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President's Corner

This summer will be remembered for record heat and smoke from forest fires, but also for road building in the City of Saskatoon. One of the projects to be completed this fall is the North Commuter Parkway and Chief Mistawasis Bridge. The Swale Watchers, many of whom are members of SNS, have voiced concerns, most recently at City council's transportation committee about traffic on the parkway as it crosses through the NE Swale and the effect on wildlife. Discussions are underway to study and monitor wildlife crossing the new parkway and swale. At the end of July, I had the opportunity to tour the area and see the road work, including culverts that have been installed to allow small mammals and amphibians to safely cross the road. We expect that SNS members may be asked to take on a citizen science role in this monitoring.

There were many citizen science projects organized this summer. Our friends at EcoFriendly Sask have just published a short article, The Rise of Citizen Scientists, in the August 18 newsletter available at Check out their website, for information about local environmental news and events, including SNS events.

Bioblitzes were held from July 15-21 in several of the provincial parks. According to SaskParks, citizen scientists made 2555 observations in provincial parks across Saskatchewan, and over 625 species have been identified so far. SaskParks was impressed with the results so are making plans for new and improved BioBlitz events in 2019. It is a great way too to engage visitors to the parks. Another project many of you have been contributing to is Bird Studies Canada's Saskatchewan Breeding Bird Atlas. We will hear about the first two years of this five year project at one of our monthly meetings.

I expect that by our September meeting, the construction of the new Collaborative Sciences Research Building, adjacent to the Biology Building, will be complete, at least for those wanting to access our meeting location (Room 106 Biology) from the north side of the Campus. The sidewalk between the Agriculture and Physics Buildings has been open for some time, and there is a new entrance off Science Crescent that will serve both Biology and the new building. Landscaping was in progress when I drove by in mid- August. Please contact me if you have any questions about how to access our meeting location.

Valerie Martz
SNS President

Last updated: 2 September, 2018