DECEMBER 15, 2022
ASPB Registrant Renewal
Registration renewal for 2023 opens on December 1st. Fees are payable through the member portal “Sign In” located at the upper right of the website, and the ASPB accepts Visa and MasterCard credit card payments through the online renewal system for payment. Please remember that the Board-approved increases to renewal fees for 2023 will be applied on January 1, 2023. For more information, refer to the section “ASPB fee adjustments for 2023” on the FAQ for Existing members’ page.
ASPB welcomes new board of directors,
acclaimed at AGM December 2, 2022
The Annual General Meeting of the ASPB was held Friday, Dec. 2, 2022 at the Fairmont hotel in Lake Louise (and concurrently by teleconference) and saw the acclamation of a new board of directors: President Andy Edeburn, Past-President Victoria Lukasik, President Elect Nikki Copeland, Secretary Patrick Legg, Directors Julie Oxtoby, Shilo Brauer, Scott Kolochuk , Kristie Derkson, Matthew Koehli, Sherree Dallyn, Carl Lammens, and public members Sarah Thomas and Jim Beckett.
The ASPB is always looking for active and enthusiastic registrants to serve on our several working groups, especially on our regulated committees (Registration and Discipline). In particular at this time we are specifically calling out for a member for the Discipline Committee; you can learn more about this opportunity by contacting your Executive Director Dean Falkenberg, HERE.
Dublin-based study will compare use of
eDNA tools for aquatic biomonitoring
ASPB Student Member Courtney Collins (Calgary), working with principal investigator Dr Jens Carlsson of the University College Dublin, is conducting research on the availability, barriers, and usage of eDNA tools for aquatic biomonitoring, with the goal of determining if any barriers exist between publication and implementation in practice. The study will focus on comparisons between Canada and Sweden.
The study proponents are inviting participants in a survey which is available HERE. The survey has been approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee at University College Dublin; you may also contact Courtney Collins by email HERE.
N7 Energy pleads guilty
to charge laid by the AER
 According to an announcement from the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) on December 14, 2022, N7 Energy has pled guilty to a charge laid against it by the AER in August, 2022. The charge relates to starting activity without prior approval, contrary to section 142(1) (h) of the Water Act, which occurred in August 2020 near Swan Hills. Because of the guilty plea, N7 Energy must pay a $70 000 penalty. $65 000 will go to the AER to fund creative sentencing projects, and the remaining $5000 will go to the Provincial Court of Alberta as a fine and a victim fine surcharge payment.
Fear not !
We are are working hard at figuring out how best to virtually share presentations from last month's conference with our ASPB members!
on the

Wildlife Discipline Lead * Fisheries Field Instructor * Call For New Courses * Wildlife Biologists * Aquatic Biologist * Manager of Practice * Seasonal Technicians * Fisheries Biologist * Environmental Impact * Assessment Manager * Environmental Technician/Construction Monitor * Forest Ecosystems Biologist * Wetland Specialist * Fish Habitat Restoration Scientist
Northern watershed planning councils
collaborate on February conference
Alberta's northern watershed planning and advisory councils will host the Water Management in Alberta’s Boreal conference on February 15-16, 2023. The Athabasca Watershed Council, the Mighty Peace Watershed Alliance and the Lesser Slave Watershed Council have extended an invitation for two days of learning, exploration and discussion of water management issues, challenges and partnerships to be held at the Pomeroy Hotel in Grande Prairie. Details and registration will be listed on Eventbrite in mid December.
PCES Conference is in Calgary in February
The 2023 Prairie Conservation and Endangered Species Conference will be held in Calgary, February 21-23, 2023. You can register HERE
Responsible Recreation:
Pathways, Practices and Possibilities 
Recreation and adventure tourism opportunities and activities are expanding globally. However, empirical measures of impacts are often difficult to obtain. This two-day conference hosted by the Columbia Mountains Institute will be an excellent opportunity to network and learn about current thinking on increasing outdoor recreation activities and the effect on wildlife and ecosystems. This event on May 9 and 10, 2023 will be a hybrid event, with both in-person and online participation. The call for proposals is open until February 3, 2023; go HERE for more information.

Wildlife Survey Field Methods – Online – January 9, 11, 16, 18, 23, 2023
Technical Writing for Professionals: Proposals – Online, January 11, 2023
Technical Writing for Professionals: Report Writing – Online, January 12, 2023
Fish Habitat Restoration – Prescription Development – Online, January 17, 2023
Avian Nest Sweeps and Monitoring Methods – Online, January 18-19, 2023
Fish Habitat Restoration – Instream Techniques – Online, January 18-19, 2023
Experimental Design in Ecology – Online, January 24-25, 2023

For the full calendar of upcoming courses the link is here:
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:
Interactive classes comprise the final learning component of a Blended/Online course.
Science Fiction Becomes Reality:
Using Environmental DNA to Identify Species
by Jay White, P. Biol.
Growing up in the 1970s, all I wanted was a Star Trek communicator and a tricorder. Remarkably, today most of us carry a communicator in our pocket that is far more powerful and versatile than Captain Kirk’s version ever was. But a tricorder? Well, not quite, but we’re getting there. Technological advances in recent years have made devices available to ecologists that previously existed only in the realm of science fiction. Examples include automated remote cameras and sound recorders, GPS tracking tools, and aerial drones. And now we have the precursor to Mr. Spock’s tricorder: environmental DNA analysis, which is revolutionizing how ecological surveys are done.
What is Environmental DNA?
Your genes, encoded in DNA, carry the instructions for your development and growth. Each of us is unique because of small differences in our DNA code, and because of this, we can be identified by a DNA sample. This is not only useful to police seeking to link criminals to a crime scene; it also provides a way for ecologists to determine which species live in a given area without ever seeing them.
Because DNA normally resides within cells, you may wonder how ecologists manage to obtain samples for testing. If they had to capture each animal to do a mouth swab there wouldn’t be much point to the whole exercise. The answer is that they use “environmental” DNA (eDNA), which is genetic material released into the environment from sloughed cells, feces, mucous, and so on. Just as household dust is mostly made up of our sloughed-off skin cells, species leave traces just by existing in their environment.

With the permission of the author; previously published in Nature Alberta on May 5, 2022.
Banner Image: Winter Hill (from a painting by Valerie Kingsmill)

The ASPB regulates the professional practice of biology in the disciplines of Botany, Zoology, Environmental Biology and Microbiology, and all sub-disciplines below them. The ASPB is the only organization for biologists in Alberta that is registered under Provincial Legislation with a mandate to protect the interests of the public of Alberta. The society is governed by a Board of Directors elected by its registrants.

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