Into the Planet: the mysterious world of underwater caves
Jill Heinerth, Royal Canadian Geographical Society Explorer in Residence
Sunday, March 18, 2018, 7:30 pm Dänojà Zho Cultural Centre, Dawson
Monday, March 19, 2018, 7:30 pm Beringia Centre, Whitehorse
One of the world’s most accomplished cave divers, Jill Heinerth was the first person to explore the depths of Antarctic iceberg-cave ecosystems, was on the team that created the first 3D map of a cave system, and has travelled more than three kilometres into a cave on a single dive. Sponsored by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, she has also documented ecosystems under the shrinking arctic ice as part of her Arctic on the Edge project. Join Jill as she shares her passion for exploration and discovery through tales and images of her underwater adventures.
This lecture is being presented in partnership with the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.
Ancient climate change recorded by frozen fossil forests in Canada’s North
Alberto Reyes, Assistant Professor, Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta
Sunday, March 18, 2018, 7:30 pm Beringia Centre, Whitehorse
Monday, March 19, 2018, 5:00 pm dinner & lecture, Old Crow Community Hall, Old Crow
Fossil forests in Canada’s northern territories give us glimpses of past landscapes and environmental change. In the Yukon, ancient forest remains exposed in placer mines and river bluffs help us understand how permafrost behaved during warm periods predating the last ice age. One of Canada’s newly discovered fossil forests comes from an unlikely source: the diamond mines of Northwest Territories. Climate reconstructions from these ancient forests indicate a dramatically warmer and wetter climate than present, but with greenhouse gas concentrations similar to levels that are projected over the next several centuries.
This lecture is being presented in partnership with the Government of the Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation.
Micro-moths: getting to know them through DNA barcoding
Research Scientist, Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids and Nematodes, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Sunday, March 4, 2018, 7:30 pm Beringia Centre, Whitehorse
With wingspans that can measure less than half a centimeter, micro-moths are often overlooked and under-appreciated. But if you take the time to look, this group of moths can easily surpass butterflies in their beauty, striking appearance, and diversity of colour, shapes and forms. Join Vazrick Nazari as he explores our understanding of these tiny insects, and explains how DNA barcoding has been used to help identify both known and new species – including those found on Yukon sand dunes.
This lecture is being presented in conjunction with the Yukon Biodiversity Forum.
Firestorm: How Wildfire Will Shape Our Future
Ed Struzik, Author
Fellow, Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy, Queen’s University
Saturday, March 3, 2018, 7:30 pm Beringia Centre, Whitehorse
On May 3, 2016, a rapidly spreading wildfire near Fort McMurray sent 88,000 people fleeing their homes, offices, hospitals, schools, and seniors’ residences. Embers rained down on cars and trucks as people headed south and north on the only highway that passes through town. The total cost of the fire was $8.86 billion, making it the costliest natural disaster in Canadian history. Is the city of Whitehorse vulnerable to a wildfire such as this one? Join author Ed Struzik as he explains why Yukoners should be worried and what they can do to prepare for the inevitable.
This lecture is being presented in partnership with The Yukon Wood Products Association.
Integrating Renewable Energy in Remote Communities
NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Northern Energy Innovation, Yukon Research Centre, Yukon College
Sunday, February 25, 2018, 7:30 pm Beringia Centre, Whitehorse
Monday, March 22, 2018, 7:30 pm Dawson City Community Library, Dawson
Remote communities across the north are interested in integrating renewable energy such as wind and solar into their generation mix to reduce their dependency on, and consumption of, diesel fuel. Join Mike Ross as he outlines aspects of the electric grid that must be taken into consideration when integrating renewables, and how Yukon Research Centre is working to reduce the barriers and limitations to integration. He will focus on recent work on the Old Crow Solar Project as an example of what can be done.
Earthquakes in the northern Cordillera
Dr. Maurice Colpron
Head of Bedrock Geology, Yukon Geological Survey
Sunday, February 4, 2018, 7:30 pm Beringia Centre, Whitehorse
Monday, February 5, 2018, 7:00 pm Yukon College, Haines Junction
On May 1st, 2017, residents of southern Yukon, northern BC and SE Alaska were awakened by a pair of strong 6.2M earthquakes that reminded us that we live in a seismically active region of the world. The convergence of the Pacific and North American Plates are responsible for large scale faults, the Aleutian subduction zone, and the rise of the St. Elias and Alaska Ranges. This presentation will review basic concepts of Plate Tectonics, the geology of the northern Cordilleran Mountain Belt, and factors leading to seismic hazards in NW North America.
Changing Glaciers, Changing Rivers: an update from the St. Elias Mountains
Assistant Professor of Geoscience
Director of the Water, Sediment, Hazards and Earth-surface Dyanmics (waterSHED) Lab, University of Washington Tacoma
Panya Lipovsky, Surficial Geologist, Yukon Geological Survey, Yukon Government, will be joining Dan for the Whitehorse
Sunday, January 14, 2018, 7:30 pm Beringia Centre, Whitehorse
Monday, January 15, 2018, 6:30 pm Jacquot Hall, Burwash Landing
Rapid landscape changes have occurred in the St. Elias Mountains since the last Ice Age, driven by climate fluctuations and advancing and retreating glaciers. We will describe some remarkable drainage changes produced by the Lowell and Kaskawulsh glaciers in historical times, with emphasis on the recent reorganization of the Slims River drainage in Kluane National Park.
Tracking the movements and ecologies of Beringian creatures, past and present, using isotopes
Chair, Department of Marine Biology, University of Alaska, Fairbanks
Director, Alaska Stable Isotope Facility
Sunday, November 5, 2017, 7:30 pm Beringia Centre, Whitehorse
Debate still swirls around the cause/s of animal extinctions from Beringia around the end of the last glaciation. Information regarding the ecologies of these past animals is sparse despite a rich fossil record from the region. In particular, past movement patterns of the Beringian mega-fauna are poorly understood. Join Matt Wooller as he describes how state-of-the-art isotope techniques combined with data gathered from modern creatures in Alaska (such as caribou, wood bison and even humble voles) are being used to better understand movement patterns and past ecologies of Beringian creatures such as the steppe bison and wooly mammoth.
Yukon Ice Patches: Leaving behind Yukon's own mini Jurassic Park?
Brittney Miller, MSc, Plant Biology
Sunday, October 29, 2017, 7:30 pm Beringia Centre, Whitehorse
Monday, October 30, 2017, 7:00 pm Yukon College, Haines Junction
As Yukon’s ice patches have been shrinking, many interesting finds have been exposed, not least of which are 4,000 year old bryophytes (mosses, hornworts and liverworts) that can be regrown from spores and fragments. Under the ice, subglacial refugia not only preserve bryophyte species for regrowth in future millennia, but whole communities as well – communities that could possibly be our very own miniature Jurassic Park in the making. Join Brittney Miller as she explores the potential of exhumed bryophytes to establish, re-vegetate, and maintain diversity in alpine ecosystems.
Star Party: Yukon's Night Sky
Dr. Phil Plait, Astronomer and author of Bad Astronomy and Death from the Skies
Dr. Christa van Laerhoven, Ph.D. Planetary Sciences
Sunday, October 22, 2017, Old Fire Hall, Whitehorse
6:00 pm Book signing
7:00 pm Panel discussion
9:30 pm Night sky viewing
On Sunday, October 22nd, Dr. Phil Plait & Dr. Christa van Laerhoven will discuss and dispel common misconceptions about the many fascinating objects in the Yukon night sky! Come discover secrets about the Aurora Borealis, our ever-changing Universe, and the many current, and near-future roles YOU can be a part of! Your moderator for the evening will be Jaclyn Semple, B.Sc, M.Sc of the Yukon College. This is a FREE presentation.
This event is being presented in partnership with the Yukon Astronomical Society.