QE3 Attends QUBS Open House

QE3 students enjoyed talking to the public about our research at the Queen’s University Biological Station Open House.
At this event, the Queen’s University Biological Station welcomes local residents, cottagers, and families to learn more about research conducted at the field station. If you missed this year’s Open House, look out for next years’ event, posted in the QUBS events list.

students stand beside a poster about the QE3 Research Group
Eden, Jessie, and Brianna with a poster about the QE3 Lab (authored by Jeff) at the QUBS Open House on June 23.

Dilbit for Dinner

Johanna Mason, QE3 Graduate Student, presented the Environmental Studies Seminar on April 4. Johanna’s talk focussed on research she and collaborators conducted during the summer of 2018 at the IISD-Experimental Lakes Area in northwestern Ontario. Her presentation was titled, “Dilbit for dinner: Using stable isotope analysis to trace carbon from a diluted bitumen spill into the aquatic food web.”

Johanna Mason speaking on BOREAL research project
Johanna Mason presenting the April 4 Environmental Studies Seminar Series.

Johanna gave a brief overview of the goals of BOREAL (Boreal lake Oil Release Experiment by Additions to Limnocorrals) study, a multi-institutional project that placed nine 10m diameter mesocosms in a lake at the ELA. She then explained her contribution to the project in greater detail: she used stable isotope analysis to track the movement of diluted bitumen (dilbit) through the food web. Preliminary results indicate that some organisms uptake more carbon from dilbit than others and that generally, time integrated organisms show a stronger trend. This novel application of stable isotope analysis to a freshwater dilbit spill presents an additional fate of dilbit in the environment and shows the potential of stable isotope analysis in a biomonitoring capacity.

Kingston Climate March

On March 15, 2019, QE3 Honour’s student, Julia Weder, co-organized the Kingston Climate Strike, a rally to demand meaningful, large-scale climate action from our institutions. Up to 800 people attended the Kingston event, joined by 1.6 million strikers internationally.

climate rally in Kingston
Julia Weder (centre) speaks at the March 19 climate rally.

Throughout the planning stages, Julia used skills from Dr. Orihel’s science communication course (ENSC480) for writing press releases, keeping messages brief and powerful, and tailoring promotional materials to specific audiences. The event featured musicians, poets, politicians, chanting, and an interactive climate ribbon activity. Members of the environmental advocacy groups 350 Kingston and Queen’s Backing Action on Climate Change volunteered on rally day and continue to generate climate action momentum within the community.
Read the full article at the Kingston Whig Standard.

Kingston Climate Emergency

On March 5, 2019, Julia Weder, QE3 Honour’s Student, and 4 other Environmental Science students delivered a short speech to Kingston’s city councillors to urge them to vote in favour of Kingston’s declaration of a climate emergency. The motion, introduced by councillor Robert Kiley, aimed to “name, frame, and deepen [the city’s] commitment to climate action”.

article in Kingston Whig Standard on March 5
Click the screen capture to read the full article in the Kingston Whig Standard online.

Dr. Diane Orihel teaches the class ENSC480, on science communication, and previously invited Councillor Kiley to the class. During the class, Councillor Kiley facilitated a brainstorming session which aided the students in crafting their City Council speech. At the March 5 council meeting, the students’ science-based, emotion-infused, well-structured speech helped influence Kingston’s 13 councillors to vote unanimously in favour of the declaration!
See the Kingston Whig Standard for the full article.