AUGUST 1, 2022
  • ABWRET-A Evaluation

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The annual conference is 122 days away! ASPB President Elect Andy Edeburn has agreed to head up the working group that will plan and conduct the ASPB 2022 Fall Conference to be held November 30 - December 2 at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Jessica Koehli, who was appointed last week to join the ASPB administration team as Regulatory Coordinator, has also been assigned by the Executive Director to take the administrative lead for the conference. We are beginning to put together an agenda with speakers that include both federal and provincial government representatives, technical updates, and enough time to network with our friends and colleagues we haven’t seen since our last in- person conference!
Soon we will have our sponsorship package ready to present to our supporters. Check back here for the most recent ASPB 2022 Annual Conference details, and if you are interested in presenting, volunteering, or being a sponsor, please contact Jessica at

AGM and Board Elections
The conference will include the society's Annual General Meeting (in-person or call-in). In preparation for the AGM the nominating committee chair has closed nominations and announced the slate of new nominees for election to the board of directors: Kristie Derkson, Julie Oxtoby, Shilo Brauer, Nikki Copeland, Matt Koehli and Scott Kolochuk.
Deadline extended:
Alberta Newcomer Recognition Awards
The Alberta Newcomer Recognition Awards celebrate the achievements of newcomers who have made contributions at their schools, workplaces, or communities through volunteering, innovation, leadership, professional or academic excellence and encouraging others. Anyone is welcome to submit a nomination; there is a two-step process and details are available HERE. The deadline to submit has been extended to August 7, 2022.
on the

Executive Director

Environmental Specialist

Senior Ecologist

Intermediate Ecologist

Environmental Regulatory Specialist

Ecologist (Vegetation and Wetlands)

Field Biologist - Medicine Hat area

Natural Area Manager – Southern Foothills

Senior Marine Biologist

Environmental Specialist

Aquatic & Fisheries Biologist

Wetland Ecologist/Authenticating Professional

Intermediate Aquatic Biologist

NABC bird banding workshop
and certification in Belize
This ecotourism and learning event to be held between October 15-22 is hosted by Toucan Ridge Ecology and Education Society at the TREES Research Center in Belize’s Maya Mountains. For more information please go HERE or contact Nick Bartok, P Biol at


Electrofishing Certification – Cochrane, AB – August 9 & 12 2022

Electrofishing Certification – Nanaimo, BC – August 9 & 16, 2022

Electrofishing Certification – North Vancouver, BC – August 9 & 10 2022

Technical Writing for Professionals – ONLINE – August 15-16, 2022

For the full calendar of upcoming courses the link is here:
The Grassland Restoration Forum’s hands-on courses and events for 2022 are listed below. You can check out their website for details and registration on all events HERE.

September 14th, 2022: How to Use Range Plant Community Guides and Recovery Strategies Manuals for Project and Reclamation Planning in Grasslands at Cassils Hall, near Brooks. This one-day, classroom-based course teaches participants how to use the Range Plant Community Guides and introduces the Recovery Strategies for Development in Native Grassland Manuals planning process. These tools will provide valuable context to interpret results of data collected for NEW AEP Conservation Assessments

September 15th, 2022: Hands on! Grassland Assessment Training at Antelope Creek Ranch, near Brooks. This one day, field-based course offers training on common plant identification, use of soils and landscape mapping (AGRASID and GVI) in relation to Alberta’s Range Plant Community Guides and Range Health Assessment Manuals.

October 4th, 2022: A Walking Tour of the Stavely Research Ranch – west of Stavely, Alberta in the Porcupine Hills. This tour will be led by Barry Adams, Rangeland Management Specialist - AEP (retired). A unique and valuable demonstration of long-term effects of land management on foothills fescue grassland ecosystems in southwest Alberta.

November 17th, 2022: Our Perennial Gathering! GRF Fall Information Session at Claresholm. The one day Fall Information Session gathers a variety of industry and grassland stakeholders to exchange current information on grassland restoration and conservation through a variety of presentations and mini updates.

SALMTEC has announced new courses and training programs:

Alberta Wetland Policy Basics Online Course

Alberta Soil Information Viewer Online Course
Understanding ACIMS Tools 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.
Evaluating an Alberta Wetland Assessment Tool
On July 25, 2022, Environmental Science & Policy (Vol 136) published online a paper evaluating the development and use of the rapid wetland assessment tool (ABWRET-A) in policy implementation in Alberta. The paper was authored by Rebecca Rooney, Owen Royall, Derek Robinson, Danielle Cobbaert, Marsha Trites-Russell, and Matthew Wilson.

Highlights of the paper point out that wetland loss continues despite the new function-based Alberta Wetland Policy and that losses are concentrated around the province’s largest cities. Larger, more permanently-ponded marshes situated nearer to roads are targeted, and the authors conclude that the ABWRET-A tool calibration was biased (favoring large marshes near roads) and that bias in the calibration can influence wetland scores and replacement ratios.

According to the abstract, the Alberta wetland policy aims to protect the most valuable wetlands and maintain wetland functions despite unavoidable wetland loss. The Alberta Wetland Rapid Evaluation Tool-Actual (ABWRET-A) was developed to quantify wetland functions in support of policy implementation. The authors evaluated > 200 wetlands used to calibrate ABWRET-A and > 2000 wetlands targeted for loss under the policy to understand potential biases in the system.

The full abstract and link to the paper are available here:
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Downy Woodpecker east of Calgary (Photo by Dean Falkenberg)

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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