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Announcing the 2017 Douglas H. Pimlott Award Winner: Dr. Ian A. McLaren
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Announcing the 2017 Douglas H. Pimlott Award Winner: Dr. Ian A. McLaren

This post was written by guest blogger Rebecca Kennedy. For his lifetime achievements and contributions to the fields of marine biology and regional ornithology, Nature Canada is honoured to present Dr. Ian A. McLaren with its 2017 Douglas H. Pimlott Award. [caption id="attachment_34714" align="alignright" width="392"]Image of Ian McLaren Ian McLaren[/caption] A longtime professor and researcher in marine biology and ecology at Dalhousie University, Dr. Ian McLaren has spent an enthusiastic and inquisitive life in the Canadian outdoors. After attaining his doctorate in 1961 at Yale, Dr. McLaren returned to his hometown of Montreal to work as an assistant professor in the Marine Sciences Centre at McGill. In 1966, he relocated to Dalhousie University in Halifax to be an associate professor of biology. There he spent the majority of his academic career, teaching undergraduate courses in subjects such as biological diversity, ecology, vertebrate and invertebrate biology, and population and community ecology, and acting as a supervisor or committee member for over 60 graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. Always aware of the need for habitat protection, Dr. McLaren was heavily involved in the establishment of both the Nova Scotia Nature Trust and the Sable Island Preservation Trust (now Friends of Sable Island NP), which has led to the protection of the province’s unique coastal ecosystems and offshore islands. His research garnered from times spent on Sable Island off the coast of eastern Nova Scotia led to a definitive study of the Ipswich Sparrow, a subspecies of the Savannah Sparrow, which breeds only on that island. During the 1950s and early 1960s, Dr. McLaren spent 12 seasons in the Eastern Canadian Arctic (now Nunavut) mostly with the research vessel Calanus but also a 6-month stint of camping in isolation with his wife Bernice near Frobisher Bay, where he studied the limnology of Ogac Lake, with its relict landlocked cod. His passion for the islands spills into his family life. Bernice fondly recalls a first summer of their marriage spent in a tent in the Canadian North. The couple also spent many late summers with their three children on Seal Island off the southwest tip of Nova Scotia. Formally retired, Dr. McLaren he continues to stay extremely active both personally and professionally as professor emeritus at Dalhousie, and continuing to birdwatch, publish avian research and use his voice of reason to advocate for pertinent causes. He tirelessly pushes for the preservation of habitats, the need for urban green spaces and Nature Canada’s campaign to keep cats from roaming unsupervised. He speaks on climate change, Species at Risk, and the biomass “harvesting” of the Acadian forest. As a supporter of the Nova Scotia Young Naturalists Association, he is a voice of encouragement and support for the next generation of nature researchers. Notable publications and articles During his career, Dr. McLaren has been a prolific researcher and writer, publishing more than 100 scientific peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on subjects ranging from the biology of seals and plankton in Arctic Canada, the rules of growth and production of marine zooplankton, and the relationships of marine fish recruitment to zooplankton distribution and abundance. Dr. McLaren is an avid birder and his passion for ornithology has led to work both formal and avocational. He is the author of the comprehensive All the Birds of Nova Scotia (2012). This unmatched resource for serious birders compiles and evaluates a broad range of historical and contemporary data gathered by both ornithologists and amateur birdwatchers. In the work, Dr. McLaren describes the status and key identification issues for all bird species, distinctive subspecies and variations thought to have occurred in Nova Scotia up to 2010. Additionally, Dr. MacLaren coordinated the third posthumous edition of Robie Tufts’ much-loved Birds of Nova Scotia (1995). Since 2010, Dr. McLaren has served as editor of the magazine Nova Scotia Birds. He is a past regional editor for the American Birding Association magazine North American Birds. [caption id="attachment_14852" align="alignleft" width="417"]osprey Osprey. Photographed by Jim Adams[/caption] Notable awards and associations Throughout his career, Dr. McLaren has been heavily involved on numerous boards, councils, committees of regional and national conservation, and natural history organizations. He became a member on arrival in Nova Scotia of the Nova Scotia Bird Society, for which he also served as president. He continues his involvement as a director, editor, contributor, and speaker. He is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth Silver Jubilee and Diamond Jubilee medals as well as a 2012 recipient of the American Birding Association’s prestigious Ludlow Griscom Award for Outstanding Contributions in Regional Ornithology. Dr. McLaren is a longtime member and a former chair of the Board of Directors for Nature Canada, for which he has been a steadying guide and presence during our organization’s challenging times. Fellow Board Member Joan Czapalay, who nominated Dr. McLaren for the award, states, “He is tireless, courteous to all, and has a wonderful sense of humour.” The Douglas H. Pimlott Award is Nature Canada’s highest award and is given to someone who, whether as a professional or a private citizen, has made significant contributions to conservation. Learn more about the award, including eligibility and past recipients here: http://naturecanada.ca/about/awards-scholarships/pimlott/

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Announcing the 2016 Douglas H. Pimlott Award Winner: Dr. George Scotter
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Announcing the 2016 Douglas H. Pimlott Award Winner: Dr. George Scotter

By: Jennifer Siviero, Donor Communications and Stewardship Coordinator scotter Dr. George Scotter is the 2016 recipient of Nature Canada’s Douglas H. Pimlott Award. A dedicated conservationist, fervent researcher and scientist, and engaging writer and speaker, George’s extensive and dutiful advocacy for nature is limitless. Born and raised near the Rocky Mountains in southwestern Alberta, George owes his passion for nature to the numerous trips to the mountains of Waterton-Glacier National Park with his family as a child. Not knowing where his vocation and avocation for nature truly begins and ends, swimming, hiking, and horseback riding in the countryside quickly turned into a successful career in research and academia, an adoration for exploring native animals, birds, and wildflowers, and a life-long commitment to protecting nature. George’s early work focused deeply on northern Canada. He worked closely with residents and indigenous peoples of northern Canada on the forage and range requirements of with Barren-ground Caribou and studied the reindeer industry in the Mackenzie Delta. As his commitment to protecting nature evolved, George shifted his focus to national park lands pioneering many studies on trail use and visitor impacts to sensitive landscapes like Lake O’Hara in Yoho National Park, Mount Revelstoke National Park and Waterton Lakes National Park. As an academic, George has severed as a professor, researcher and lecturer at multiple universities in both Canada and the United States. He served as a professor and lecturer at the University of Alberta in the Department of Recreation Administration, the Department of Geography and the Faculty of Science. He served as an adjunct professor in Forest Science at the University of Alberta and at the University of Manitoba’s Natural Resources Institute, and directed research at Utah State University for the Utah Division of Wildlife. After leaving active research George served as the Canadian Wildlife Service representative on the Beverly- Kaminuriak Caribou Management Board for many years. As the team leader in preparing planning documents for establishing national parks reserves in northern Canada, like the South Nahanni area, George realized that public knowledge and awareness is one of the greatest assets to protecting and preserving areas like South Nahanni. George continues to be an active member of the nature conservation community having served as a member or chairman for many boards and committees including the Canadian Committee for the International Biological Programme, Conservation of Terrestrial Communities, Northwest Section of the Wildlife Society, and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural organization. George even served as the national director and Vice-President of Nature Canada (formerly Canadian Nature Federation) from 1972-1975 and as President from 1975-1976. Image of Dr.George Scotter Since his retirement in 1991, George has served as a member as chairman of the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation for southeastern British Columbia and director of the Central Okanagan Land Trust. In 1998, he undertook a study of the Interior Dry Plateau for Parks Canada.  As a result of that study, George recommended that part of southern Okanagan, with its host of endangered species and habitats, be considered for national park status. The author of four books and more than 180 articles published to major scientific journals and popular magazines, he is a sought after speaker, leader, teacher, and mentor. George dedicates much of his time as an advocate for youth and public awareness, education and appreciation of nature and continues to fight for the interests of establishing and protecting national parklands in Canada. While George is the recipient of many prestigious awards including the J.B. Harkin Award and the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, this award earns a special place in his heart. A long-time friend and colleague of Douglas H. Pimlott, was the first to encourage George to work with Nature Canada. George is acquainted with many of Mr. Pimlott’s graduate students and has read all of his published work closely. Nature Canada congratulates Dr. George Scotter on his impeccable life-long achievements and on being awarded the Douglas H. Pimlott Award. [separator headline="h2" title="About the award"] [three_fifth]The Douglas H. Pimlott Award is Nature Canada’s most prestigious conservation award.  It honours individuals who have demonstrated a significant contribution throughout their lifetime through words and deeds to the conservation of Canada’s biodiversity, landscapes and wilderness. Douglas H. Pimlott was a renowned conservationist, wildlife biologist, ecologist and environmentalist. He was the founder of the modern environmental movement in Canada. The award was created over 30 years ago and is Nature Canada’s pre-eminent award. [/three_fifth] [two_fifth_last] Nature Canada Douglas H. Pimlott Award Crest[/two_fifth_last]

Announcing the 2015 Douglas H. Pimlott Award Winner – Anne Murray
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Announcing the 2015 Douglas H. Pimlott Award Winner – Anne Murray

Nature Canada Pimlott Award CrestThe Douglas H. Pimlott Award is Nature Canada’s highest honour, awarded to an individual whose outstanding contributions to Canadian conservation serve as an example to us all. Nature Canada is proud to announce that Anne Murray is the 2015 Douglas H. Pimlott Award Winner. Anne’s dedication to nature conservation is truly inspiring. Anne volunteers with a number of nature organizations, including Nature Canada, Bird Studies Canada, B.C. Nature, Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust, Delta Naturalists’ Society, and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, UK. Anne was active for many years with the Boundary Bay Conservation Committee in highlighting the importance of the Fraser River delta and its migratory birds, and in successful and unsuccessful campaigns to protect habitat there. She co-authored Ours to Preserve which documented environmental goals around Boundary Bay, Delta, and was endorsed by numerous groups and municipalities. Anne also authored A Nature Guide to Boundary Bay and Tracing Our Past ~ A Heritage Guide to Boundary Bay, which explores the ecological history of the Fraser delta area. Anne has been deeply involved since 1996 with the Canadian Important Bird Area Program, and is a member of the BC IBA Program Conservation Team that oversees the province’s IBA Caretaker Program. As a Trustee of the Delta Museum and Archives Trustee she initiated the successful Delta History Hunters program. Anne has received recognition for her conservation work, including the John Davidson Award from Nature Vancouver, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee medal, and BC Nature’s Elton Anderson Award. Anne’s accomplishments are huge, but how did she get where she is today? We asked Anne to tell us more about how she became one of BC’s leading lights in nature conservation...

[separator headline="h2" title="Inspired by Nature"]

[caption id="attachment_22429" align="alignleft" width="150"]Anne Murray Anne Murray[/caption] I cannot remember a time when I did not like nature: birds, animals, flowers, even snakes! Yet I was not born in the countryside, or even in the suburbs, but in a city neighbourhood of London, England, when it was the second largest city in the world. Where did it come from, this innate love of nature? I grew up surrounded by buildings, streets, vehicles, and the visual scars of World War 2 bombing, so it must have come from my parents and early teachers. My father lived as a child in Eden - in his eyes the most beautiful valley in England, lying between the sands of the Solway Firth and the hills of Cumbria. My mother was born amid the gentle scenery of rural Sussex, later moving to the coastal county of Essex. Between them they knew the names and ways of animals and birds, and every flower that grew. Life’s waves and the war tossed them into London, where they grew vegetables and roses in rented gardens. My first birdwatching was seeing house sparrows come to crumbs outside our kitchen window and watching the evening flights of starlings wheeling overhead as they headed to roost. Few city children have the benefit of a woodland in their school yard, but the convent school had a farm and large grounds. We picked sticky buds of chestnut trees to watch them open in spring, and listened to the birds singing. One day, I found a grass snake in the long grass by the playing field. A teacher took us on nature walks in the wood, which had bluebells in spring and a deep hole that we were told was a fox burrow. Foxes still live in London; I recently saw a mother and two kits early one morning, beside the railway tracks at Hammersmith Station. [caption id="attachment_22442" align="alignright" width="250"] Blackburnian Warbler by Alan Woodhouse[/caption] I loved books that had nature pictures: an encyclopedia was a particular favourite. My siblings and I would peruse the exotic birds and animals illustrated in glorious colour and would try and choose “a favourite”. As presents, I received four Ladybird nature books written by Grant Watson, illustrated by Charles Tunnicliffe, starting with “What to look for in spring”. I seldom had a chance to see the English countryside shown in the books – our family had no car – but I longed to inhabit it. Tunnicliffe’s beautiful watercolours showed nature and rural life with great accuracy. These were not cartoons and the colours were subtle and natural. I pored over them for hours. When I was about twelve, I put nest boxes and bird feeders in our garden, and joined the Junior Bird Recorders Club of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), which almost contemporaneously changed its name to the Young Ornithologists’ Club. I became an enthusiastic member, wearing my kestrel pin with pride and saving up my pocket money for field trips to RSPB reserves. My parents bought me bird books and encouraged my interest, and kindly naturalists took groups of us kids out to look for nightjars in the dark, on a boat trip to Havergate Island to see rare nesting avocets, and introduced us to the bitterns and marsh harriers of Minsmere. When the time came to leave school and interview for university, I headed to Exeter in Devon. Flocks of roosting gulls flew overhead in the pinkish dusk of a February evening, and I could smell the sea on the breeze. It was where I spent the next three years, and began my adult life. I tell this story to illustrate that yearning to connect with nature can be found in many places, cities included. For children to connect with nature, and all the pleasure that brings, all it takes is some help from the adults around them. It is never too late. One of my greatest pleasures today, is sharing the sights and sounds of nature with others, and watching their interest grow as their knowledge increases. Email Signup

Meet the recipient of Nature Canada’s 2014 Charles Labatiuk Scholarship Award
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Meet the recipient of Nature Canada’s 2014 Charles Labatiuk Scholarship Award

Kay Jollymore is the 2014 recipient of Nature Canada’s Charles Labatiuk Scholarship Award. Originally from the interior of British Columbia, she has recently relocated to Saskatoon to pursue a Master of Arts in Archeology at the University of Saskatchewan. “I’m very grateful to Nature Canada for supporting me as I further my studies in archeology,” said Jollymore. “I’m very excited to conduct research on a little-known area just outside Saskatoon.” [caption id="attachment_17677" align="alignright" width="300"]Eagle Bluffs - Kay Jollymore Jollymore and her husband stand atop Eagle Bluffs.[/caption] Having spent the last seven years working as a consultant archeologist, Jollymore has had the opportunity to visit many remote and beautiful places in Canada. She has fond memories of being flown by helicopter in northern British Columbia to do fieldwork in areas surrounded by stunning mountains and glacial lakes. Jollymore also counts herself lucky to have spent time doing fieldwork in the Prairie grasslands and the tundra of Nunavut. Her current research interests including investigating the region around Little Manitou Lake, an area east of Saskatoon. Jollymore’s graduate research will focus on understanding how the ecology and climate of Little Manitou Lake has changed over time and how that has impacted the people who live there. She will be working closely with Dr. Margaret Kennedy and Dr. Glenn Stuart of the university’s department of archeology and anthropology. “I really love doing field work and pursuing this Masters degree will allow me to work in more regions across the country,” said Jollymore. When she’s not collecting information in the field, Jollymore enjoys spending time in nature with her husband. They have recently picked up birding as a hobby. On their first outing with the Saskatoon Nature Society, Jollymore and her husband spotted birds that are unique to the area and the experience only further encouraged them to explore the wilderness surrounding Saskatoon. [four_fifth][separator headline="h2" title="About the award"] The Charles Scholarship Award was established through the legacy gift of Charles Labatiuk and the Charles Labatiuk Nature Endowment Fund. Charles Labatiuk was an avid nature conservationist, mountaineer and world traveler who enjoyed and excelled as a photographer, writer, gardener, and pianist. These awards were introduced to honour his life and his passion for nature.[/four_fifth][one_fifth_last]Nature Canada Labatiuk Scholarship Crest[/one_fifth_last]

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