AUGUST 1, 2023

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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

New Professional Governance Act

Included in Ministerial Priorities

On July 21, The Honourable Rajan Sawhney, Minister of Advanced Education, received a mandate letter from Alberta Premier Danielle Smith, outlining specific responsibilities and expectations for her ministry. The mandate letter specified the implementation of the Professional Governance Act (PGA) to “ensure the adoption of a uniform governance framework for all professional regulatory organizations.”

“We are pleased to see that implementing the PGA still remains a priority for this government,” said ASPB Executive Director Dean Falkenberg early last week. “The act was proposed by the previous government as Bill 23 in the spring of last year, and our Board has had a chance to examine the new legislation in depth. While this mandate letter emphasizes the PGA’s priority, however, as yet there has been no indication when the Act is expected to be passed by the legislature and become law.”



See what's new on the




Senior Aquatic Biologist


Senior Ecologist


Senior or Intermediate Wildlife Biologist


Regulatory Specialist


Project Biologist


Environment & Regulatory Specialist - Renewable Energy


Intermediate Environmental Scientist - Vegetation and Wetlands


Senior Aquatic and Fisheries Biologist


Environmental Project Manager (Remediation)


Senior Environmental Professional, Planning


Intermediate or Senior Hydrologist


Junior Biologist - Land Management


Senior Environmental Impact Assessment Lead


Senior Wetland Biologist


Instructor, Natural Resources Technology (Wildlife Specialty)


Researcher, Molecular Biologist / Environmental Genomics





ASPB Conference Registration

Will Open on August 15, 2023

Registration for the ASPB conference in November will open August 15, with Early Bird rates in place through September 15, 2023. Details will be posted on the ASPB website on Tuesday, August 15.

Take your camera to work!

(or your smartphone if you prefer)

The ASPB is hosting a photo contest in 2023, and will announce the winners at the annual conference .

Photo submission guidelines are HERE.

The ASPB Invites

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 HERE.

ASPB Board Nominations Open

The Board of Directors of the ASPB has appointed Past President Victoria Lukasic as Chair of the 2023 Nominating Committee. The positions of President Elect, Board Secretary and three Directors are open for election at the Annual General Meeting on November 24, 2023 at Red Deer, AB.


America's Grassland Conference

The Sixth America’s Grasslands Conference will be held in Cheyenne, Wyoming on August 8-10, 2023. Registration for the conference is now open. For more information and to register please go HERE

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”.
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




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) & Terrace, August 1, 2023

Electrofishing Certification - Online (self-paced) & North Vancouver, August 3, 2023

Electrofishing Certification - Online & Private Delivery, August 4, 2023

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

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


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.

An Editorial Guideline for AI

The Guardian (a UK-based publisher) has developed the following guideline for dealing with artificial intelligence:

“Generative AI is a broad label describing any type of artificial intelligence that uses unsupervised learning algorithms to create new digital text, images, video, audio or code. Prominent examples include ChatGPT and Midjourney and the technology is rapidly becoming more sophisticated and accessible. Material created using generative AI raises significant issues around bias, ownership, plagiarism and intellectual property rights.  

"Most importantly for journalism, it is not reliable or consistent, and tends to introduce errors and inaccuracies in unpredictable ways. AI systems should not be used to generate text or images intended to be directly inserted into published journalism outside of exceptional and specific circumstances. Any exceptional use must be explicitly approved by the relevant senior duty editor and must be clearly signalled to readers on the article itself.”

We regularly receive notifications from Google Scholar Alerts and other sources which we select and share below in the BIWEEKLY. Here is the latest batch (the links are HOT):

Honey bees (Apis mellifera) modify plant-pollinator network structure, but do not alter wild species' interactions

The development of a novel non‐leaching flocculant, derived from activated carbon and polyacrylamide

An optimized extraction and gas chromatography analysis method for the quantification of diluent hydrocarbons in froth treatment tailings

Avian influenza A (H5N1) and the continuing outbreak

EU proposal on CRISPR crops isn’t enough

Coyotes access diverse anthropogenic attractants at the ecotone between natural and residential urban areas

Human disturbance-related contamination in First Nation food and medicinal plants determined through a comparison of multivariate frequentist and Bayesian …

Indicator species reveal the physical and biological singularity of esker ecosystems

DNA Metabarcoding Reveals Dietary Diversity and Prey Partitioning in Reintroduced Fishers in the Washington Cascades

Predicted connectivity pathways between grizzly bear ecosystems in Western Montana

Research needs to break open AI’s black box

Using Aquatic Mesocosms to Assess the Effects of Soil and Vegetation for Informing Environmental Research

Environmental Consequences and Remediation Strategies for Abandoned Oil and Gas Infrastructure

A Pine in Distress: How Infection by Different Pathogenic Fungi Affect Lodgepole Pine Chemical Defenses

Fade to Black: Melanism in Mammals

Incorporating mechanism into conservation actions in an age of multiple and emerging threats: The case of boreal caribou

Assisted Migration and Plant Invasion: Importance of Belowground Ecology in Conifer Forest Tree Ecosystems

The Routes to Fruit: Governance of Urban Food Trees in Canada



Banner Image:

Thickwood Hills

Photo credit Phil Taylor


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.

You are probably receiving this newsletter because you are an ASPB Registrant. This newsletter provides relevant information and professional development opportunities for our members, as well as essential member-related society business; if you are registered with the Alberta Society of Professional Biologists, please DO NOT unsubscribe.

For more information about the Society or to contact the administration, please visit the website:

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.