The Prince Edward Island Invasive Species Council (PEIISC) is a non-profit group of individuals and organizations focused on creating a framework for the management of invasive species that threaten PEIs economic, environmental, and social health.
Job Description & Responsibilities
We are looking for two highly motivated individuals to fill two similar positions. One will be the NSISC Project Coordinator and one will be the PEIISC Project Coordinator. Each will be responsible for coordinating local projects and programs and leading and growing each organization while working to prevent invasive species spread and impacts.
Specific responsibilities include: • Lead, coordinate and manage provincial education and awareness to motivate target audiences to prevent the spread of invasive species • Develop education resources (signs, brochures etc.) • Build web and social media presence and increase awareness of invasive species • Research and write strategic funding applications • Track and report on project activities, including budget management • Plan and coordinate invasive species events • Increase collaboration through organizing webinars, events, and meetings
Autumn Colours in the Bonshaw Hills Provincial Park
Date: Saturday, October 17, 2020 (rain date Sunday October 18)
Time: 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM – please arrive by 1:20 PM
Directions: Park at Baptist Church, right across the main entrance to the Bonshaw Hill Park, on the Trans Canada Highway.
The hike will be an easy 2 km along the Ji’ka’we’katik Trail and River, with a chance to observe flora and fauna, and perhaps a few mushrooms. Ji’ka’we’katik (pronounced – Jih Ga Way Ga Dig) means “the place where bass are plentiful” in Mi’kmaq and is the traditional Mi’kmaq name for the West River.
Nature PEI is pleased to announce that we will be reconvening our monthly meetings at the Carriage House beginning on Oct. 6th as well as offering a fall workshop and field trip. COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions will be in effect so things will look a little different, especially the need to pre-register for all events. Please note that numbers are limited and preference will be given to Nature PEI members. We will also accommodate groups in social bubbles/household units but ask that you indicate this at pre-registration so that we can maximize seating. Other COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions can be found below.
Our first events are all about mushrooms, starting with a mushroom collection and identification workshop followed by an evening presentation at the Carriage House.
Mushroom Collection and Identification Workshop — Note this workshop is now full
Oct. 6 – 1:30 to 4:30 at the Nordic Centre, Mark Arendz Provincial Ski Park, Brookvale, PEI sponsored by Nature PEI and PEI Forests, Fish and Wildlife Division. Dr. Alfredo Justo, Curator of Botany and Mycology at the New Brunswick Museum will provide a short introduction with collecting tips, then participants in four groups will collect mushrooms in different habitats: hardwoods, softwoods, riparian zone, and meadow/ forest edge. After an hour in the field, an identification session with Dr Justo will follow. To address COVID-19 needs, pre-registration is essential. Contact Rosemary Curley, firstname.lastname@example.org to register. Please bring your face masks as these will be required at the workshop. This event will proceed “Rain or Shine”.
Mycology in the Maritimes: Learning about our mushroom diversity – Note – registration for this is now full
Oct. 6 – Dr. Alfredo Justo, Curator of Botany and Mycology at N.B. Museum, will be Nature PEI’s guest speaker with his presentation on mushroom diversity in the Maritimes. Meeting starts at 7:30 pm at Beaconsfield, the Carriage House, corner of West and Kent Street, Charlottetown. To address COVID-19 needs, pre-registration is essential. Contact Barbara Dylla (email@example.com) to register. Please bring your face masks as they will be required at this event (also see guidelines below).
Alfredo Justo is Curator of Botany & Mycology at the New Brunswick Museum. He completed his PhD in systematic mycology at the University of Vigo, Spain, in 2006. Following several years of projects in Spain related to mycological conservation and diversity, he spent six years (2009-2014) in a postdoctoral research position with Dr. David Hibbett at Clark University (Massachusetts, USA), focusing on molecular systematics of mushroom-forming fungi. Research and teaching positions followed in Mexico and Spain, and eventually back to the USA where Dr. Justo was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Biology Department at Worcester State University and a Visiting Scholar at Clark University. You can find more on Dr. Justo’s research interests & publications: https://alfredojusto.weebly.com/
Carriage House COVID-19 Rules and Restrictions
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Carriage House seating is much more limited now (if a group is sitting with people from their bubble, we can have up to 37 people sitting in 2s, 3s & 4s). All participants must pre-register and advise whether they will be attending as an individual or as part of a household group so the seating can be set up properly. Participants must enter via the front door, provide their contact information and apply hand sanitizer which is supplied; respect the two-metre social distance rule; bring a face mask that covers the mouth and nose, and wear it until you they are seated and when moving about. When the presentation is ended, participants must follow instructions on queuing up to allow exit by the side door. General restrictions for entry are also in effect regarding health and travel status.
Please find below, information for the Bain Bird Count this weekend Saturday May 30, Rain date May 31, 2020 (with apologies for the late notice). This event has few rules for counting. Anyone can go anywhere and count alone, or together with others (maintain physical distancing). Count species and numbers and send results to Dan McAskill firstname.lastname@example.org. Put in checklist order if you can. We’re now under the “Renew PEI, Together” Phase 2 COVID-19 rules. See below: Stay safe and enjoy your day.
Advancing Citizen Science Since 1969
Phase 2 COVID-19 rules:
Before leaving your home, you must self-assess for COVID-19 symptoms by undertaking temperature and conducting a COVID-19 symptom checks. Symptoms include a new and/or worsened cough, fever and/or chills, difficulty breathing, a runny nose, a sore throat, or a headache. If these symptoms are present or you have a fever (a temperature greater than 38.0 degrees), you should self-isolate and call 811 for direction. You will be asked about contacts, and should therefore be encouraged to take note of where they’ve been and who they’ve been in contact with recently.
Starting May 22, 2020
Continued: Limited outdoor and indoor personal gatherings and physical contact
Members of the same household may gather outdoors with up to 10 other individuals from different households.
Members of the same household may gather indoors with up to 5 other individuals from different households, for activities such as watching a movie and/or socializing.
Maintaining physical distancing is important during any gatherings with those from outside your household (2 metre or 6’ 7”).
You may extend your household unit by one or two members, who are important to supporting your household or who you feel may need closer contact and support (ex: hug, handshake, etc.)
If sharing food, no buffet style serving and do not share utensils
Do not share equipment/items among people from different households (e.g. telescopes).
Continued: Limited non-contact outdoor and indoor recreational activities
Allow recreational activities while maintaining physical distance (e.g. birding)
Do not share equipment among people from different households for recreational purposes.
Must follow the personal gathering limits.
Co-workers and neighbours can carpool or share drives if physical distancing is maintained. If you wish to carpool the rules are:
if only one seat across vehicle (e.g. 1/2 ton) – only one person (or possibly one household);
if two rows of seating Driver and a person in rear right seat provided the seats are equipped with a seatbelt;
if three or more rows, 1 person per row in a zig-zag pattern.
Online and mail-in balloting took place in March and April 2020 to select a lichen emblem for PEI. The clear winner was Frayed Ramalina (Ramalina roesleri). Nature PEI will be recommending the winner to the Government of PEI for consideration as an official provincial emblem. Thanks to all who reviewed the proposal and voted!
Frayed Ramalina – Robert Harding photo
Frayed Ramalina (Ramalina roesleri) is a lichen that structurally resembles a branch or twig. It is found especially on hardwoods and conifers near the coast and less often on rock or wood. It is finely crafted in pale white to yellow-green with main branches about 2 mm in diameter and powdery growths at the tips, called soredia, that enable vegetative reproduction. In North America, the Frayed Ramalina is distributed mainly in Canada and it can be found in northern forests around the globe. It is common in Prince Edward Island where it has been found in coastal bogs and woodlands throughout, and in some interior woodlands. This lichen may have some medicinal benefits. In Prince Edward Island, 328 lichen species have been recorded to date. The three other contenders in order based on their votes were:
Lungwort – Diane Griffin photo
Lungwort (Lobaria pulmonaria) is named for its lobed growth habit showing ridges and depressions like lobes of a lung. The lobes are as much as 12 cm wide and 7 cm broad. This lichen is found in shady locations on the trunks and branches of larger deciduous trees like maple and American Beech, and less commonly on conifers and mossy rocks. Lungwort has a tan to gray look when dry but is bright green when wet. If in doubt as to its identity, simply pour water on it and watch it turn bright green. The underside is fuzzy orange brown with paler patches. Though one of the fastest growing lichens, it does not reproduce until about 25 years old. It contains several acids that discourage snails and slugs from eating it and is widely believed to have medicinal properties. It has also been used a source of dye. Over-collecting in some countries has contributed to its scarcity, and it is also affected by air pollution and acid rain. Car exhaust prevents its growth in urban forests. Lungwort is distributed in suitably moist habitats on four continents and throughout Prince Edward Island. It is regarded as a species typical of old forests.
Pink Earth Lichen – Robert Harding photo
Pink Earth Lichen (Dibaeis baeomyces) is usually found on disturbed soil where competition from moss, herbs, shrubs and other lichens is limited. For example, it thrives on well-drained road banks in full sun where it helps to hold soil in place and build more soil. The whitish grey lichen body that covers the soil is called a thallus, and in this case it has a warty appearance. The fruiting bodies (apothecia) of the Pink Earth Lichen consist of a short stalk, about a half a centimetre, topped by a tiny turban of unmistakable pink. Its distribution is circumpolar in the northern hemisphere but in North America it is found mostly in the east. Though poorly documented on PEI by those who study lichens, it is common and can definitely be found throughout Prince Edward Island.
Bushy Beard Lichen – Robert Harding photo
Bushy Beard Lichen (Usnea strigosa) is found in open sites on branches and trunks of white spruce and other conifers, and on deciduous shrubs and trees, including oak trees. Its pale yellow-green branches may have a reddish brown central cord, but this bushy lichen is most easily identified in the field because its branch tips support round bristly discs of pale yellow or even pinkish. These are the fruiting bodies known as apothecia. This species is distributed worldwide including in eastern North America where it is at the northern edge of its range in Prince Edward Island. It is common throughout the Island but is still poorly documented by those who study lichens. As with other lichens, it may have medicinal properties, perhaps providing relief from a headache.
The actual vote count was:
Frayed Ramalina (Ramalina roesleri) 156
Lungwort (Lobaria pulmonaria) 110
Pink Earth Lichen (Dibaeis baeomyces) 61
Bushy Beard Lichen (Usnea strigosa) 54
Thank you to all who helped in the selection process.
At Nature PEI’s upcoming meeting, Dr. Michael van den Heuvel will discuss the decline of eelgrass in Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence estuaries. Seagrasses are salt water adapted flowering plants that are threatened by human activities around the globe. In the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence, eelgrass, the native seagrass is also impacted by human activities, particularly due to increases in nutrients from land-based activities. Dr. van den Heuvel will share the findings of a study conducted in local estuaries to determine the means to monitor changes to eelgrass health. Potential factors affecting eelgrass were examined, and it was determined that nitrogen loading was the dominant factor relating to eelgrass decline.
Dr. van den Heuvel grew up in Northern Ontario and completed his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at the University of Waterloo, and a PhD at the University of Waterloo where he started his research career studying chlorinated dioxins and furans and their effect on fishes exposed to pulp and paper mill effluent. After a post-doc studying aquatic reclamation in the oil sands, Dr. van den Heuvel immigrated to New Zealand and was employed by the New Zealand Forestry Research Institute where he worked on a variety of issues including pulp and paper effluent, nutrient enrichment and eutrophication and endocrine disruption. Dr. van den Heuvel returned to Canada in 2005 for a Canada Research Chair in Watershed Ecological Integrity and for the past 14 years, Dr. van den Heuvel has worked on oil sands, pulp and paper, eutrophication, sediment effects, pesticides, fisheries, and environmental flows in Canada and PEI.
All are welcome to the Carriage House, Beaconsfield, Tuesday March 3 at 7:30 p.m. to meet Dr. van den Heuvel and learn more about eelgrass and the decline of this ecologically significant species in our local estuaries.
Nature PEI Members night is nigh! All are welcome to share in this fun and informative evening featuring nature photography and stories from members. Expect a spectacular array of photos – from bugs to birds and everything in between – with members on hand to tell the story behind their pictures. Gerald MacDougall will host the evening, warming us with his own unique brand of environmental humour. We encourage everyone to join us at Beaconsfield’s Carriage House, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 4, for a photographic journey of our Island’s natural wonders through the eyes of Nature PEI members.
Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe) : photo courtesy of Don McLelland
The Summerside launch of Mammals of Prince Edward Island and Adjacent Marine Waters will take place Sunday, February 2, 2020 at the Eptek Centre. Kim Riehl will present the marine mammals and Rosemary Curley the terrestrial mammals. Books will be on sale at the launch. All are welcome.