Member Profile: Lynn Westcott, Entomologist, MSc

Lynn is an entomologist living in Smithers. She studied at Simon Fraser University, obtaining an MSc in Biological Sciences from SFU with a focus on honey bee biology. Lynn operates an environmental consultancy and has lived and worked throughout northern BC, northern Alberta, and the West Kootenay region in southern BC. Lynn works with aquatic insects, but her primary entomological area-of-interest is native bees and their role in plant pollination. 

❝ When people think about bees and pollination, honey bees often come to mind; but we have an incredible diversity of important native bee species that are excellent pollinators of native plants, as well as cultivated garden plants. Ever stopped to look at who’s visiting the flowers on your raspberry bushes? Chances are you’ll see a lot of different, very busy, bumble bees. ❞

Lynn’s favourite thing to do, next to studying and working with insects, is supporting science literacy and nurturing interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) in everyone - children, adults, and elders. Science Outreach is an important focus, and Lynn enjoys providing informal science and environmental education in each community and region that she has called home. Lynn has been a volunteer with Science World’s ‘Scientists and Innovators in the Schools’ program for over 10 years.

Earlier this year, Lynn visited the elder residents in the Bulkley Lodge in Smithers, bringing local insect displays to folks who may no longer be able to appreciate the wonder and beauty of nature first-hand. Future plans are to support and help organize ongoing STEM outreach events and activities in communities throughout northern BC.

❝ There’s so much to appreciate, and so much to wonder about in the world around us and the universe beyond. We all benefit, and can do our piece to make things better, by taking time to seek, ask, and learn every day. ❞ 

Stay tuned for more information as Lynn and the BVRC collaborate on upcoming bee workshops in Smithers! 

Project Profile: Whitebark Pine Restoration led by Sybille Haeussler, PhD, UNBC

We are beginning the second year of a five-year cycle of a multipartner project to restore endangered whitebark pine ecosystems with high habitat value for bears in the southern Skeena Region. Whitebark pine (Pinusalbicaulis) is a wildlife tree whose large protein rich seeds (pine nuts) are an important source of nutrition for many wildlife species, including black and grizzly bears, birds, and small mammals in the subalpine forests of western Canada.

The species was listed as endangered under Canada’s Species at Risk Act in 2012, and ecosystems containing whitebark pine are blue-listed in British Columbia. Whitebark pine is endangered by cumulative effects of the mountain pine beetle that has killed up to 85% of large, seed-bearing trees in the Skeena Region, the introduced white pine blister rust that infects 75% of surviving trees, and changing climate and fire regimes.

In 2010, we began restoring disturbed whitebark pine ecosystems at their northwest limit in the southern Skeena Region. Recent wildfires in the region (Nanika Falls, Atna, Gosnell) destroyed mature whitebark pine trees within high value bear habitat, but created ideal sites for replanting. From 2011-2016, we collected seeds from rust-free trees and began rust-resistance testing.

Our objective is to successfully restore at least 300 hectares of disturbed whitebark ecosystems in areas of high value bear habitat in the Skeena Region over the next five years.

New Project: Buzz, Boom, Bust - A Comparative Case Study by Marieka Sax, PhD

A comparative case study of the gendered impacts of the speculative phase of resource development in New Brunswick and British Columbia.

Marieka Sax is a postdoctoral fellow and Research Lead at the Cumulative Impacts Research Consortium at UNBC. 

In September 2018, she will start a two-year project investigating how women and men who live in resource communities are impacted by largescale natural resource development projects during the "buzz" of preparation that precedes operations. The BC case study will consider the activities, experiences, and conversations surrounding the development of the province’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry with export facilities based on the north coast.

The BVRC is looking forward to supporting this project, including a seminar presentation as the project unfolds. 

BC Rural Dividend Fund: Grant Availability

The BC Rural Dividend Fund (RDF) will be accepting applications for funding until July 31, 2018.  This will be the only RDF application window for 2018-19.

The program provides $25 Million per year, with the goal of assisting small rural communities (population 25,000 or less) to reinvigorate and diversify their local economies. Eligible applicants are local governments, First Nations and non-for-profit organizations.

Click here for more information and to apply.

Geoscience BC Calls for Project Proposals to Generate New Minerals Research & Data

Six Requests for Proposals (RFPs) have been released by Geoscience BC to create mineral resource projects that will generate new high quality and unbiased earth science research and data to be shared publicly for the benefit of all British Columbians.

Projects resulting from the RFPs will deliver new earth science and baseline data for prospectors, explorers, mine developers, governments, community leaders and Indigenous groups to make informed, evidence-based decisions about mineral resources, as well as helping to identify and mitigate risks, answer specific environmental and social questions and stimulate investment, jobs and socio-economic development in British Columbia.

Deadline: Monday October 1, 2018.

For full details on each RFP as well as how to submit a proposal, head to the Geoscience BC website.

Real Estate Foundation BC Grant

The REFBC accepts applications through two grant streams: General Grants and Real Estate Industry Grants.

These grants fund research and knowledge mobilization, public and professional education, initiatives that support law and policy analysis/reform, and other land use and real estate related projects that benefit BC communities.

As a funder, REFBC is interested in projects that support the sustainable use of land and that build knowledge and professionalism in the real estate industry. The Foundation’s work supports five interest areas:

  1. Sustainable Land Use
  2. Built Environment Sustainability
  3. Freshwater Sustainability
  4. Local and Sustainable Food Systems
  5. Professional Excellence in Real Estate


General Grants (two intakes/year): September 6, 2018 & February 2019.

Real Estate Industry Grants (one intake/year): December 15, 2018. 

To learn more about each grant, eligibility, and how to apply visit their website

BVRC Rental Equipment Available to Members

We are happy to announce another member perk! The BVRC has field and research equipment available for rent, free of charge, to our members.

You can view the list on our website. Feel free to download the list for reference, should you require some of these tools at anytime. 

Please get in touch for rental bookings. 

Summer Office Closure & Updated Hours

The BVRC will be closed for summer holidays from July 30th to August 10th, 2018. 

We have also officially updated our office hours! We are open from Wednesday to Friday 9:00am to 3:00pm. We are also available upon request. 

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