Wolf Creek Research Basin: Yukon’s Own Water and Climate Science Catalyst
John Pomeroy, Canada Research Chair and Distinguished Professor, University of Saskatchewan
Sean Carey, Professor, McMaster University
Tuesday, September 26, 2017, 7:30 pm, Beringia Centre, Whitehorse
Few Whitehorse residents realize that for 25 years a large international research collaboration led by Yukon scientists has been going on in their backyard. In 1992, Wolf Creek, in the headwaters of the Yukon River, was instrumented as a research basin to study the climate, water cycle, and ecology of northwestern Canada. The research has provided valuable insight into all aspects of hydrology, particularly the important role of frozen ground and vegetation and how climate change will impact floods and droughts, while also providing training for hundreds of young scientists. Join John Pomeroy and Sean Carey as they discuss their work, and how it has become the catalyst for major science initiatives elsewhere.
The Sinking of the S.S. Princess Sophia: Would it happen today?
David Leverton, Executive Director, Maritime Museum of British Columbia
Sunday, June 4, 2017, 7:30 pm, Beringia Centre, Whitehorse
On October 25, 1918, the S.S. Princess Sophia struck Vanderbilt Reef in the Lynn Canal near Juneau, Alaska and 40 hours later sank with all 343 passengers and crew on board. Considered by many to be the worst maritime disaster in the Pacific Northwest, whether it could have been avoided is still a topic of debate. Join David Leverton, Executive Director of the Maritime Museum of B.C., as he explores how the state of technology at the time contributed to the tragedy, and how far we’ve come since in our ability to predict weather, navigate at sea and rescue those in jeopardy.
Ian Church Memorial Lecture
Climate Change in the North: a community affair
David Pearson, Professor, School of Environment, Laurentian University
Sunday, May 28, 2017, 7:30 pm, Beringia Centre, Whitehorse
Elders in 31 First Nation communities in northern Ontario near Hudson’s Bay tell stories of changes in climate that began in the 1980s. Shorter and warmer winters, a shifting forest fire season, and flooding due to greater rainfall when the ground is frozen, are experiences these communities share with their northern counterparts in the Yukon. Join David as he describes the results of a collaboration with remote First Nations in Ontario that has led to a new vision of the implications of future climate change and potential adaptation actions, while engaging young people in science activities in schools, and building understanding in communities.
Cougars: the ecology of an adaptive carnivore
Aliah Adams Knopff, MSc, Ecology
Senior Wildlife Biologist, Talus Environmental Consulting
Sunday, March 5, 2017, 7:30 pm, Beringia Centre, Whitehorse
Monday, March 6, 2017, 7:00 pm, Yukon College, Haines Junction
Cougars are now in closer, more constant contact with people than ever before, largely due to their ability to adapt to human-dominated landscapes. How can cougars and humans live side by side, and what management actions will best help us co-exist? Join Aliah Adams Knopff as she discusses the results of cougar research conducted in west-central Alberta and the implications of these results for managing cougar-human interactions. Topics will include cougar habitat selection and response to human-caused landscape change, human perceptions of cougars, predation patterns and risk to people and pets - important topics for Yukoners as cougars spread north.
This lecture presented in partnership with WildWise Yukon.
Geothermal Energy in Canada
Stephen Grasby, Groundwater Geochemist, Geological Survey of Canada
Adjunct Professor, University of Calgary
Monday, February 13, 2017, 7:30 pm, Beringia Centre, Whitehorse
Geothermal energy provides one of the cleanest and lowest emission renewable energy resources known. It also has the key benefit of being a stable baseload power supply, making it the ideal for powering electrical grids. Geothermal energy can also be used to meet a diversity of heat demands, from industrial to residential. Although used extensively throughout the world, geothermal energy has not been significantly developed in Canada to date. Despite this, Canada has huge geothermal energy reserves that could play an important role in the transition to a clean energy economy. Recent work has examined historic data to allow a national-scale assessment of high potential geothermal areas in Canada. This presentation will provide an overview what geothermal energy is, where is comes from, and how it can be developed, along with what regions of Canada have the greatest potential to use this renewable energy resource.
This lecture presented in partnership with the Yukon Geological Survey.
Birds in High Places: the ecology and conservation value of northern mountains for avian biodiversity
Kathy Martin, Professor, Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences, University of British Columbia
Research Scientist, Environment and Climate Change Canada
Sunday, February 12, 2017, 7:30 pm, Beringia Centre, Whitehorse
Monday, February 13, 2017, 7:30 pm, Dawson City Community Library, Dawson
Wednesday, February 15, 2017, 7:00 pm, Yukon College, Haines Junction
Mountains comprise about 50% of the BC and Yukon landbase, and one-third of birds breeding in North America use mountain habitats for at least one critical period of their annual life cycle. Birds have developed exceptional adaptions to live in these environmentally rigorous habitats where often abundant food and moderate predation risk can offset the increased energetic costs of living at high elevation. Join Kathy Martin for an exploration of northern alpine avian adaptations, and the implications of climate change for avian diversity.
Chimps in Space: A Century of Apes in Research
Andrew Westoll, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto, Scarborough
Award-winning author of The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary
Sunday, January 22, 2017, 7:30 pm, Beringia Centre, Whitehorse
In 2015, the National Institutes of Health announced that it would retire the last of its laboratory chimpanzees to sanctuary, bringing to an end nearly a century of biomedical research on our closest evolutionary relatives. Join Andrew Westoll as he traces the medical research community's complicated relationship to the chimpanzee, from early experiments by renowned psychologist Robert Yerkes, to the chimp's central role in the US Space Race, to the ultimately vain hope that the chimpanzee model might hold the key to reversing the devastation of HIV/AIDS.
This lecture presented in partnership with the Northern Lights Writers' Conference
Wizard oil? Science in the age of social media
Ernie Prokopchuk, Instructor, Chemist, School of Science, Yukon College
Sunday, December 11, 2016, 7:30 pm, Beringia Centre, Whitehorse
Laundry magnets to increase water's natural solvency? Salt lamp air cleansing? What lies behind the hype: is it science, myth, misunderstanding or marketing? And how has sharing information through social media shaped what we believe to be the truth about the world around us? Join Ernie Prokopchuk as he explores the science behind some of the most popular stories trending on social network feeds over the last few years. Hundreds of "likes" and retweets can't be wrong, can they?
Hot and Smoky: Is this our future?
Mike Flannigan, Professor of Wildland Fire, University of Alberta
Director of the Western Partnership for Wildland Fire Science
Sunday, October 16, 2016, 7:30 pm, Beringia Centre, Whitehorse
Monday, October 17, 2016, 7:30 pm, Dawson City Community Library, Dawson
Every year, climate/weather, fuels, and people jointly create thousands of fires, large and small, somewhere in Canada’s vast forests. They have been a necessary part of what shapes our forests for centuries, but our climate is changing rapidly leading to a warmer world with longer fire seasons, more lightning activity, and most importantly, drier fuels. Join Mike Flannigan as he explores what fires in the 21st century will look like. What will be the new challenges for fire management? And how can enhanced fire danger rating systems that accurately predict the spatial and temporal variability in fire danger help us adapt to a warmer world?