BWB 2017 Field Sessions


Gatineau ParkDuring Biodiveristy Without Boundaries 2017, attendees are invited to get out and explore beautiful Ottawa. Field sessions are part of the education and learning that will take place during the conference.

Below you will find all the field sessions available attendees. When you register for the conference, please make note of which field session you would like to attend.

If you are being accompanied to the conference by friends or family, they too are invited to participate in a field session for a fee of $50 per person. Please contact Dorina Sepulveda at dorina_sepulveda@natureserve.org to register additional attendees.  In your email, please provide the attendee's full name, email address, and session they would like to attend.

All field sessions take place Sunday, April 9.

Download Field Sessions

FIELD SESSION DESTINATION-TRAVEL-RATING DESCRIPTION DEPARTURE & RETURN DRESS/ITEMS tO BRING

Upper Canada Maple Syrup Farm and Migratory Bird Sanctuary

More Info - Sanctuary

More Info - Maple Syrup

Bus and leisurely walk/hike

There’s not much that’s more Canadian than tapping maple trees for their sap. Let’s visit a traditional “sugar bush” and learn how syrup and other maple products are made. We’ll then visit a Migratory Bird Sanctuary situated in Canada, across the St. Lawrence River from New York’s Wilson Hill Wildlife Management Area (both are federally protected in their respective countries).

Depart hotel - 10 a.m.

Return hotel -  6 p.m.

8 Hours total

Required: Warm ‘all season’ shoes or winter boots (waterproof recommended). Warm clothing (including wind resistant jacket and/or raincoat) to match seasonal temperatures/weather. 

Optional/weather dependent: Winter hat, gloves, sunglasses, umbrella.

Forêt La Blanche Ecological Reserve

More Info

Bus and moderate intensity hike

This IUCN Class 1A Ecological Reserve protected by the Quebec government is one of the last ancient forests in Quebec, with trees up to 350-400 years old. The two main forest types are Maple-Beech and Hemlock. The Quebec side of the Ottawa River is more scenic (forested hills) and rugged than the Ontario side. 

Depart hotel - 9 a.m.

Return hotel - 2 p.m.

5 Hours total

Required: Warm ‘all season’ shoes or winter boots (waterproof recommended). Warm clothing (including wind resistant jacket and/or raincoat) to match seasonal temperatures/weather. 

Optional/weather dependent: Winter hat, gloves, sunglasses, umbrella.

Lac Deschênes Waterfowl Birding

More Info

Bus and leisurely walks

We’ll be travelling by bus to several spots along the Ottawa River in Ottawa and/or Gatineau (the Lac Deschênes Important Bird Area) to find ducks, geese, gulls, grebes, and other birds that have recently returned from southern waters in the U.S. and beyond. By this time, this IBA’s few overwintering Barrow’s Goldeneyes will likely have headed to their northern breeding grounds.

Depart hotel - 9 a.m.

Return hotel - 1 p.m.

4 Hours total

Required: Binoculars. Warm ‘all season’ shoes or winter boots (waterproof recommended). Warm clothing (including wind resistant jacket and/or raincoat) to match seasonal temperatures/weather. 

Optional/weather dependent: Spotting scope. Winter hat, gloves, sunglasses, umbrella.

Mer Bleue Bog

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Bus and leisurely walk (on a boardwalk)

We’ll visit a 33 km2 (13 mi2) bog and learn about its biotic and abiotic components. How do bogs compare with other wetlands (fens, swamps, marshes, ponds, lakes, etc.) and how do they compare with bogs in other parts of North America? Are there different kinds of bogs?

Depart hotel - 9 a.m.

Return hotel - 1 p.m.

4 Hours total

Required: Warm ‘all season’ shoes or winter boots (waterproof recommended). Warm clothing (including wind resistant jacket and/or raincoat) to match seasonal temperatures/weather. 

Optional/weather dependent: Winter hat, gloves, sunglasses, umbrella.

Breckenridge

More Info

Bus and moderate intensity hike A Nature Conservancy of Canada property on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River, Breckenridge is one of the NCC's top priorities in the Outaouais region, acting as a critical natural link between the Gatineau Park and the Ottawa River. Harbouring a variety of habitats, it was also the first reintroduction site for the Loggerhead Shrike in Quebec. 

Depart hotel - 9 a.m.

Return hotel - 2 p.m.

5 Hours total

Required: Warm ‘all season’ shoes or winter boots (waterproof recommended). Warm clothing (including wind resistant jacket and/or raincoat) to match seasonal temperatures/weather. 

Optional/weather dependent: Winter hat, gloves, sunglasses, umbrella.

Gatineau Park: Introduction to the Fingerprint of Woody Plants

More Info - Gatineau Park

More Info – Friends of Park

Bus and leisurely hike

This field trip focuses on what is perhaps the most definitive dimension of woody plant identification: winter twigs. If they are too high up or too far to see unaided, use binoculars or even better a modern superzoom camera to observe twig characteristics (buds, leaf scars, colour, visual texture, apparent thickness) to complement softer but more readily observed ID features such as tree growth form, bark, and habitat.

Depart hotel - 9 a.m.

Return hotel - 1 p.m.

4 Hours total

Required: Warm ‘all season’ shoes or winter boots (waterproof recommended). Warm clothing (including wind resistant jacket and/or raincoat) to match seasonal temperatures/weather. 

Optional/weather dependent: Winter hat, gloves, sunglasses, umbrella.

Gatineau Park: Interpretive Hike or Snowshoe

More Info - Gatineau Park

More Info – Friends of Park

Bus and physically demanding hike (or snowshoe

This 2-hour hike or snowshoe along the Chute and Lauriault Trails circuit (3.5 km = 2 miles) will focus on the Canadian Shield, Eardley Escarpment ecosystem, associated biota, and pioneer history. We will include a stop at the Gatineau Park Visitor Centre.

Snowshoe option is weather dependant. Snowshoe rental fee is an additional cost to be covered by the trip participant (approx. $15 CAD for 2 hrs).   

Depart hotel - 9 a.m.

Return hotel - 1 p.m.

4 Hours total

Required: Warm ‘all season’ shoes or winter boots (waterproof recommended). Warm clothing (including wind resistant jacket and/or raincoat) to match seasonal temperatures/weather. 

Optional/weather dependent: Winter hat, gloves, sunglasses, umbrella.

Gatineau Park: Mosses

More Info - Gatineau Park

More Info – Friends of Park

Bus and moderate intensity hike

During this 2-hour hike we will explore the mosses in the Gatineau Park, visiting several different habitats. While their tiny size creates the illusion of mystery, mosses are recognized using features similar to those used to identify other plants.  At the same time, mosses can do all kinds of tricks that other plants can’t, including surviving a Canadian winter intact and ready to take advantage of the first spring sun. On this hike through several habitats in the National Capital’s Gatineau Park, take a second look at the jungle underfoot! Use careful observation (aided by magnifying glasses) to see some of the tiny-but-mighty plants that many of us pass by, without noticing, every day.

Depart hotel - 9 a.m.

Return hotel - 1 p.m.

4 Hours total

Required: Warm ‘all season’ shoes or winter boots (waterproof recommended). Warm clothing (including wind resistant jacket and/or raincoat) to match seasonal temperatures/weather. 

Optional/weather dependent: Magnifying glass, winter hat, gloves, sunglasses, umbrella.

Gatineau Park: Mapping the Wind- Reconstructing Ecological Pasts

More Info - Gatineau Park

More Info – Friends of Park

Bus and leisurely hike

This 2-hour walk in Gatineau Park will focus on mass tree uprootings. In forested areas, extreme windstorms cause mass tree uprootings. Once the tree roots and trunks decay and the soil settles, displaced soil forms “pit-and-mound” topography of the forest floor. From these “wind imprints” we can read traces of past hurricanes simply by examining the soil surface. The pit-and-mound complexes tell us the size and age of uprooted trees, the distance between them, the depth of their root systems, and even the direction of wind during the storm. This is one of several methods for reconstructing ecological pasts. 

Depart hotel - 9 a.m.

Return hotel - 1 p.m.

4 Hours total

Required: Warm ‘all season’ shoes or winter boots (waterproof recommended). Warm clothing (including wind resistant jacket and/or raincoat) to match seasonal temperatures/weather. 

Optional/weather dependent: Winter hat, gloves, sunglasses, umbrella.

Gatineau Park: Lichens

More Info - Gatineau Park

More Info – Friends of Park

Bus and physically demanding hike

This 3-hour hike in Gatineau Park near Luskville Falls will focus on lichens. Some of the more common crustose, foliose and fruticose species growing on rocks, trees, wood and soil, and a few of the rarer ones, will be pointed out, and aspects of their biology and ecology will be discussed. The walk may involve some steep, uneven trails, so good footwear is advised.  Lichens can be small, and their features are even smaller, so if you want to really appreciate these fascinating organisms, a 10X hand lens is almost essential.

Depart hotel - 9 a.m.

Return hotel - 3 p.m.

5 Hours total

Required: A 10X hand lens. Warm ‘all season’ shoes or winter boots (waterproof recommended). Warm clothing (including wind resistant jacket and/or raincoat) to match seasonal temperatures/weather. 

Optional/weather dependent: Winter hat, gloves, sunglasses, umbrella.

Nightlife: Amphibians and/or Birds Bus and moderate hike

Depending on the kind of spring we are having in the Greater Ottawa area, let’s go look and listen for frogs, salamanders, owls, and other crepuscular and nocturnal critters. Our guide uses no playbacks for owls or other birds -- only his voice.

Depart hotel - 7:30 p.m.

Return hotel - 10 p.m.

3.5 Hours total

Required: Headlamp or flashlight. Warm ‘all season’ shoes or winter boots (waterproof recommended). Warm clothing (including wind resistant jacket and/or raincoat) to match seasonal temperatures/weather. 

Optional/weather dependent: Winter hat, gloves, umbrella.

Geology for “G”eophytes Bus and leisurely hike

This excursion traces the last billion years of the earth's history through examination of the rocks in the Ottawa region.  No previous knowledge about geology is required. The different stops reflect a wide range of times in the Earth's rich history of evolving biodiversity. Actual stops will be determined closer to the date and will be based on spring conditions at the time.

Depart hotel - 9 a.m.

Return hotel - 1 p.m.

4 Hours total

Required: Warm ‘all season’ shoes or winter boots (waterproof recommended). Warm clothing (including wind resistant jacket and/or raincoat) to match seasonal temperatures/weather. 

Optional/weather dependent: Winter hat, gloves, sunglasses, umbrella.

Guided Tour of the Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids and Nematodes 

More Info

Public transportation/ taxi and leisurely walk The Canadian National Collection of Insects, Arachnids, and Nematodes at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is one of the best collections of its kind in the world in terms of size, species representation, and level of curation. The majority of specimens are from localities throughout Canada and North America, but significant holdings are present from other biogeographic regions.

Depart hotel - 9 a.m.

Return hotel - 1 p.m.

4 Hours total

This is an indoor event, but you still have to get from the parking lot to the main door! Dress for the weather.