Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

Why we need . . . . the dark.

Join MVFN as we explore this serious, albeit fascinating, topic with Robert Dick M. Eng. P. Eng., Manger of the Dark-Sky Preserves program and Chair of the Light-Pollution Abatement Committee, Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.

The presentation Blinding Light! Bring Back the Night will take place on Thursday, Jan 18th, and is the fourth in MVFN’s “2017-18 When Things Go Bump in the Night” natural history series.

As one who had been watching the dark sky and the not-so-dark stars and other bright celestial objects one can see in a dark sky, our guest speaker, was almost always aware of the effects of man-made artificial light on the dark. However, he came to realize that the light was not simply a nuisance for star-gazers.

Robert Dick: “For over a century, astronomers have known about the impact of artificial light on the night sky. But this was just the ‘tip of the iceberg.’ Studies into the effects of light on our biology and mental functions are revealing a more profound physical impact.”

“Most life has evolved to accommodate starlight. It also accommodates bright moonlight for about a week every month. But it needs the remaining three weeks of only starlight to recover from the bright moon. More light than this changes the behaviour of animals because it is not an environment for which they had evolved.”

Dick implores us to listen to our common sense. Come to his presentation on Thursday January 18th and hear about the proven impact of artificial light at night on the ecology of animals and plants, and on our own biology, our vision and our brain. And consider what we can do to minimize this impact.

EVENT DETAILS

Thursday January 18, 2018 /  7:30 PM / Almonte United Church 106 Elgin St. Almonte, ON

Doors to the social hall at Almonte United Church will open at 7 PM and the program gets underway at 7:30 PM. Refreshments are available throughout the evening and a discussion will follow the presentation. As always, the event is free for MVFN members and youth 18 and under. Everyone is welcome, $5 for non-members fee at the door. For further information please contact MVFN’s Program Chair Gretta Bradley at  or visit mvfn.ca.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Implications for the conservation of a declining aerial insectivore

Dr. Greg Mitchell,  research scientist with the Wildlife Research Division of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Canada, and adjunct research professor (Carleton University) will be guest speaker as our “When Things go Bump in the Night” series continues.

 

Our guest speaker is studying the habitat requirements of migratory species in human-dominated or working landscapes throughout southern Canada using field surveys, weather radar detection of biological entities, and citizen science data such as breeding bird surveys.

Dr. Mitchell will share his work on Bank Swallows (Riparia riparia), a threatened species in Ontario. His research team recently discovered, among other things, the “cryptic and broad-scale movements of bank swallows . . . in the early evening during the breeding season.”

The results of this fascinating research have revealed interesting insights into the effects of sunset and sunrise on movements of these aerial insectivores, as well as the importance of wetland roosting habitats during breeding season. Join us for Dr. Mitchell’s presentation: “Where Do Bank Swallows Go During Breeding When the Sun Sets?  Implications for conservation of a declining aerial insectivore.”

 

 

 

Dr. Mitchell’s presentation details:

Thursday November 16 /  7:30 PM / Almonte United Church 106 Elgin St. Almonte, ON

Doors to the social hall at Almonte United Church will open at 7 PM and the program gets underway at 7:30 PM. Refreshments are available throughout the evening and a discussion will follow the presentation. As always, the event is free for MVFN members and youth under 18; non-members fee at the door is $5; all are welcome. For further information please contact MVFN’s Program Chair Gretta Bradley at

Press Release pdf: The Flight of the Bank Swallow

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Thursday October 19 / 7:30  PM / Almonte United Church Social Hall / Doors open 7 PM

On Thursday, October 19, 2017 we will host the second presentation of our 2017-18 series “When Things Go Bump in The Night.”

We will be treated to the expert environmental storytelling and insights of our special guest speaker, along with her photographic/videographic tour of two incredible “lands of the midnight sun”.  “Unforgettable Places: A Biologist’s Explorations of the Arctic and Antarctic” will be presented by biologist Dr. Shelley Ball.

photo Dr. Shelley Ball

Ball, an ecologist and population geneticist, photographer and passionate environmental communicator (including as a university professor of Biology and a September 2017 TEDx Ottawa speaker)  is the founder and president of Biosphere Environmental Education. The organization strives to make a positive impact by connecting people with nature, by “show[ing] them the earth’s incredible places, and [inspiring] them to protect these amazing places.”At the core of the approach is experiential learning and teaching the tools of environmental observation and communication, including photography and videography, writing and public speaking. The Youth Environmental Ambassadors Program sees youth undertake significant expeditions, to learn “in-place” in challenging places such as the arctic, thus being inspired to “care for the environment through travel, discovery, photography and video”.

“In December 2016, Shelley was one of 76 women from around the world selected to be part of the inaugural Homeward Bound Women in Science Leadership Expedition to Antarctica – the largest all-women’s expedition to the frozen continent.”

We hope you will decide to join us for what promises to be an excellent and very interesting presentation by Dr. Ball. Doors to the social hall at Almonte United Church (106 Elgin St., Almonte) will open at 7 PM and the program gets underway at 7:30 PM.  Refreshments are available throughout the evening and a discussion will follow the presentation. As always, the event is free for MVFN members and youth under 18; non-members fee at the door is $5; all are welcome.

For further information, please contact MVFN’s Program Chair, Gretta Bradley at

Click here to open the October event press story pdf:  The Call of the Midnight Sun by Cheryl Morris-Putman

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Join MVFN as we begin our NEW Natural History series for 2017-2018. The theme for this year’s series is “When Things Go Bump in the Night

On September 21st at 7:30 PM we will host the first of these natural history presentations: “Chimney Swifts: The Threatened Species Sleeping in our Chimneys” with guest speaker educator and biologist Melanie Farquhar.

Our presenter has worked on research projects studying Ancient Murrelet populations in the Queen Charlotte Islands, recording Common Loon vocalizations in eastern Ontario, and recently Chimney Swifts and their roosting behaviour in Renfrew County.

Chimney Swifts are a delight to witness on a warm summer night at dusk as they return home in a swirling rapidly flying group and plummet one by one in “cigar-shaped” dives into their roost for the night. This species is currently in decline. How can citizen scientists help with the conservation of these birds? Melanie will share with us the natural history of this fascinating bird including new insights into their roosting behaviour and factors which may help mitigate their decline.

7:30 PM / Almonte United Church, 106 Elgin St. / Free for members. $5 for non-members / All welcome. Refreshments available / Doors open 7 PM

Read Press Release: Sunset Silhouettes by Cheryl Morris-Putman

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