Let’s Go Fly a Kite (and visit orchids!)



Credit: Trevor Chow-Fraser

In this week’s episode of Terra Informa, we’ll join Trevor Chow-Fraser as he attends a mapping workshop led by Ann Chen. We’ll learn how to shoot maps out of the sky with point-n-shoot cameras and a kite, and we’ll learn how these DIY maps can be used to save habitats. Then we’ll journey to the Muttart conservatory with Tasmia Nishat to explore the vast orchid collection at the heart of Edmonton. 

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Orchid Species Preservation Foundation (Say that 5 Times Fast)

Most citizens of Edmonton are aware of the Muttart Conservatory, but not a lot of them know about the ginormous orchid collection that resides there. You may know orchids as that overly fancy flower stores sometimes sell. Or as something you put in baked goods at times, because fun fact: vanilla is an orchid. How did this collection come to be? And what’s up with orchids, anyway — why do people care enough to form an entire society around them?
Tasmia Nishat speaks with Dave Nixon of the Orchid Species Preservation Foundation, or OSPF for short, to get to the bottom of this. Plant nerds, this one’s for you!

DIY Google Maps Could Save Habitats

Ann Chen was a visiting Fulbright Scholar at the University of Alberta and a member of Public Lab. They’re a group that’s making it super easy for anyone to produce high resolution, satellite style maps. Trevor Chow-Fraser met up with Ann Chen at one of her workshops. With point-n-shoot cameras, duct-tape, pop bottles and a kite, she soon had the group shooting maps out of a cold winter sky. Better yet, she explained how those maps can be used to protect fragile environments and hold polluters accountable.




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