Workshops, Seaside Classes, and Wildlife!

Jessica here for another edition of Friday Field notes. First of all, Happy Summer Solstice! It has been non-stop here at the HLC since my last post. We saw our second installment of the Never-2-Old (N2O) program, which was a workshop focused on Nordic Pole Walking – a quickly growing low impact physical fitness activity that helps to get people moving more muscles and burn more calories, while also taking pressure of ankles and knees. We had a wonderful group of 15 in for this workshop, including our two lovely instructors James Boyer and Heather Leslie. The group got lots of instruction, had the opportunity to explore some trails around the HLC, and enjoyed a home-cooked lunch. We kindly thank Nordic Pole Walking Nova Scotia and the Keshen Goodman Public Library for supplying the poles for this workshop.

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During this same week, we also had four researchers under Dr. Karen Harper, a plant ecologist and adjunct professor, staying here while they were studying/surveying forested wetlands in the region. Their project will help to gain a better understanding of forested wetland ecology in an effort to help in the development of strategies to mitigate anthropogenic impacts and to preserve the ecosystem services provided by forested wetlands in Atlantic Canada. Some members of her team will be back to stay later in the season as well. We hope to see lots more researchers coming in to use our space while they conduct their field work in the region!

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Later that week, the HLC got 13 adorable new interns.

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We have also had our largest group yet (30 + people) come through the doors, with the Field Aquaculture course (MARI 3604) through Dalhousie University Seaside Summer program. This class was using the HLC as a home base, while visiting many different types of land and ocean-based aquaculture farms, research institutes, government offices, etc. along the South Shore. With this many people, a few tents had to be pitched on the property as well.

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In the downtime between all these groups coming through, I have also had the opportunity to appreciate some of the abundant wildlife around me, including our resident black bear! In the evenings, I have even gotten to see glimpses of a Northern flying squirrel who likes to hang around the main building.

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Next up, the GIS in Ecology course will be coming to the HLC for a few days and this will be our last Seaside course of the season. Today, we will be welcoming a new staff member in the Field Station Assistant position who will likely be writing our blog for next week. On Saturday, we will also be collaborating with White Point and hosting a guided nature walk on coastal forest ecology there with our board member Soren Bondrup-Neilson. Stay tuned for reports on those events!

Until my next Field Notes,

Jessica