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Monthly Meetings

Date: Monday April 8, 2019

Topic: Reptile Rendevous 

Speaker:  Allison Forde

Despite having the greatest diversity of reptiles in Canada, it can be a challenge finding them in Ontario. Our elusive and sometimes stigmatized snakes and turtles face many challenges themselves. What’s being done to help them? Alison will share her knowledge and experiences from the field with a little help from her reptile education ambassador, Noodle.

Alison Forde is an Ecologist with SNC-Lavalin and Vice President of South Peel Naturalists’ Club. She holds a BSc (Wildlife Biology) and MSc (Environmental Biology) from the University of Guelph.

Over the past decade, Alison has worked with and studied Ontario’s reptiles on a personal and professional level, most recently surveying for Massasauga Rattlesnakes in the Georgian Bay area. She loves to bust myths and misconceptions about snakes and has helped countless individuals overcome their fears through education.

Free. All welcome. Meet & greet at 7 pm. Contact  Lou lou.mitton628@gmail.com for more information.

 

Monthly Public Meetings of the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club

The Hamilton Naturalist’s Club meets monthly, September through May, usually on the second Monday of each month. Meetings are held at 7:00 PM, at the Royal Botanical Gardens, 680 Plains Rd West, Burlington. Parking is free. We begin with socializing. The formal part of the meeting begins at around 7:30 pm.

monthlymeetings

HNC Monthly Meeting at RBG headquarters (Photo: Stephanie Lechniak-Cumerlato)

Monthly meetings can also been seen on our calendar along with other HNC events.

Date: Monday March 8, 2019

Topic: Environmental Changes

Speaker:  Bill McIIveen

We are aware that we surrounded by various habitats both natural and man-made.
 
We may accept that some components represent desirable items (e.g. crop plants, livestock, garden plants). But we may also be dismayed when a new pest such as the Emerald Ash Borer appears on the scene. This effect is particularly evident when its appearance is sudden, it affects our own properties, or if it is highlighted in the news media.
 
Over time, the importance of the new feature becomes lost to memory or the loss of some component goes unnoticed by the general public. The presentation will consider a list of changes that includes new (alien) animals (fish, mammals, reptiles, birds, insects), many new plants, new pests and diseases, new species used in agriculture and even organisms (e.g. diseases) that directly affect humans as well.
 
Some native species have disappeared from the landscape, some species have emerged as invasive problems following their introduction, and some have been re-introduced.

W.D. (Bill) McIlveen received his B.Sc. (Agr.) and M.Sc. from the University of Guelph and a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from the Pennsylvania State University. He was the Senior Terrestrial Toxicologist with the Ontario Ministry of the Environment for over 25 years and then as an environmental consultant where he conducted biological inventories (flora and fauna) throughout Ontario.
 
He has authored or co-authored over 400 articles or reports relating to environmental matters ranging from naturalist club newsletters to government reports to refereed journals. In 2017, his activities were recognized by Ontario Nature and he was given the W.W.H. Gunn Conservation Award.

Free. All welcome. Meet & greet at 7 pm. Contact Lou lou.mitton628@gmail.com for more information.

 

Date: Monday February 11, 2019

Topic: Future Wetland Development in Stoney Creek

Speaker:  Scott Peck

Wetlands are important environment for wildlife, and additionally can have significant benefits for cities.

Join us as Scott Peck discusses the acquisition of lands, environmental assessment process and restoration work for the creation of natural wetland detention facilities and wetland enhancement to address downstream urban flooding and erosion issues within Battlefield and Stoney Creeks.

T. Scott Peck, B.A., MCIP, RPP is currently the Deputy Chief Administrative Officer/Director, Watershed Planning & Engineering with the Hamilton Conservation Authority. Scott has 26 years’ experience working for the Long Point Region Conservation Authority as an Assistant Resource Technician, Hamilton Conservation Authority as an Environmental Planner and Senior Planner and with Norfolk County as a Senior Planner.

Scott’s experience includes policy development, program management, urban, rural and agricultural land use planning, floodplain management, environmental and watershed planning, property acquisition, regulatory compliance and sustainable development.

Free. All welcome. Meet & greet at 7 pm. Contact Lou lou.mitton628@gmail.com for more information.

 

Date: Monday January 14, 2019

Topic: Intertwined Generations: Me, Youth & You

Speaker:  Jackson Hudecki

As the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club arrives at its 100th year of environmental stewardship, education and preservation, there is lots to celebrate! But there is also a lot at stake, and we need everyone involved, from every age group and background.

Enter the Junior Naturalists’ Club and the Young Environmental Science (or YES) Alliance, two environmentally-driven, hands-on, mentor-based youth clubs geared to the continued connection to Mother Earth and guiding students striving for a post-secondary career in the environmental sciences.

Hear about what we are up to, how others in the community are stepping up, what you can do and even share with us your own efforts! After all, we are in this together.

In his 10th year of Environmental Education, Jackson Hudecki has been building a foundation to support anyone curious about connecting to the natural wonders of these local woods. Aside from facilitating the youth clubs, bird clubs, beer festivals and obstacle courses out of Royal Botanical Gardens, Jackson is the Director at Large for the Hamilton Naturalists’ Club, a community conduit, a proud Hamiltonian, and always ready to gab.

Date: Monday December 10, 2018 

Speaker:  Dr. David Galbraith

Topic: The Roots that Grow Deep: Trees, Heritage & Conservation

While we often think of cultural heritage and natural heritage as separate topics, they share something very important. They are all about the stories we can tell based on the environment around us.

Whether we are telling stories about our own history or that of nature, these stories become richer and deeper when we can bring into them direct evidence of the past.

Trees can be considered as essential components of both the natural and cultural heritage of an area. We’ll see what stories we can tell about trees in our area, combining the fields of natural and cultural heritage to seek a deeper understanding of the importance of nature in urban areas.

Dr. David Galbraith is Head of Science at Royal Botanical Gardens. He studied wildlife biology at Guelph and Queen’s universities, completing his doctoral dissertation on ecology of Snapping Turtles and Wood Turtles.

He joined RBG in 1995 to bring conservation projects together among botanical gardens across Canada. In 2006 David was appointed head of the science department, overseeing the library, archives, and herbarium, research staff, and use RBG’s resources by outside researchers.

Since 2007 he has led the development of the Cootes to Escarpment EcoPark System, a natural lands park alliance in Hamilton and Burlington, in part for which he was named Hamilton Environmentalist of the Year in 2010.

Free. All welcome. Meet & greet at 7 pm. Contact Lou lou.mitton628@gmail.com for more information.

 

 

Date: Monday, November 12, 2018 

Special speaker: Tyler Schulz, Deputy Environmental Commissioner of Ontario

Topic: Ontario’s Environmental Bill of Rights

Tyler Schulz, Deputy Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, will provide an overview of Ontario’s Environmental Bill of Rights. He will also discuss topics from the recent annual reports, with an update of the government’s progress on environmental protection and greenhouse gas emissions reductions. 

The Environmental Commission of Ontario is a bridge between the public and the government on environmental issues.

Tyler Schulz is the Deputy Environmental Commissioner of Ontario. Tyler provides leadership and management oversight of the office of the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO), and provides support and strategic advice to the Commissioner and staff on a variety of issues.

Tyler is passionate about educating, and helping Ontarians use, their public participation tools under the Environmental Bill of Rights. Previously, Tyler worked at the ECO as the Director of Operations, providing oversight, support and advice on issues concerning administration, customer service, public education and information technology. Before that, Tyler worked at the ECO as a Senior Policy & Decision Analyst, focusing on wildlife management, waste diversion and increasing Ontarians’ awareness of their environmental rights.

Tyler completed a M.Sc. and Ph.D. at Dalhousie University, first studying seal evolution, and then sperm whale communication. During graduate school, Tyler realized his passion was to work in the civil service as an “environmental ombudsman,” standing up for people’s rights and empowering them to achieve environmental protection.

More about the Environmental Bill of Rights is available https://eco.on.ca/blog/the-environmental-bill-of-rights-your-environment-your-rights-is-now-available-in-cree-oji-cree-and-ojibwe/ 

 

Date: Monday, September 10, 2018

Speaker: Rudy Fectau

Topic: Plants and Archaeology in Ontario: A 5,000 years history of plant use

Join ethnobotanist Rudy Fectau as he presents his research on plant remains from sites in the Burlington, Hamilton and Brantford area. Plants can tell us the story behind local environmental conditions, the importance of agriculture, and the uses of various kinds of plant products.
 
Both cultivated species (maize, bean, squash, sunflower, and tobacco) and a wide variety of native plants show the spread of plants through time and space, prehistoric technology, and the economic systems of local people. Free. All welcome. Meet & greet at 7 pm.
 
Contact Lou lou.mitton628@gmail.com for more information.
 
 
Rudy Fecteau has been conducting archaeobotanical research in Canada since 1976, completing several hundred reports describing plant remains from more than 300 sites that include pre-contact, Euro-Canadian and environmental sites across Canada, Ohio, Michigan and New York State. He holds an undergraduate degree in Anthropology from the University of Toronto and an M.A. in Historical Geography from York University. He has recently been appointed as ‘Visiting Scientist’ in the Palaeoethnobotany Lab in the Department of Archaeology, McMaster University. He is currently working on several archaeobotanical projects down in his dungeon in Greensville where he lives with his wife Margaret Ann and several dozen squirrels, a peanut-eating rabbit, blue jays, sparrows, red bellied woodpeckers and the odd deer and fox.

Date: Monday, October 15, 2018

Speaker: Kriss Gandier

Topic: Fungi – The Fifth Kingdom

Join Kriss Gandier to learn about the fascinating world of wild mushrooms and other edible wild foods.
 
Find out about the best ways to learn and methods used to identify mushrooms, as well as information about mushroom preparation and preservation for culinary purposes.
 
Free. All are welcome.
 
Meet & greet at 7 pm. Contact Lou lou.mitton628@gmail.com for more information.
 
Kriss Gandier has been foraging for mushrooms her entire life, originally in Thunder Bay. She has been a member of the Toronto Mycology Club for over 20 years and has led forays in Cambridge and Kitchener. She currently harvests mushrooms and other wild foods for high-end restaurants including Langdon Hall.