Feature Stories

Putting the ‘U’ Back in Nature

Never before has it been easier for you to join in and participate in monitoring Alberta’s biodiversity, water and air.

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Oil Sands Monitoring Community Report

You have questions about the environment in the oil sands region…and we’re working to find the answers.   Find out how we’re monitoring in the oil sands region, the questions we’re asking, and the answers we’re getting…visit www.osmreport.ca.  

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Exploring Community Approaches to Environmental Monitoring

Community-based monitoring is a relatively new term and can have a variety of interpretations.

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Laser sensing technology helps monitor greenhouse gas emissions

Imagine shooting a laser beam into the air over an industrial plant and being able to tell how much and what kind of greenhouse gas it is emitting…

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Keeping Invasive Mussels Out of Alberta, One Boat at a Time

Zebra and quagga mussels attach to any hard surface and grow like a carpet. They colonize dams and irrigation systems and are a significant physical nuisance for infrastructure. We have over seven thousand kilometers of irrigation canals and pipe in Alberta, all of which could be damaged by an infestation of zebra mussels. Quagga mussels […]

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Pilot program trains Aboriginal students from oil sands area

As the Environmental Monitoring and Science division (formerly AEMERA) continues to move forward and establish itself as the provincial monitoring agency responsible for measuring, assessing and informing the public on the condition of Alberta’s environment, engaging with Aboriginal stakeholders to find meaningful ways to braid Traditional Ecological Knowledge into regional monitoring, has become a clear priority. […]

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Benthic Macroinvertebrate Project

“Benthic monitoring has been done for years in Alberta. It is a core activity and a well-established methodology, both nationally and a part of major international monitoring’, says Fred Wrona, Chief Scientist with the Environmental Monitoring and Science Division (EMSD) (formerly AEMERA) of Alberta Environment and Parks. “EMSD adopted the approach but tailored it specifically to […]

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The Air Quality Health Index (AQHI)

What is the AQHI? The higher the AQHI number, the greater the health risk. Typically ratings will not exceed 10, unless the amount of air contamination is extremely high. An example of an instance in which air quality might receive this rating would be during a forest fire smoke event, when smoke is transported into […]

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Why We Monitor Mercury

Human activity is an increasingly prevalent cause of mercury release. As an example, coal-burning power generation facilities are the most common source of mercury in the environment1. In Alberta, the majority of mercury emissions are through the air2. While mercury is a naturally-occurring element, it can be harmful to the environment and wildlife if it […]

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Barred Owl Monitoring with Lefty

Lefty is a barred owl (Strix varia), which is a species of special concern1 in Alberta. While barred owls are found throughout the province, from the boreal forest to the foothills and Rocky Mountains, they are of particular interest in the Oil Sands region. “These owls are more sensitive to human disturbance,” explains wildlife monitoring […]

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