Emily Lohn receiving CVN Bursary Award from Jim Boulter, CVN President, at Mark Isfeld Secondary School Awards Ceremony June 5 2017
The CVN Bursary Committee chose Emily Lohn as this year’s bursary winner for her volunteer commitments in environmental and natural history-related activities and high academic standing at Mark R. Isfeld Secondary School. She is now enrolled in a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Biology in the dual admission program at North Island College (Courtenay) and will transfer to the University of Victoria in the last two of the four-year program to complete her degree.
Bursary recipients are invited to give a brief presentation to CVN members on their studies and future educational plans. This gives them an opportunity to say thank you to the CVN community and its donors an occasion to meet the students they are so proud to support.
Happy New Year!
Presentation on January 8th
On January 8th we were treated to a fascinating presentation by Randal Mindell on the palaeobotany of our back yard, the Comox Valley; we learnt about the importance of the fossil plant record and what it tells us about climate change. In the valley there are a number of excellent locations for fossil plant material, including the Cumberland Mines, the river banks of the Puntledge, Trent and others, the seashores in the Oyster River area, and of course Hornby Island. We were shown the methodology for obtaining information from cross-sections of sandstone or mudstone concretions through acetate peels (see illustration attached). The acetate film will strip off fragments of wood, seeds, roots and leave of gymnosperms and angiosperms that can then be examined under the lenses of a high-powered microsope.
In fine paedagogic form, Randal summarized at the end what he had covered in the presentation – for your information here is that summary.
Lowland swamp and estuary thousands of kilometers to the south, 10? warmer
Ginkgo, Cycadeoids and other exotic gymnosperms
Ancient flowering plants groups- some still present in the area (Cornus), others long gone (Liriodendron,Platanaceae)
Beeches, Walnuts, Laurels and many elements now restricted to tropical and subtropical climates.
Monday February 20th – Mosses in Seal Bay Park with Randal in the lead.
This will be a week later than usual because of “BC Family Day”. Time and specific location will be announced closer to the time.
Report on the December 4th meeting.
We were treated to a fascinating presentation by Luise Hermanutz ( (Professor in the Biology Department, Memorial University, Newfoundland) on the research project monitoring the impact of climate warming in the tundra of the Torngat Mountains in Labrador on the lives of humans, fauna and flora. We were introduced to the ecology of the area, the joys of bugs and bears, and to a range of beautiful wildflowers, including the native dandelion, moss campion and of course Labrador tea. Luise has provided a link to the publication on flora that included the Inuit names of plants and information on traditional uses:
Monday December 18th, 12.30 pm – our Christmas Potluck lunch. Helen Robinson has kindly offered to host this gathering again this year. Please phone Helen to confirm that you will be coming, so that she knows how many to expect. After lunch we usually share with the group whatever has been a highlight in the year for each of us botany-wise.
On the 2nd Monday in January, that is January 8th , Randal Mindell will give us a presentation on the palaeobotany of our own back yard – “Ancient Plants of the Comox Valley: 85 Million Years of Plant Evolution and Vegetation Changes” . That will be a lot to compress into an hour! Randal has a background in Geology and Botany, with a doctorate from the U. of A., and has much experience both as a teacher and researcher, including at the UBC Botanical Gardens.