A Wildfire Story: Decoding the Past with Tree Scars

Disturbances like fires and insect infestations literally leave a mark on trees, creating scars in annual tree rings. Since our research team is interested in the fire history of the landscape, we need to be able to tell fire scars reliably apart from scars left by insects. With two full field seasons now in the books, Dr. Cameron Naficy’s Fire Regime Team have become local experts in this challenging task. In this post, we describe…

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Burning Territory: Indigenous Fire Stewardship

Landscapes in Motion has a mission to understand the fire history of Alberta’s southwest Rockies, which includes looking at pre-industrial fire and landscape patterns and seeing how they’ve changed. There are a lot of reasons that the nature and frequency of fire has changed in this region, and one very important reason was the suppression of Indigenous burning practices by European settlers and the Canadian government. We are honoured to present the following guest post…

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Placing oblique photos on the map

[This post also appears on the Mountain Legacy Project website. You can check out the MLP blog here.] The Landscapes in Motion Oblique Photo Team has the daunting task of scaling mountains to repeat photographs taken up to a century ago by land surveyors. In previous posts we’ve described how these intrepid researchers locate sites, line up their photos, and what it’s like working in the field. With the summer fieldwork over, we now get to learn how…

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Looking back on the Kenow Wildfire: Reflections from a Parks Canada Scientist

It’s been over a year since the Kenow Wildfire burned through Waterton Lakes National Park and surrounding forests, prompting evacuations and affecting the park’s ecology in profound ways. While the Landscapes in Motion team works to reconstruct past fire regimes, present-day wildfires like Kenow remind us of the wide-reaching effects these events have on the people living and working in forested areas. We spoke with Kim Pearson, an Ecosystem Scientist with Waterton Lakes National Park,…

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Ceres Barros wins the Mitacs Elevate Award!

By Ceres Barros and Sonya OdsenIt started out as a typical day for Ceres Barros, a Post-Doctoral Fellow on the Landscapes in Motion Team. She was finishing up converting forest inventory data so she could analyse the vegetation dynamics of fire severity. It was then she heard the “Ding!” of her email inbox with the news that she had won the Mitacs Elevate award. Her tea break came sooner than usual that day as she…

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The truth is in the tree rings… if you crossdate them

We spent a lot of this summer talking about what our field crews were up to. But what comes next? For the Fire Regime Team, there is more to come as they begin to process the samples they collected this summer.When the Fire Regime Team completed this year’s field season, they had collected about 1,300 tree core and 250 fire scar (tree cookie) samples from over 60 plots. It was a massive undertaking, but it…

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Looking back at the 2018 LIM Field Tour

On Wednesday, September 12, Landscapes in Motion hosted its first-ever field tour. Researchers mingled with individuals who live, work, and recreate in the study area; people who want to know more about these landscapes and what we can learn from them. By coming together partway through the project, our team hopes that this tour marks the beginning of healthy conversations about the past and future of this landscape. It was a chilly morning, but everyone…

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Landscapes in Motion goes to the Ecological Society of America meeting in New Orleans!

By Ceres BarrosAn important part of a researcher’s job is to learn more about what other scientists are doing in different institutions, fields, and ecosystems, and stay up-to-date on what they’re discovering. This year, Dr. Ceres Barros with the Landscapes in Motion modelling team identified a great opportunity to present her preliminary findings at a significant scientific conference in New Orleans. Once there, she had the chance to soak up new knowledge from fire ecologists…

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Field Notes: Stepping off the beaten path with the Oblique Photography Team

By Sonia Voicescu and Karson SudlowThe Repeat Photography Field Crew has been hard at work scaling mountains to capture repeat photographs of images taken a century ago. They’ve checked in to let us know how things are going so far… and it sounds pretty spectacular.There is a sense of peaceful stillness that comes with being 10,000 feet high in the air. When there is no wind and the sky is a canvas of sapphire blue,…

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July 24: Waterton-Glacier Science and History Day

Cameron Naficy, one of our key Landscapes in Motion researchers, will be presenting at a public event in Waterton Townsite on July 24, 2018. Read on to learn more!15th Annual Waterton-Glacier Science and History DayWhere: Falls Theatre, Waterton Townsite, Waterton Lakes National ParkWhen: Tuesday, July 24, 2018 -- 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.Cost: Free with park entry fee and open to allCameron's Talk: A multi-century, transboundary perspective on the fire ecology of the Crown of the…

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