🌿 Ecological Restoration – local studies by 2 recent masters graduates

🌿 Ecological Restoration – local studies by 2 recent masters graduates

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Date(s) - 17/Jun/2021
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

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🌿Ecological Restoration – local studies by 2 recent masters graduates

Our June 17th Botany Night will feature presentations by field researchers Cassandra Harper and Shaan Aroeste, recent graduates of the SFU/BCIT Ecological Restoration Masters of Science Programme, who were awarded Nature Vancouver bursaries in 2020.  They will tell us about the Ecological Restoration program and their personal projects and areas of study.

Shaan Aroeste’s thesis work aided a long-term research project aimed at combating reed canarygrass in the Lower Mainland.  Reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea) is an invasive grass common in wetlands, streambanks, ditches, and other moist areas throughout the Pacific Northwest.  It spreads aggressively and can replace native vegetation with dense monocultures.  Its vigour and adaptability make it resistant to many control methods, but research suggests shade is its Achilles heel.  Since 2015, a collaborative project between BCIT, Metro Vancouver, and the City of Surrey,  has explored the potential for using desirable native shrub species to overtop and shade-out reedcanary grass stands.  An important part of this is testing and evaluating the relative efficacy of using different shrub species, varied planting densities and alternative site prep methods.  Shaan will discuss the history of the reed canarygrass invasion, how the project started, and its key findings to date. 

Cassandra Harper has always been passionate about forest ecosystems but more recently has narrowed her focus to restoring the intricate balance between riparian zones and freshwater streams.  Urbanization has altered many riparian ecosystems, resulting in the decline of species that depend on them, and locally the Brunette River basin is no exception.  Recent development of river adjacent property by the Trans-mountain Pipeline Expansion Project will further impact an area which is both culturally significant to Kwikwetlem (Kwi Kwet lem) First Nation, and designated as critical habitat for an endangered small fish, the Nooksack Dace.  She currently works as a Project Coordinator for the Lands and Resources Division at the KFN.  In her talk Cassie will describe the post-construction plan she developed to improve conditions at the project site through the establishment of culturally and ecologically important species, and the addition of habitat features.  She’ll discuss the results of soil, vegetation and water quality surveys she undertook, as well as the resulting recommendations.

This presentation will be aired via Zoom Video Conferencing. On the Monday preceding the event, Nature Vancouver members will receive the Zoom link in the weekly e-News. To join the talk on Thursday, click on that link after 7:15 pm. The talk will begin at 7:30 pm.  Non-members are welcome and should Email denis@NatureVancouver.ca well in advance to register for the link. 

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