Message from the Executive Director

Welcome to summer! I hope you are finding new energy with the change of seasons and the opportunity to get outside and dive into different activities.

Like many of you, the team at the Research Centre has been weathering the transition to working from home and adjusting Centre activities in response to COVID-19. While we missed connecting with members through the remainder of our spring Seminar Series, we are looking forward to an online seminar next week with Deb Wellwood. She will be exploring ways we can mitigate human-wildlife interactions in our backyards as we enjoy our time at home. Stay tuned for a future online seminar on bee ecology as well.

The Centre’s Wildfire Research Team has been hard at work kick-starting a field season and developing research plans to address aspects of some of the key BC Wildfire Service research questions. The team has two key projects: the implications of past forest management practices on the resiliency of current landscapes to wildfire; and looking at historical natural disturbance regimes to better understand changes to fire intervals and fire behaviour across stand and fuel types. Much of this research is a direct result of the Northern Conference on Wildfire Resilience held in April 2019, and will continue through 2022.

The BVRC AGM was held online in late April. Adrian de Groot stepped down from the Board and his most recent role as Board Chair. A huge thank you to him from the BVRC community for his numerous years of service to the Research Centre—you will be missed Adrian! We would like to extend a warm welcome to Brad Martin and Sam Coggins who have joined the Board of Directors. The new Board Chair is Irene Ronalds. She has been a Board Member over many years and is diligently leading the Board to see the Centre through these difficult times while continuing to support and develop regionally relevant research.

We always love to hear from you. Have ideas for an online seminar? Interested in seeing a specific course run through the Centre? Looking to further develop a research topic? Please connect with us.

In the meantime, be kind, be calm, be safe. We are all in this together.

—Dawn Hanson

BVRC Wildfire Research Team

Wildfire team and field crew at the Nadina Fire, June 2020

July 15: Online Seminar with Debbie Wellwood

From Tiny Bubbles to Resilient Systems:
A Wildlife Ecologist’s Backyard Quest for Connection

presented by Debbie Wellwood

Date:  Wednesday, July 15th
Time:  12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Place: Online (pre-register)

To register for this seminar, send an email to


Resilience—coarsely defined as the capacity to cope with and adapt to major life stressors and change—is key for people, human societies, and ecosystems to persist and thrive. A silver lining of the COVID-19 pandemic might be emerging in social changes—social distancing, staycations, working from home—that are connecting people with ecosystems at home and nearby. People all over the Bulkley Valley are coping with and adapting to change in ways that are potentially beneficial for our communities and the life-supporting ecosystems that we’re connected to. More people are getting into or spending more time doing activities that directly connect them with ecosystems and food systems, such as engaging in nature-focused activities, gardening and composting, supporting local food producers, and walking, hiking, paddling, and bicycling. Some locals, independently and in groups, are also being creative and innovative in their efforts to motivate community-based solutions for issues related to climate, ecosystems, and food security, all of which are interconnected... Read more about this seminar.

54 Degrees North Podcast: Digging deeper into food security

54 Degrees North has a new podcast series digging deeper into food security in the broader Bulkley Valley region.

This 5-part series explores gardening in the north, training and gardening programs, food producer stories, the experience of farmers, and suggestions for becoming a more food secure region. An episode on food preservation will be uploaded soon.

You can download this series wherever you get your podcasts (Apple Podcasts, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, etc.) or here: 54 Degrees North: Climate Chronicles of the Bulkley Valley

This series was recorded on unceded Witsuwit’en territory during COVID-19 in May and June 2020 via Zoom. 54 Degrees North is produced by Nikki Skuce (@nikkiskuce) and edited with the help of Pam Haasen (@hampaasen).

New Online Courses with Birds Canada

The team at Birds Canada has been developing free, high-quality online courses to bring you engaging, useful, geographically-relevant, and up-to-date information that will help you connect with and conserve birds.

To start, they are presenting an exciting Birding by Ear course—one of a kind in the world—valuable to all, but tailored for people with sight loss. Learn how to make birds feel at home with practical guidance about gardening, pets and windows. You can also join their bird drawing course to explore your artistic side.

Here's a sample of the course content: Birding by Ear: You can identify birds (Lesson 5)

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