By Kate O’Connor, Review Contributor
This week marks the beginning of the second season of the Columbian Region Ecological Discussions (CRED), held locally by the Columbian Mountain Institute of Applied Ecology (CMIAE).
The season opened on Nov. 16 at the Revelstoke Community Centre and runs until the end of March next year. A variety of speakers are scheduled to attend, addressing a diverse range of topics including science communication, active ecological management, citizen science, research skills and techniques and the influences that our natural environment has on our art and culture.
CMIAE usually focuses more on the delivery of courses, workshops and facilitated meetings and large conferences. However, Hailey Ross, executive director of CMIAE, says that they wanted to put on a talk series that was more accessible (namely, free).
“We want to provide Revelstoke with the opportunity to learn more about the ecological research taking place in their own backyard” Ross said.
Most sessions will be recorded and made publicly available on the CMIAE website.
Last year, the series was organised in partnership with the North Columbia Environmental Society (NCES). This year, the NCES decided not to allocate resources to the series.
“However, because attendance had been quite high at last year’s talks,” said Ross, “And because we heard from various members that they were interested in having access to the talks that were presented (without actually having to be in Revelstoke), we committed to running the season again.”
If this season proves popular then the CMIAE will explore expanding the series to the Basin as a whole so that speaking events in other communities can be included as well.
“This is all funding dependent of course,” Ross said.
While the entire season has not yet been scheduled, the first five speakers have been confirmed and introduced on the CMIAE website.
The season kicks off at 12 p.m. on Nov. 16 with a presentation from Alan Thomson, a Water Resources Consultant, who will be discussing the Columbia River Treaty and some options for the Arrow Lakes Reservoir to address some of the current environmental impacts caused by operation.
The season continues on Nov. 21 at 12:15 p.m., when Sue Davies of the Columbia Shuswap Invasive Species Society holds a discussion titled Why Invasives Matter, focusing on the negative impact invasive species have not only on our native flora and fauna but also on our economy, tourism and recreational industries.
The third talk of the year will be held on Nov. 28 at 12 p.m. by Mindy Skinner, a Parks Canada Resource Management Officer, on the impact of Revelstoke’s growing tourism industry on the summit wildflowers of Mt. Revelstoke, and the ongoing work being done by Parks Canada to restore and monitor the Meadows in the Sky.
The fourth talk is scheduled for Dec. 5 at 12 p.m. This discussion will see Meghan Anderson from Wildlife Infometrics Inc talking about ungulate population management and the importance of reflecting on historic population data to keep our opinions informed.
On Jan. 30 at 12 p.m., Michal Pavlik, a PhD candidate with Simon Fraser University, will be holding a talk on the annual and seasonal survival of the Yellow Warbler and at which stages of their annual cycle they are most at risk.
All the talks are held at the Revelstoke Communtiy Centre.
Further sessions will be announced via the CMIAE website once speakers are confirmed.