Homelessness in a Changing Climate

Frosty 104 Street

Photo by Mack Male on Flickr

Homelessness In a Changing Climate

Terra Informer Hannah Cunningham spoke with undergraduate student Madeleine Stout. Madeleine is pursuing a BA in Planning and works as a research assistant for University of Alberta human geographer Dr. Damian Collins. Madeleine was awarded Undergraduate Research Initiative grant to look at homelessness and winter in Edmonton. She investigated topics such as how weather factors into homelessness responses in Edmonton, and if the city’s homelessness policies take adaptation to winter weather into account.

Our episode this week investigates how climate change-related impacts are affecting Edmonton’s housing-insecure and homeless populations, and looking at what it means to be a “winter city”.

Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring

To honor the Spring season, we’d like to share a history lesson from 2014 that we pulled from our archives! Have you ever wondered about the origin of the environmental movement or the people behind it? To give you an idea, Yvette Thompson serves up a short on Rachel Carson, a woman who spoke out against pesticides with her 1962 book, Silent Spring. More information: The Life and Legacy of Rachel CarsonThe Story of Silent Spring

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Pollution Tracker determines that Victoria is the most polluted harbor on the West coast.




Controversy over proposed 23-hectare solar farm planned by EPCOR in the Edmonton River Valley.



Disappointing audit of the Edmonton residential waste diversion rate.



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Making Winter Cities Accessible


This week we dug into the archives and found a story from last year. In February of 2017, Edmonton hosted the city’s second Winter City Shake Up – a conference that addresses how we can make our cities more lovable, healthy, safe, and accessible and ultimately how we can beat the odds and thrive in the city during the winter season. Guest contributor Jody Zink went to the conference and brings us a variety of interviews discussing solutions to combat the windchill blues by making cities more winter friendly.

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Photo by: Jeff Wallace

George Kourounis Chasing Climate

California National Guard help battle the Rim Fire near Yosemite

Photo by: California National Guard 

This week on Terra Informa, we dip into the archives to bring back an interview with the infamous George Kourounis, a world-renowned storm chaser, adventurer, and host of the international TV show Angry Planet. His work has taken him around the world to document extraordinary natural events like tornadoes and bizarre wildlife phenomena. Terra Informer Dylan Hall spoke with George Kourounis about the different calibers of fear he’s experienced in his amazing career, documenting the Fort McMurray wildfire days after the city was reopened, and documenting climate change.

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Photo by: California National Guard 

What Oil Spills?


This week on Terra Informa, we bring you an exclusive piece with non-profit ecologist Dr. Kevin Timoney about oil and saline-water spills caused by the energy industry in Alberta. Dr. Timoney reveals fascinating evidence that exposes the Alberta Energy Regulator’s misrepresentation and omission of spill data. This piece begs the question: if the Alberta Energy Regulator is 100% funded by the industry that it’s supposed to regulate, how can it possibly remain impartial? Can the AER be reformed, or does it need to be replaced?

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What’s Happening

On Wednesday, February 7, the Alberta Climate Dialogue is hosting an event at the Edmonton Tower with the City of Edmonton and the Athabasca University Press. Challenging Public Involvement: Learning from the Citizens’ Panel on Edmonton’s Energy and Climate Challenges will start at 6:45 PM! No tickets are required.

For more information visit their Facebook page.

Download program log here.

Photo by: Brian Cantoni

Innovating Environmental Education


Recently, Terra Informer Sydney Karbonik spoke with Aaron Dublenko and James Stuart about their work founding and facilitating the award winning Innovate program at schools here in Edmonton. This program began when Aaron encouraged the Queen Elizabeth High School environmental club to try something different … and the result has been truly … innovative. You might have heard about their school’s project to put solar panels on its roof. Listen on to find out what these students have accomplished.

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Photo by: Lorie Shaull

Grizzly Deaths on Railways


This week on Terra Informa, we discuss the mystery involving trains and grizzly bears deaths in Banff National Park. A team of researchers from the University of Alberta lead by Dr. Colleen Cassidy St. Clair  set out on a 5 year study to look at why locomotives were derailing our grizzly population. This archive piece is done by Amanda Rooney, who sat down with Dr. Cassidy St. Clair and Jonathan Backs to find out more about this issue and how they are working to get the grizzly bear population back on track.

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Photo by: Roderick Eime on flickr

Remembering Father Goose

Bill Lishman, known by many as ‘Father Goose’, passed on December 30 after a battle with Leukemia. Bill Lishman was an eccentric artist who found he had a strong affinity for birds after he began flying ultralight aircrafts. He found joy in flying alongside flocks of ducks and saw that he could use his unique skill of flying with birds to help Canada geese in their migrations by acting as the lead bird.

He enlisted the help of his friend Joe Duff, a photographer and fellow ultralight flyer. Together, they attempted their first migration with geese in 1993. Together, Bill and Joe co-founded Operation Migration to continue their work on aircraft guided bird migration. Since then, Operation Migration has graduated from leading Canadian geese to leading the endangered whooping crane on their migratory route.

Terra Informer, Sofia Osborne, spoke with Joe Duff about his memories of the late Bill Lishman. They also discussed the invention of human-led avian migration, the status of Whooping Cranes, and the legacy of Bill Lishman.

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New York Divesting from Fossil Fuel and Oil Companies

New Marine Refuges off Coast of Nunavut and Newfoundland

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Mary Schäffer and Women, Wilderness, and Photography

Searching for Mary Schaffer cover.jpg

This week on Terra Informa,  we’re bringing you an interview with Colleen Skidmore about the story of Mary Schäffer, a distinguished exploring woman in Alberta from the 20th century.

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If you live near the Rocky Mountains Alberta, you might have heard the name Schäffer before. There’s a hike in Jasper by Maligne lake called Mary Shäffer Loop and there’s a ballroom named after Mary Schäffer in the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. At the University of Alberta, one of the residences on the University of AB campus is called Shäffer Hall.

But who was  Mary Schaffer? University of Alberta historian of photography, Dr. Colleen Skidmore, asked herself this same question before she embarked on writing her latest book: “Finding Mary Schaffer: Women, Wilderness, Photography”. Amanda Rooney and Sofia Osborne spoke with Dr. Skidmore to gain more insight into who Mary Schaffer was and why we still know her name today.

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Photo credit: Used with permission from University of Alberta Press