science

Conspiring with Plants

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At Terra Informa, we conspire with our houseplants! [Top row, left to right: Andrea Wiebe, Sofia Osborne, Amanda Rooney. Bottom row, left to right: Hannah Cunningham, Shelley Jodoin, Carter Gorzitza]

Maybe you’ve heard of the Anthropocene, but have you heard of the Planthropocene?

After reading an article entitled “How to grow livable worlds: Ten not-so-easy steps“, Terra Informer Amanda Rooney wanted to share the idea of the Planthropocene with listeners! Amanda got to speak with the author of the paper, Natasha Myers, about her relationship with plants, planthropology and how you might reconceptualize your relationship with plants.

Dr. Natasha Myers is an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at York University. You can find many of Dr. Myers publications, articles and other resources on her website.

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Headlines Links

The Green New Deal – link 1, link 2

Norway’s Divestment from oil and gas exploration stocks – link 1, link 2, link 3, link 4, link 5

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Exploring the Unseen Environment

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Terra Informa in CJSR’s Studio A. From the top clockwise: Sofia Osborne, Dylan Hall, Olivia Debourcier, Charlotte Thomasson, Amanda Rooney, with Carter Gorzitza behind the camera!

This week we decided to shake things up on Terra Informa and take a page from one of our favourite podcasts, Radiolab! Specifically, an episode called Breaking Bad News Bears in which they tasked their reporters to pitch and produce a story about either breaking news or bears.  So we sent our volunteers out to report on either a breaking news story OR something that fits into the category: the unseen environment

We ended up with stories ranging from ancient organisms (both big and small) to deleted provincial parks and murmurations. We’re pretty sure that our reporters did an amazing job! What do you think?

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It’s Time to Talk About Bugs

White-lined sphinx moth from Wikimedia Commons

Did you know that insects take up the most space on the taxonomic web of life? Did you know that about 75% of flowering plants are pollinated by insects? You might have also heard that insect biodiversity is on the decline. Sadly, what you may have hear is right. In a paper published in the Journal ‘Biological Conservation’lead authors Francisco Sánchez-Bayo and Kris A.G.Wyckhuys state “almost half of insect species are rapidly declining and a third are being threatened with extinction”.

Can you imagine a world without insects? To some it may sound like a dream come true but insects are integral to the functioning of our world! From the food we eat to the waste we excrete, we have insects to thanks (we would literally be swimming in detritus if not for decomposers!). Tune into this episode where we show these important little creatures some well-deserved attention!

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Checking out bugs with Peter Heule: Q&A with the Royal Alberta Museum’s live animal supervisor

Terra Informer Olivia deBourcier interviewed Peter Heule, a live animals supervisor at the Royal Alberta Museum, about bugs. Originally aired on The Gateway Presents, we’ll hear about butterfly migration, what animal science is all about, how kids understand bugs better than grown ups think, and what a wild world there is left to discover!

The Good News: The Big Bee!

In light of the bad news about insect populations, there is hope! Recently, the world’s BIGGEST BEE, thought extinct for 38 years, has been found alive on the Indonesian islands of the North Moluccas. As long as an adult thumb, with jaws like a stag beetle and four times larger than a honeybee this dinosaur of a bee continues to be threatened, particularly by deforestation for agriculture, but the very fact that it persists suggests that extinction is not inevitable! Hannah Cunningham explains in this ecobabble the ways that we can all help pollinators keep on keeping on!

From planning what you plant, building bee hotels (a simple DIY bee hotel) to reducing your use of pesticides, there are many ways you can make your world more pollinator friendly

Related Links

National Geographic

The Guardian

Sponge Reefs of the Pacific Canadian Deep

glasssponge

Photo credit: Canadian Geographic

This week, Terra Informer Jeremie Mahaux speaks with Nathan Grant, a graduate student at the University of Alberta. In their interview, we’ll hear about the Hecate Strait Marine Protected Area off the coast of northern British Columbia, as well as Nathan’s research on a fascinating and uniquely Canadian animal: glass sponges. Wanna hear about what a marine field scientist gets up to on the daily? What kind of food do they get to eat on coast guard ships? We’ll find out! 

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Headlines

Alberta NDP shelving oil sands emissions cap

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Bringing science to the people

space junk

Photo by: NASA Knowledge Services

This week on Terra Informa we explore the topic of science communication and talk to two women who are bridging the gap between science and the people. First, Amanda Rooney brings you an interview with New Zealand’s Nicole Masters, an agro-ecologist, educator and systems thinker, about soil health and regenerative agriculture. Then, Ashley Kocsis interviews children’s book author and illustrator Karen Romano Young. Romano Young’s work aims to help scientists convey their messages and stories by combining science and art.

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Co-Chairing the IPCC Science Process

Valérie Masson-Delmotte (CCYP)

Photo by: Chris Chang-Yen Phillips

This week on Terra Informa, Chris Chang-yen Phillips brings you an interview with Valérie Masson-Delmotte, who is the Co-Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – Working Group I. This Working Group is one of three that inform the United Nations and its member countries and deals with the physical science basis of climate change.

We also have some headlines for you about bike-sharing [Link] and some urban agriculture projects in Edmonton [Link 1][Link 2]!

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Download program log here.

Public Participation and the Environment

Atkinson, George Francis

Photo by George Francis Atkinson

This week, we bring you a documentary by Terra Informer Caitlin Macnab on the new environmental impact assessment and what public participation means in the environmental sphere. Tune in for a deep dive on just one part of the recent federal environmental legislation changes.

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Terra Misinforma 2018

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Photo by adam morse on Unsplash

The Terra Informa team is back again with the classic annual ~April fools~ episode!

This April fools tune in to be misinformed about solutions to cow farts, the revocation of your ‘environmentalist’ card, and other solutions to climate change. Then we revisit an archive and delve into questions like “what to do with Iceland?” and “what is eco-amnesia?”.

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Download program log here.