AUGUST 15, 2023

Want to see the graphics in this issue?

It's summertime...

So, what's with all that

cyanobacteria, anyway?

The Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI) is collaborating with the University of Alberta, the Alberta Lake Management Society and eight other organizations to collect relevant data about algal blooms to better understand how they will impact our lakes, their ecosystems, and our ability to enjoy them. Water samples will be collected from six Alberta lakes over the next two summers, carefully timed to coincide with images taken from satellites, as some of these blooms are large enough to be seen from space. Read more on the ABMI website HERE.

Soil is home to more

than half of all life

About 59% of all species on Earth live in soil, estimate researchers who reviewed global biodiversity data. This would make the ground the planet’s single most biodiverse habitat. The figure doubles an earlier estimate and could be even higher because so little is known about soil, the researchers suggest. It is home to 99% of Enchytraeidae worms, 90% of fungi, 86% of plants and more than 50% of bacteria — but only 3% of mammals live in it.

This information is quoted from The Guardian. To read more, please click HERE.

The ASPB Conference Committee

is still inviting Conference Sponsors

The ASPB Conference Committee is excited about the Annual Conference and AGM to be held at the Red Deer Resort and Casino, November 22-24, 2023.

Sponsorship Packages are available




See what's new on the




Intermediate/Senior Environmental Scientist ,


Senior Ecologist,


Wetland Specialist,


Senior or Intermediate Wildlife Biologist,


Project Biologist,


Regulatory Specialist,


Executive Director,


Senior Fisheries Biologist,


Environmental Specialist,


Senior Aquatic Ecologist,


Senior Biologist,


Senior Environmental Professional, Planning,


Environmental Project Manager (Remediation),


Intermediate Environmental Scientist,


Intermediate Environmental Professional (Remediation Consulting),


Senior Aquatic and Fisheries Biologist,


Intermediate Environmental Scientist - Vegetation and Wetlands,


Environment & Regulatory Specialist - Renewable Energy,


Intermediate to Senior Aquatic Biologist,


Intermediate or Senior Hydrologist,


Junior Biologist - Land Management





Take your camera to work!

(or your smartphone if you prefer)

The ASPB Conference Committee is hosting a photo contest in 2023,

and will announce the winners at the annual conference in November.

Photo submission guidelines are HERE.


Generative AI:

A Workshop for Biologists

As we addressed in an article in the BIWEEKLY earlier in July, artificial intelligence (AI) has captured the attention of the literate world. Is there substance underlying the hype? And if so, how will that impact the practice (and the practitioners) of biology?

The ASPB has reached out to Chief AI Officer Mike Mason, with the global technology consultancy Thoughtworks, to guide a webinar-based exploration of AI, offering guidance on what AI could mean for biologists in particular, as well as for other regulated professionals. This complimentary two-hour workshop, facilitated by Mason and hosted by the Alberta Society of Professional Biologists on the Zoom platform, is scheduled for Tuesday September 12, 2023 beginning at 04:00, MDT.

The Zoom link for most Canadian attendees is:  

USA links are available on the ASPB website

Legislation and Conducting
Projects Near Water
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) in Ontario, Prairie and Arctic regions are providing information sessions on DFO Legislation and Conducting Projects Near Water. To attend the September session, click here: September 19, 2023 @11:00 – 12:30 CST and allow the link to open in your web browser (please use Chrome or Edge). If you have the Teams application installed, click on “Open in Microsoft Teams” in the pop-up window or “Launch it Now”. If you do not have the Teams application installed, click “Join on the Web Instead”.


The ABMI’s Intactness Index—Measuring Biodiversity, on Wednesday, September 27, 2023. Register here.

Whitebark Pine Science and
Management Conference in October
The annual Whitebark Pine Science and Management Conference will take place October 12 and 13, 2023 in Revelstoke, BC. There will also be two optional field trips: a pre-conference trip on October 11 to tour the Kalamalka Research Center in Vernon, and a post-conference trip on October 14 to visit 5-needle pine stands near Golden. Early Bird Registration is open until June 30, and here you can find: Conference details and Registration.
fRI Research to Host Forum
In Edmonton, October 24-26
After a prolonged hiatus due to health restrictions, fRI Research is excited to provide an opportunity for resource practitioners, policy makers, scientists, and community leaders to review and discuss new research findings related to mountain pine beetle. Major concerns targeted by this research include climate change, anthropogenic intervention, forest composition, socio-economic values, watersheds and their impact on water flow, biota, species at risk, and public safety as it pertains to wildfire. You can learn more about the forum and register HERE
NABC Banding Workshop
and Certification in Belize
Hosted by the Toucan Ridge Ecology and Education Society at the TREES Research Center in the Maya Mountains of Belize, these sessions will be held November 11-15, 2023 and November 17-18, 2023. For full information visit
Legislation and Conducting
Projects Near Water
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) in Ontario, Prairie and Arctic regions are providing information sessions on DFO Legislation and Conducting Projects Near Water. To attend the November session, click here: November 21, 2023 @ 11:00-12:30 CST and allow the link to open in your web browser (please use Chrome or Edge). If you have the Teams application installed, click on “Open in Microsoft Teams” in the pop-up window or “Launch it Now”. If you do not have the Teams application installed, click “Join on the Web Instead”.
ASPB 2023 AGM and Conference
The ASPB 2023 Annual Conference will be on November 22, 23, and 24 at the Red Deer Resort and Casino in Red Deer, Alberta.
For More Information Go



  • How to Use Range Plant Community Guides and Recovery Strategies Manuals for Project and Reclamation Planning in Grasslands Cassils Hall, near Brooks, Alberta - September 13th, 2023
  • Hands on! Grassland Assessment Training Antelope Creek Ranch, near Brooks, Alberta, September 14th, 2023
  • Grassland Restoration Forum Fall Information Session GRF Fall Information Session, Claresholm, Alberta, November 16th, 2023. The theme this year is SEEDS. A meeting of the Southern Alberta Native Seed Collaborative (SANSC) is planned for the following day.

Register online for the above events HERE. For more information, contact or call Donna Watt at 403-563-8925.



Thanks to the generous support of the Columbia Basin Trust and KCP, we are able to offer this series free of charge. For full details and registration please go



Electrofishing Certification - Online (self-paced) & Cochrane, August 18, 2023.

Open House for Fish Habitat Restoration - Instream Techniques (FHRIT) August 30, 2023.

Fish Habitat Restoration – Instream Techniques – Self Paced – September 4th, 2023

Electrofishing Certification – Online (self-paced) & Dartmouth (Lower Sackville), 6th September 2023

Electrofishing Certification – Online & Fort McMurray, 12th September 2023

Electrofishing Certification – Online (self-paced) & North Vancouver, 14th September 2023

Ichthyology – Online, September 14-15, 2023

Electrofishing Certification – Online (self-paced) & Cochrane, 15th September 2023

Amphibian and Reptile Salvage Methods (Online) September 27-28, 2023

Wetland Assessment – Online, September 27-28, 2023

Electrofishing Certification – Online (self-paced) & Prince George, 29th September 2023

Snorkel Survey Techniques – September 29th (Online) & October 27th (Courtenay)


For course details and the full calendar of upcoming courses the link is here:

Blended Course: Alberta Wetland Rapid Evaluation Tool – Actual (ABWRET-A), Online Content + Live Streaming Class: Fall 2023 Registration Now Open

Blended Course: Grassland Vegetation Inventory (GVI): A User’s Guide, Online Content + Live Streaming Class Fall 2023 Registration Now Open

Understanding ACIMS Tools Online Course
Alberta Soil Information Viewer Online Course
Alberta Wetland Policy Basics Online Course
Navigating the Alberta Soil Information Viewer Video Short (free)
Registration Link:
Wetland Water Cycle Video Short (free)
Registration Link: 

THE CONNECTOR is a compilation of applied science and land management event listings, across a variety of sectors and disciplines, published monthly.

Bill S-5

Canada Strengthens Environmental Protection

The federal government's Strengthening Environmental Protection for a Healthier Canada Act (Bill S-5) received Royal Assent on June 13, 2023. According to information posted by Environment and Climate Change Canada, the new act modernizes the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA), and represents the first set of comprehensive amendments to CEPA since it was enacted over 20 years ago.

Bill S-5 requires that decisions made under CEPA respect the right to a healthy environment. Over the next two years, the Government will develop an implementation framework to set out how that right will be considered in administering the Act, accounting for principles such as environmental justice, intergenerational equity, and non-regression.

Environmental justice includes the avoidance of adverse effects that disproportionately affect vulnerable population; non-regression includes the continuous improvement in environmental protection, and intergenerational equity includes the importance of meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

The amendments also require that research, studies, or monitoring activities be conducted to support the Government in protecting the right, and will also confirm the Government’s commitment to implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and require annual reporting on consultations, findings, recommendations, or measures taken in that regard.

Under the Act, the Government will develop a new Plan of Chemicals Management Priorities to assess and better understand and protect Canadians and the environment from chemicals of concern. In 1999, CEPA required prioritization of the 23,000 substances already in commerce in Canada based on specific criteria related to their bioaccumulation, persistence, inherent toxicity, and the greatest potential for exposure. With new chemicals being developed, new uses for existing chemicals, increasingly complex supply chains, and emerging science about risks including cumulative effects, the CEPA amendments require the Government to establish a new plan to prioritize the ongoing assessment of risks from chemicals.

The foregoing article is adapted from material found on the ECCC website, which can be found HERE

Are IPCAs are the future of conservation in Canad

Evolution of ecosystem-scale surface energy fluxes of a newly constructed boreal upland-fen watershed

Mexican oasis loses its protector

Selection of rhizobial strains differing in their nodulation kinetics under low temperature in four temperate legume species

The Canada Grassland Protocol: A Backgrounder

Don’t let small-scale producers disappear

How to take children on fieldwork

"Commodification of nature in the name of conservation seems problematic to me. These solutions are part of the same framework that put us in the crisis we are facing.”

Interest in feeding wild birds soared during pandemic lockdown

Genetic analysis reveals hidden threats and new motivation for conservation translocation of black-tailed prairie dogs at the northern limit of their range

A validated and optimized environmental DNA and RNA assay to detect Arctic grayling (Thymallus arcticus)

Efficacy and non‐target effects of herbicides in foothills grassland restoration are short‐lived

Collocating pipelines to minimize fragmentation: evaluating ecological costs of a shale gas mitigation practice

Hunter Willingness-to-Pay for Disease Testing: Evidence from Chronic Wasting Disease in White-Tailed Deer

Could the world go “forever-chemical” (PFAS) free?

Long-term monitoring in the boreal forest reveals high spatio-temporal variability among primary ecosystem constituents

Systematics, biogeography and phylogenomics of northern bog lemmings (Cricetidae), cold-temperate rodents of conservation concern under global change

Measurement-Based Methane Inventory for Upstream Oil and Gas Production in Alberta, Canada Reveals Higher Emissions and Starkly Different Sources than Official Estimates…

Effect of forest understorey stand density on woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou) habitat selection

Technology proves able to identify dozens of species in thousands of hours of recordings

How microplastics are making their way into our farmland  



Banner Image:

Photo credit ABMI


In Alberta, Professional Biologists are registrants of the Alberta Society of Professional Biologists (ASPB), and are subject to a code of ethics, continuing competency requirements, and a disciplinary process. The ASPB is a self-regulated organization under legislation in the Province of Alberta, meaning its purpose is to protect the public of Alberta by ensuring biologists are qualified to practice biology in accordance with that legislation. The society is governed by a Board of Directors elected by its registrants.

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Opinions and general news published in this e-newsletter

do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of the Society or its Board of Directors.