Do you want to know if you are ready to attend an intermediate-advanced level Nature Manitoba outing? This presentation is geared to those members that have a desire to begin backcountry trips and are unsure if they have the skills, knowledge and equipment to move beyond the campground. A two-hour information session will be followed by an actual hands-on backcountry outing in May* where participants can apply and practice introductory skills. Successful completion of part one should enable participants to confidently judge if they can attend the more advanced Nature Manitoba outings.
Richard Staniforth, Retired Professor of Botany from the U of W
Get to know some of Manitoba’s most ancient plants! Despite our harsh climate, about 30 species of ferns are found in Manitoba swamps, rich woods and even on dry rock out-croppings. Find out about their curious life histories, where to search for them and how to grow them from spores.
Jay Anderson, Retired Environment Canada Meteorologist
The Milky Way galaxy is just one of a collection of 54 galaxies known as the Local Group, all bound together in a gravitational hug. As galaxy clusters go, it’s a small one, with only three large galaxies and a retinue of smaller dwarf galaxies. The whole group extends across a span of ten million light years. The Milky Way is the second-largest of the members of the collection! This presentation will introduce you to the members of the group and their personalities. Some are quiet, withdrawn and shy; others are bold and aggressive.
PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF VENUE - Lab Room 203, Animal Science/Entomology Building at the University of Manitoba, corner of University Crescent and Dafoe Road. Parking is free after 4:30 behind the Entomology Building, except in areas marked “24 hour reserved”.
David Punter, Retired Professor of Botany, University of Manitoba
Morels are the mushrooms that appear in the spring while most other fungi can be found in late August and September. Participants in this workshop will begin learning to identify mushrooms in time for the morel season. A field trip will be offered in the late summer.
Jennifer West, Astronomy Instructor, University of Manitoba
In this workshop, I will present an overview of the kinds of objects that make up our universe: asteroids, planets, stars, galaxies and beyond. I will also try to give participants a sense of the enormous distances involved. The scale of our universe is truly mind-boggling!
This workshop will describe the variety of birds, from permanent residents to occasional visitors, which may be found in urban and suburban yards. We will also discuss ways to increase the attractiveness of your garden to birds.
Bonsai trees have been a passion for Stu since his wife told him over twenty years ago to “put the pruners away and leave the fruit trees alone”. After that, he began growing those “funny little Japanese trees”. He is a past president of the Winnipeg Bonsai Society. He will attempt to remove some of the mystery surrounding this ancient horticultural art form. Some small bonsai will be displayed and a few simple styling techniques demonstrated. Some bonsai growing principles can be applied to maintain health and vigour in all potted and garden plants.
David Wade, City of Winnipeg Insect Control Branch
As a nature lover, you have probably seen lots of spiders in the field while observing your favourite flora and fauna. Have you ever wondered what kind of spiders they were? This workshop will teach you how to field identify the common families of spiders in Manitoba using morphology, behaviour, habitat and habitat preference as key characteristics. I will also highlight some species that are easy to identify in the field.
Bob Elias, Professor, Department of Geological Sciences, University of Manitoba
PLEASE NOTE CHANGE OF VENUE – Room 247 (main floor), Wallace Building (black and green metal building on the north side of the University of Manitoba campus at 125 Dysart Road, U of M). Parking is free after 4:30 in both parking lots next to the Wallace Building except for areas signed as “24-hour reserved.”
Christian Artuso, Bird Studies Canada Manitoba Program Manager & Chair of IBA Committee
Grassland birds are the most threatened group of birds in North America, with many species suffering substantial declines. Southern Manitoba lies at the northeastern periphery of the greater prairie region. It still holds breeding grounds for a suite of grassland species, though many of them have lost large portions of their former Manitoba range. Our grasslands are in need of urgent action if they are to remain a functioning ecosystem and retain their biodiversity.
Do you want to know if you are ready to attend a level 3-5 Nature Manitoba outing? This presentation is geared to those members that have a desire to begin backcountry trips and are unsure if they have the skills, knowledge and equipment to move beyond the campground. A two-hour information session will be followed by an actual hands-on backcountry outing on May 29-31 (either Spruce Woods or Riding Mountain National Park) where participants can apply and practise introductory skills.
Jay Anderson, Retired Environment Canada Meteorologist
So you want to be a tornado chaser? You want to run with the thrill-seekers, outwit Mother Nature, feel the rush and capture the moment for a viral web page. You want bragging rights with the kids and to rekindle the admiration in your spouse’s eyes. Well, we have just what you need: tornado lessons! This presentation will show you what you are up against – the nature of the beast itself, the thunderstorm types that spawn the funnels, the meteorological conditions that grow the storms and, to make sure you really want to do this, a discussion of the hazards and outright dangers.
Bill Watkins, Biodiversity Conservation Zoologist, Manitoba Wildlife Branch AND... Sarah Watkins, Education Programming Consultant
Have you ever wondered how paleontologists seem to know everything about a long-extinct species from a few skull and jaw fragments? Or how investigators can identify a predator from bite marks on a dead animal? Perhaps you have found a skull with attached jaw and wondered what kind of animal it was from, what it ate, or how it lived. This workshop will teach you how to “read” skulls by observing the differences between carnivores, herbivores and omnivores, and between predators and prey.