy Jeff Wiehler Alberta’s current approach to land use planning dates back to 2007, when the Land-use Framework introduced a vision of economic and environmental prosperity for the province. fRI Research has contributed to this vision by providing resources, research and information for planners, planning practitioners and land use decision makers. The Land-use Knowledge Network was launched in 2011 and the Land…

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Launching Landweb

When Alex Chubaty began his post-doc, he was taking on a big problem. An ecologist specializing in insect behaviour, Chubaty joined Eliot McIntire’s lab at the Pacific Forestry Centre to try to get a handle on an insect that was behaving in a particular damaging way to BC’s forests, and was well on its way to devouring vast numbers of lodgepole pine in Alberta. Chubaty’s challenge was to model the spread of mountain pine beetle…

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Three Years of Riparian Assessments

By Caitlin Tomaszewski In 2013 a massive flood hit the City of Calgary and surrounding areas. While the physical impact on towns and cities in Southern Alberta was easy to quantify, little research was done to assess the state of rural riparian areas in the Bow and Oldman watersheds in the Eastern Slopes. In 2015, the Water Program of fRI Research undertook a project in partnership with the Government of Alberta to assess the health…

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Building the Caribou Webtools

By Dan Wismer, GIS Analyst It was summer of 2017 where Barry Nobert, one of our Caribou Program’s wildlife biologists requested that the GIS program build a new set of data processing tools for our partners. Building custom tools is nothing new for the GIS program, but this request forked away from what has traditionally been done in the past. We tend to build custom tools using python and leveraging Esri’s arcpy library. Python script…

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The Fires of Jasper

Looking out over the Athabasca River in Jasper National Park. In the warm, dry year of 1646, a fire burned in Jasper National Park on the mountain slopes beside the Athabasca River. The flames swept down the valley on the wind, consuming many trees. But some, by adaptation or chance, survived to grow on. In fact, they may have flourished as their neighbours that once crowded them toppled one by one. Nutrients cycled back into…

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