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Hang onto to your hats: “Ocean geoengineering” to address climate change

Panel calls for $2.5 billion in ocean geoengineering research
by Warren Cornwall in Science, Dec 8, 2021

In the fight against climate change, humanity owes the ocean a big thank you. It has already absorbed nearly one-third of the carbon emissions from human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels.

But many researchers think the ocean can shoulder even more of the burden, with technologies that would enhance its natural ability to suck carbon from the air and store it for centuries. But to better understand how such strategies might change the ocean—or whether they would even work—funders will need to pour as much as $2.5 billion into research over the next decade, a U.S. panel of leading ocean scientists recommended today.


A Research Strategy for Ocean-based Carbon Dioxide Removal and Sequestration
US National Academy of Sciences 360 pages. Available gratis as PDF

Comments submitted Dec 8, 2021 to Old Growth Policy Consultation

Pit and Mound topography in Old Growth
hemlock/yellow birch forest by Sandy Lake
(Bedford, NS).

Comments on the proposed Old Growth Forest Policy submitted on Dec 8, 2021 on behalf of the Halifax Field Naturalists and the Nova Scotia Wild Flora Society
David Patriquin, Prof of Biology, Dalhousie University (retired), Member of the Conservation Committee of the Halifax Field Naturalists, Member of the Board of the Nova Scotia Wild Flora Society.

A draft “Old-Growth Forest Policy for Nova Scotia” was released by the Nova Scotia government on Nov 9, 2021 with a general invitation to Nova Scotians to give their feedback on proposed updates to the policy by Dec 8, 2021.

The short version follows. Read the Full Submission

Comment 1: The draft Nova Scotia Old Growth Forest Policy is weak on conservation of old forest species

Recommendation 1: Define an Old Growth stand as follows

An Old Growth stand is any forest stand (polygon) or circumscribed area of 0.5 ha and greater with 20% or more of the basal area greater than or equal to 100 years of age.

Comment 2: The goal of including a minimum of 8% of Crown land in each ecodistrict in the Old Forest Policy Layer is arbitrary and insufficient to properly conserve Old Growth Forests and associated species dependent on old forests. Read more »

We lose a beloved naturalist and HFN supporter, Bob McDonald (1944-2021)

It is with heavy hearts that we heard this past week of the passing of Bob McDonald.

Bob and Wendy, his always present spouse, partner, campaigner, have contributed so much to HFN, Halifax and the province over the years, it really cannot be summarized in a few words. They were awarded our Colin Stewart Conservation Award in 2009 in recognition of those contributions, which only continued up until Bob’s untimely passing.

Our hearts are with Wendy and all of the family. Thank you for sharing truly wonderful and gentle man with so many of us.

Please view the Obituary on the JA Snow website 

Visitation will be held at J.A. Snow’s Funeral Home, 339 Lacewood Drive Thursday, November 25, 2-4 and 6-8 PM, with a Celebration of Life on Friday, November 26 at 2 PM. Proof of vaccination and masking protocol are required. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Bob’s memory to the Nova Scotia Nature Trust ( the QE2 Foundation ( or the Dr. Bob MSVU Scholarship ( Online condolences may be made at:

Comments submitted to PPA Consultation with a focus on the Ingram River Conservation Area 27 Sep 2021

Nova Scotia Parks and Protected Areas Summer 2021 Consultation

Comments submitted on Sep 27, 2021 on behalf of the Halifax Field Naturalists and the Nova Scotia Wild Flora Society by David Patriquin (Member of the Conservation Committee of the Halifax Field Naturalists & Member of the Board of the Nova Scotia Wild Flora Society) Read more »

HFN and NSWFS make a joint submission to the Regional Plan Review

Halifax Regional Plan Review 2021: Feedback from two naturalist societies – the Halifax Field Naturalists and the Nova Scotia Wild Flora Society

Submitted to on July 15, 2021


The Halifax Field Naturalists (HFN), founded in 1975, seeks to “educate ourselves and the public at large in the natural history of Nova Scotia.” Current membership is 110 paid up members. We have a website at

The Nova Scotia Wild Flora Society (NSWFS), founded in 1990, is dedicated to the appreciation and conservation of wild flora and habitat in Nova Scotia. Currently we have 47 paid up members. We have a website at

Both groups are Halifax based for in-person and now some virtual meetings, but we have members from all over the province, and our field trips occur throughout Nova Scotia.

Whenever possible, meetings and field trips of HFN and NSWFS are open to the public at large. In the last several years we have seen rising interest in our activities, reflecting the increased appreciation generally today of nature and of the many and special opportunities we have in Nova Scotia to enjoy nature.

Many of our members are involved as individuals in trail organizations and in specific conservation efforts. As naturalist societies, we are often asked to support such efforts by visiting specific sites and documenting the flora and fauna, and by writing letters of support.
HFN and NSWFS are members of Our HRM Alliance and are highly supportive of the draft document that has been circulating “Our HRM Alliance Response to the Proposed Regional Plan Review Themes & Directions”. We highlight some special concerns that we have as naturalist organizations below.


As naturalist societies and individually, it has been gratifying to participate in various HRM initiatives related to our ‘green spaces’ and we have been especially encouraged by the unanimous Regional Council support for the Halifax Green Network Plan in 2018 (but yet to be implemented). At the same time, however, we are witnessing continuing degradation of our green spaces. Read more »

City Nature Challenge April 30th to May 5th 2021


City Nature Challenge 2021: Nova Scotia
“This umbrella project brings together all the 2021 Nova Scotian CNC entries. Lets go Nova Scotia!” Locations: Halifax, CA, NSAnnapolis, CA, NSKings, CA, NSCape Breton, NS, CA

City Nature Challenge 2021: Halifax Regional Municipality
“Help put Halifax Regional Municipality on the global nature scene! On April 30th to May 5th cities/places from across the planet, from here in our province to other locations around the world, will compete for the title of the most Biodiverse City. We need your help. Whether you’re an avid naturalist or a dog walker, everyone can participate: it’s easy, fun, and will encourage you to get outdoors.”

A page with info related to iNaturalist and its use in NS has been created on this website under the Conservation section, View iNaturalist page

Want to learn more about iNaturalist? CWF Webinar on April 7, 2021

UPDATE: THIS WEBINAR IS NOW AVAILABLE AS AN ARCHIVE. April 7, 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. EST [1 pm to 2 pm AST] iNaturalist has become one of the world’s most popular nature apps and the Canadian Wildlife Federation has led the charge in bringing it to Canada. It’s more than just an app; there’s an entire online platform complete with image recognition technology along with a growing community to support you in your discoveries. Join us in leaning the ins and outs of using the app and to record wildlife observations – from the tiniest bug to the tallest tree and everything in between. You’ll then be equipped and ready to take part in the City Nature Challenge, the largest annual initiative on iNaturalist, happening April 30 to May 3, 2021.
Go to this page to register:

A page with info related to iNaturalist and its use in NS has been created on this website under the Conservation section, View iNaturalist page

Apr 12, 2021: Wayfinding Under the Waves”.

Received from NSIS: “The Nova Scotian Institute of Science is pleased to present the sixth of its 2020-2021 free monthly public lectures on Monday, April 12th, at 7:30pm.  Dr. Russell Wyeth will speak on “Wayfinding Under the Waves”. Due to Covid-19, this will be a virtual presentation on Zoom.  The link is near the top of the “Public Lectures” website page and will open just before the lecture.

Dr. Russell Wyeth, Dept of Biology, St. Francis Xavier University
Presents: Wayfinding Under the Waves Read more »

Apr 7, 2021: Earth Ecosystems in a Time of Global Change

Earth Ecosystems in a Time of Global Change” – a public virtual science panel on Wednesday April 7th – from 4:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. –  with six scientists from the Univeristé de Montpellier, the Bedford Institute of Oceanography, the University of British Columbia, Memorial University of Newfoundland, and the Sorbonne University, France.  Six scientists, each with 3-minute talks; with questions and answers.  Register free at

HFN’s Colin Stewart Conservation Award for 2020: Wolfgang Maass

Photo by Robert Cameron, taken in 2012 at the Ship Harbour Long Lake Protected Wilderness Area. Wolfgang always wore a tie in the field.

The Colin Stewart Conservation Award for 2020 was to have been presented at the Halifax Field Naturalists Annual General Meeting on the first Thursday in March, 2020, at 7:30 p.m, at the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History. COVID restrictions prevented that meeting, and the award was formally announced and presented at the 2020 AGM for the Halifax Field Naturalists, held virtually (on Zoom)  on March 4, 2021.

The award is made posthumously to Wolfgang Maass (1929-2016) who pioneered lichen research and conservation in Nova Scotia.

Nova Scotia Environment ecologist Robert Cameron spoke last night about Wolfgang’s contributions, saying that NS is  leading the country in lichen conservation and that we have Wolfgang Maass to thank for that.  Read more

Thursday, Feb 4, 2021: Invasive Species in Nova Scotia

Rosa multiflora climbing over trees, Windsor area

Today, from the Program Committee of the Halifax Field Naturalists:

There will be an online presentation on Thursday, February the 4th, at 7:30 pm.

Kristen Noel from the Nova Scotia Invasive Species Council will give a presentation on Invasive Species in Nova Scotia.

An invasive species is any species that is non-native, spreads rapidly and causes harm. For this presentation, Kristen will be discussing howthey get introduced, how they spread and what we can do to prevent the

introduction and reduce the spread! Kristen will be going over a few examples of invasive species that are particularly prevalent in Nova Scotia and HRM, including marine, freshwater and terrestrial species, including a disease caused by an invasive fungus. Read more »

The Stones of Spring Garden Road

From the HFN Programme Committee:

Some of our HFN members may remember walking the quarries of Purcell’s Cove on a bone chilling day in November 2014 and again in November 2019 to visit the source of granite, dark sandstone, and slate used in the construction of prominent Halifax buildings. Heritage Trust NS went one step further and arranged a talk and walk along Spring Garden Road to examine its buildings to determine what type of stone was used and from where.

This 45 minute tour given by geologist, Dr Howard Donohoe, was recorded for YouTube and is available for all to view: The Stones of Spring Garden Road, a tour with Howard V. Donohoe Jr.