So many fine memories. Inspired learners. Great community engagement. The new classroom building. Hot, smoky weather.
Students arrived on July 3rd, and were served the first meal prepared in the new kitchen (Esther-Ruth did a wonderful job with all the meals). Students braved two field assignments in hot (for Galiano; 36 degrees one day) weather. No one will forget the pall of forest fire smoke the descended on us for two days, leaving a fine deposit of ash on everything. This was the third year of the human legacy assignment. The availability of an onsite GIS computer (and the solar power system to make it run) allowed for immediate uploading of data by student teams and fast processing.by students Kyle and Frédérique. We tested a new deer browsing intensity study. Students took key measurements of foliage on ocean spray plants, which are a favourite food for black-tailed deer. Concern over high browsing intensity led Drs. Peter Arcese (UBC) and Tara Martin (UBC/CSIRO) to develop an index of browsing intensity based on ocean spray form. We used this protocol to develop a baseline of browsing intensity for the Learning Centre property and will return to this in subsequent years to record differences. The students were terrific in testing and refining a research method for the first time!
Guest speakers were generous, including writer Suzanne Fournier, evolutionary biologist Tom Mommsen, archaeologists Colin Grier and Kelly Derr, and local historian Gary Moore. Kristen Walsh, the teaching assistant, organized two public panels, one on fish conservation and restoration featuring Darienne Lancaster, Jenna Falk, Alanna Vachon, and Tom Mommsen, and the other on food forestry, featuring Mike Simpson, JJ Ford, Hyeone Park and Eric Jacobson.