University of Calgary

Biogeoscience Institute open house Sunday offers researchers a window on flood impact

UToday HomeJuly 10, 2013

By Marie-Helene Thibeault

The Main and Baldy lodges of the Biogeoscience Institute, located in scenic in Kananaskis Country, will be the stage of an educational open house event Sunday, July 14. Photos courtesy Biogeoscience Institute  The Main and Baldy lodges of the Biogeoscience Institute, located in scenic Kananaskis Country, will be the stage of an educational open house event Sunday, July 14. Photos courtesy Biogeoscience Institute On Sunday, July 14, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., the Biogeoscience Institute and field stations located in the Kananaskis Valley will welcome visitors for an annual open house event.

Last month, as Alberta experienced some of the worst rainfall in its history, the Kananaskis region saw mudslides, flooded highways and washed out bridges.

Recognized internationally as a research site in geochemical, geophysical and biological processes, the Biogeoscience Institute did not suffer any material damage from the flood. However, the surrounding destruction to the natural environment has set the stage for research concerning the impact of this disaster.

“One of the great values of field stations like the Biogeoscience is in long-term studies and research on how natural processes work, including events such as the recent floods,” explains Ed Johnson, director for the Biogeoscience Institute and professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Calgary and host of the 2013 open house.

The Biogeoscience Institute features two field stations: the Barrier Lake Field Station, established in 1966, and the R.B. Miller Field Station, founded in 1950 and located in the Sheep River Valley. Each year, the sites see more than 13,000 day uses by researchers, undergraduate students, high school students, academic workshops and community visitors.

The Main and Baldy lodges of the Biogeoscience Institute, located in scenic in Kananaskis Country, will be the stage of an educational open house event Sunday, July 14. Photos courtesy Biogeoscience Institute  Biogeoscience Institute.As part of the open house, Biogeoscience Institute experts will be onsite to discuss the recent flooding in southern Alberta and its effect on the landscape, as well as the effects of climate on mountain stream hydrology and wetlands.

Guests will have an opportunity to discuss with researchers subjects such as natural disturbances and plant communities, hill slope and fluvial interactions, behaviour of Rocky Mountain Bighorn sheep, hibernation phenology of Columbian ground squirrels, pollination success of flowering plants, alpine plant communities, ecohydrology of Rocky Mountain peatlands, songbird communication and Golden Eagle migration.

Visitors will also be able to enjoy the Barrier Lake forestry, history trails, and complimentary refreshments in the main lodge.

The free event is open to all.





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