E-Portfolio

Writing Sample One (from COMMS202)

The following writing sample is one of my journal entries for Ecology course. In these journal entries, we summarize field observations in the context of a specific principle of Ecosystem Management. This principle focused on Complexity & Connectedness; Dynamic Nature of Ecosystems. I chose this sample because it demonstrates my ability to apply these principles to my discourse community. It also demonstrates my ability to clearly convey wildlife observation. “Thanks for the summary, Carly.  Recognizing complexity and uncertainty is important,” (Josh Feltham, 2018).

  This park has a direct relation to Complexity and connectedness and dynamic nature of ecosystems. Environmentally, the park allows humanity, wildlife and nature to connect. Culturally, this park provides a beneficial appreciation and value to wildlife and dynamic nature. Socially, the park demonstrates a clear rewarding connection between humanity and dynamic nature of ecosystems. Anyone is welcome to visit the park for recreational/physical activities, as we know the many benefits of getting outdoors and being physically active. Economically, this park is available for anyone to visit for no charge at all. It provides people with a way to connect with nature and get some physical exercise for no charge. The cost it took to create and maintain this park, most definitely pays off by the people who use it whether it is by walking their dog, hiking/running or playing a sport.

Writing Sample Two (from ECOS-14)

My second writing sample is a blog post from my WordPress page in COMM202. For this blog post, we had to pick a trend in a discourse community, discuss the recent shift and reflect on the situation and what it means for our discourse community. I chose this for my portfolio because it demonstrates my ability to focus and convey a trend in my future field of conservation biology. For an employer, this shows that I am a critical thinker and an achievable researcher. It also shows that I am able to boasts about different kinds of changes in conservation biology.

Sand is used for a number of different uses such as; glass, asphalt and concrete. With urbanization becoming more popular, the demand for sand is rapidly increasing which is causing its economic importance to increase. The extraction of sand for engineering use is called Sand Mining. Beaches, oceans, lakes, rivers and quarries have seen a fairly large disruption loss of habitat. These areas are crucially important for psammophilic fishes (tiny organisms that thrive in sandy soil areas), it provides breeding and feeding areas as well as hiding grounds.

As more and more sand is being taken away and used, conservation biologist have been putting efforts underway to determine a solution to restore areas where sand has been removed. Throughout the years, sand mining has lead to a loss of sand along coastal areas (which cause the deepening of rivers and coastal inlets). This results in a loss of riparian habitat, aquatic species and a noticeable deduction in fauna populations. Excessive sand mining can cause bridges, river banks and structures nearby to collapse. The worst effects of sand mining are that when the sand is being removed, it can disrupt into the underground water system, by adjoining rivers and streams, that locals drink which can significantly increase the water treatment costs.

In the field of conservation biology, the lack of sand protection means finding the most achievable solutions to properly fix the issue which can end up having a much more complicated result. This also means working more with government agencies as well as the miners themselves, creating even stronger regulations they have to follow involving where they can and cannot mine. Along with creating laws concerning the amount of sand they are extracting and how much sand that can be removed from an area without any harm to the underground water systems or wildlife.   

References:

Vince Beiser, (Feb, 27, 2017), Sand mining: the global environmental crisis you’ve never heard of, The Gaurdian, Retreived From:

             https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/feb/27/sand-mining-global-environmental-crisis-never-heard

Writing Sample Three (from COMM202)

My third writing example is from the “Discourse Community Analysis” in COMM202. I chose this sample because it truly demonstrates my ability to take on such a large concept such as conservation and focus on the principles and understandings my program, Ecosystem Management.

  There are many different types of conservation; energy, forestry, water, wildlife, etc. Ecology is a very wide field with many different areas to study and observe. Conservation biology is a field of ecology that looks at the environmental issues created by human actions and produces an understanding of the causes of lost ecosystems and species, (Fiorini, 2013). 

  The community of conservation biology consists of well-educated ecologist that do a number of observations and studies figuring out why an ecosystem is damaged and define the issues. Unlike most Environmental scientists, conservation biologist experience strict time restraints 

  At the same time, they plan and work on projects that seek to restore damaged ecosystems, use certain strategies for land use without affecting wildlife and locate funding for projects. As a conservation biologist, you can expect to be either in an office, out in the field or in a lab, (Fiorini, 2013). Chances are you will be spending most of your time in the office communicating in meetings and on the phone with clients, government agencies and other experts in the field. Along with composing data, preparing reports and scientific articles with new studies and techniques for conservation. Working in the field, conservation biologist takes a look at environmental trends around them including population densities, types of flora and fauna growing in an area, and record their data and observations. (Fiorini, 2013) In a lab, there is not much to do as a conservation biologist but process data and samples, (Given, 1993). 

References:

Fiorini, Gabe, (March, 8th, 2013), “What is Conservation Biology?” Notes on the classic 1985 work by Michael E. Soulé, Links to the Damn Pater, Retrieved from:

   https://linkstothedamnpaper.wordpress.com/2013/03/08/what-is-conservation-biology-notes-on-the-classic-1985-work-by-michael-e-soule/ 

David R. Given, (1993), What is conservation biology and why

is it so important?, Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand, Retrieved from:

     http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/03036758.1993.10721217

Writing Sample Four (COMM202)

My final writing example a blog post from my word press page in COMM202. For this blog, we had to describe a conflict that occurs in our discourse community, describe the situation and discuss how it was resolved. I chose this sample because it shows that I can recognize a critically harsh situation, evaluate, and resolve it. I enjoyed this blog post and in my opinion, it is the most well written.

There are many different kinds of examples and situations where Indigenous land has been used without permission; the oil pipelines, various types of mining and deforestation. With the Europeans settling in during the 18th century, invasive species have had a dramatic impact on the native plants and species.

In an effort to help restore the native ecosystem, a project within the Gwaii Haanas (Haida Gwaii island’s), called The Llgaaygü Sdiihlda, has focused on the removal of invasive deer such as the Sitka black-tailed deer. This project was achieved on all 6 islands within Gwaii Haanas. These deer have only made an impact with the change in the vegetation dynamics but also have had an impact on the medicinal, food cultural plants such as the classic Western red cedar. These deer have had a negative ecological impact on the impacts of food supply and availability. Unfortunately, this caused long-term damage to the island’s native species such as; seabirds, songbirds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates. The removal of the deer on the islands ensures that regeneration and natural restoration of the islands native vegetation, plants and species and results with a naturally functioning ecosystem.

Positive outlooks for vegetation since the eradication of the deer. The classic Western red cedar, crabapple, devil’s club and huckleberries have all been actively regrowing since the absence of the deer. As a part of the program, deerskin was harvested and used by the local Haida youth to make deerskin drums, as well as 1400 lbs of venison given to the Haida Gwaii’s local schools and residential senior buildings.

With this particular situation within the Gwaii Haanas islands, the conflict has been resolved and has had positive impacts. Unfortunately, not all Indigenous regions are as all preserved and taken care of as Haida Gwaii. It has taken a lot of time and work to get where they are today.

References:

Invasive deer eradication, (2015), Coastal Conservation, Retrieved from:  http://coastalconservation.ca/projects/ramsay-island-ecosystem-restoration-project-haida-gwaii-british-columbia/

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Serving Canada’s wilderness

  In the early 20th century, before Canada held any real conservation laws or any form of protection for nature and wildlife, Charles Gordon Hewitt, James Bernard Harkin and serval other Canadian civil servants, spearheaded the movement towards wildlife conservation throughout Canada and the US.

  James Bernard Harkin, (1875-1955), is known as the Father of National parks. Born in the Ottawa area he started as an Environmental journalist that promoted tourism over any kind of mining, forestry and dam building that continues the threaten our nature and wildlife. On May 19th, 1911, Canada established the world’s first national parks service and as the commissioner of Dominion parks (now Parks Canada), within 25 years he founded 13 national parks, established the historic sites and monuments Board, promoted the construction of scenic highways and parkways through the Rockies and drafted legislation to protect Canada’s parks, (Riegert, 2015). Kootenay National park is home to the only landmark in the parks system named after Harkin and Mount Harkin is named after Harkin for his contribution to Parks throughout Canada, (McCracken, 2011). Of course, Harkin is responsible parks and projects throughout Canada, such as Wood Buffalo National Park in AB. It was established in 1922 thanks to Harkin’s efforts and contribution. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 was sought to preserve migrating birds from extinction as a result of slaughter by suppliers to the milliner’s trade, market hunters, and spring shootings. Establishing the legislation in 1917, it was a landmark in the development of the Canadian government’s role in wildlife protection, creating greater clarification of the government’s responsibilities for wildlife, (Riegert, 2015).

james b. harkin ca. 1911 (library and archives canada)_215x299.jpg

  “The National Parks ensure that every Canadian, by right of citizenship, will still have free access to vast areas possessing some of the finest scenery in Canada, in which the beauty of the landscape is protected from profanation, the natural wild animals, plants and forests preserved, and the peace and solitude of primeval nature retained.”

    -James Bernard Harkin, 1912

 

 

 

References:

McCracken, Krista. (June 26, 2011), Natural Heritage: Kootenay National Park. Retrieved from:

      http://kristamccracken.ca/?p=325

Riegert P.W., (Jan.14, 2015), Charles Gordon Hewitt. Retrieved from: 

      http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/charles-gordon-hewitt/

The Conflict between Indigenous people and Wild Landscapes

There are many different kinds of examples and situations where Indigenous land has been used without permission; the oil pipelines, various types of mining and deforestation. With the Europeans settling in during the 18th century, invasive species have had a dramatic impact on the native plants and species.

In an effort to help restore the native ecosystem, a project within the Gwaii Haanas (Haida Gwaii island’s), called The Llgaaygü Sdiihlda, has focused on the removal of invasive deer such as the Sitka black-tailed deer. This project was achieved on all 6 islands within Gwaii Haanas. These deer have only made an impact with the change in the vegetation dynamics but also have had an impact on the medicinal, food cultural plants such as the classic Western redcedar. These deer have had a negative ecological impact on the impacts of food supply and availability. Unfortunately, this caused long-term damage to the island’s native species such as; seabirds, songbirds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates. The removal of the deer on the islands ensures that regeneration and natural restoration of the islands native vegetation, plants and species and results with a naturally functioning ecosystem.

gallery1_img3ocean Sound Kayaking

  Positive outlooks for vegetation since the eradication of the deer. The classic Western redcedar, crabapple, devil’s club and huckleberries have all been actively regrowing since the absence of the deer. As a part of the program, deerskin was harvested and used by the local Haida youth to make deerskin drums, as well as 1400 lbs of venison given to the Haida Gwaii’s local schools and residential senior buildings.

With this particular situation within the Gwaii Haanas islands, the conflict has been resolved and has had positive impacts. Unfortenlety, not all Indigenous regions are as all preserved and taken care of as Haida Gwaii. It has taken a lot of time and work to get where they are today.

 

References:

Invasive deer eradication, (2015), Coastal Conservation, Retrieved from:  http://coastalconservation.ca/projects/ramsay-island-ecosystem-restoration-project-haida-gwaii-british-columbia/

Photo: http://oceansoundkayaking.com/native-totems-of-gwaii-haanas/ (3 of 6) 

Quick Loss of Sand

Sand is used for a number of different uses such as; glass, asphalt and concrete. With urbanization becoming more popular, the demand for sand is rapidly increasing which is causing it’s economic importance to increase. The extraction of sand for engineering use is called Sand Mining. Beaches, oceans, lakes, rivers and quarries have seen a fairly large disruption loss of habitat. These areas are crucially important for psammophilic fishes (tiny organisms that thrive in sandy soil areas), it provides breeding and feeding areas as well as hiding grounds.

As more and more sand is being taken away and used, conservation biologist have been putting efforts underway to determine a solution to restore areas where sand has been removed. Throughout the years, sand mining has lead to a loss of sand along coastal areas (which cause the deepening of rivers and coastal inlets). This results in a loss of riparian habitat, aquatic species and a noticeable deduction in fauna populations. Excessive sand mining can cause bridges, river banks and structures nearby to collapse. The worst effects of sand mining are that when the sand is being removed, it can disrupt into the underground water system, by adjoining rivers and streams, that locals drink which can significantly increase the water treatment costs.

In the field of conservation biology, the lack of sand protection means finding the most achievable solutions to properly fix the issue which can end up having a much more complicated result. This also means working more with government agencies as well as the miners themselves, creating even stronger regulations they have to follow involving where they can and cannot mine. Along with creating laws concerning the amount of sand they are extracting and how much sand that can be removed from an area without any harm to the underground water systems or wildlife.   

 

 

Vince Beiser, (Feb, 27, 2017), Sand mining: the global environmental crisis you’ve never heard of, The Gaurdian, Retreived From:         https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/feb/27/sand-mining-global-environmental-crisis-never-heard

Conservation Biology

For my Discourse Community Assignment, I have decided to focus on Conservation biology. Conservation biology is the study of maintaining and restoring natural habitats and maintaining wildlife, providing information to the public about land, forest and water use.  There are many different types of conservation; water, wildlife, energy, forestry etc. Being a field of ecology, I find there are similarities with conservation biology and my program, Ecosystem Management. They both share the same of quality of commitment to the health of the Environment. I find they also share the same interest of openness to scientific and social issues they may come across with an area.  I think it would be a great community for anyone with an interest in conserving and sustaining nature to join.

Conservation biology looks at the Environmental issues caused by human actions and focuses on reversing an understanding and causes of lost ecosystems and biodiversity. They monitor the current environmental situations. For example, conservation biologist analyze the needs of plants and animals in an area. Whilst my program, ecosystem management, still aims towards conserving ecological areas and restoring their natural resources, it does it at the same time as meeting up with the socioeconomic and political standards of today. For example, consulting with the government, environmental and industrial agencies to develop a sustainable plan.

Some similarities between conservation Biology and ecosystem management lie within basic analyzing skills such as: being able to identify and figure out the cause of any kind of environmental degradation, analyzing and understanding a healthy ecosystem. A keystone difference with ecosystem management is being able to determine what socioeconomic and political policies are required for an ecosystem to be a healthy one.

If you’re interested in protecting and helping restore damaged ecosystems, or if you’re interested in educating yourself and the public on threats that may harm a perfectly healthy ecosystem, I would say this community might be right for you.

Screen Shot 2018-01-26 at 2.45.45 PM

(Conservation Biology, IHMC Public Cmaps)