Monthly, 7:30 – 9:00 p.m., at Rosedale Community Hall, 901-11 Avenue NW
(free street parking is available in the evenings). Free for members, $5 charge at the door for non-members. Guests are welcome. No registration required.
Come for an evening of discovery and discussion in an informal and intimate setting! Each month we will have an interactive presentation from a different presenter.
We are looking for more CALL scientists and environmentalists –CALL members and others– to come forward to stimulate and inspire us with accounts of research pertinent in today’s world! If you are interested and would like to know more, please contact Joe Boivin or Tom Kerwin via e-mail at email@example.com.
- Wednesday, March 1st
The “Historic” Paris Climate Agreement: What It Means for Canada and Alberta –
Dr. Sharon Mascher, Professor, University of Calgary
On 4 November 2016, the Paris Agreement entered into force. Hailed by many around the world as ‘historic’, the Paris Agreement is intended to strengthen the global response to climate change. However, as Prime Minister Trudeau noted in a Statement issued following the conclusion of the Paris climate conference, “[t]here is much tough work that still needs to be accomplished both at home and around the world to implement the agreement.” But what commitments have the Parties to the Paris Agreement made? What do these commitments mean here at home in Canada and in Alberta? In this presentation, Sharon will discuss these and other questions to help provide you with an understanding of legal framework developing around the issue of climate change.
Dr Mascher is a Professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Calgary. Her research and teaching focuses on intersections between environmental law, energy law and the law affecting aboriginal people. For the last several years, her research has had a particular emphasis on the legal and policy framework relating to climate change.
- Wednesday, April 5th
Artificial Intelligence (and Games)
Jonathan Schaeffer, Professor of Computing Science at the University of Alberta
In McKinsey & Company’s Disruptive Technology, technologies containing artificial intelligence (AI) are expected to create tens of trillions of dollars in economic impact by the year 2025. Similarly, Gartner, Inc. lists machine learning (a subset of AI) as one of the top 10 strategic technology trends for 2017. Yet another technology fad? Perhaps, but it is hard to imagine any industry that won’t be affected by software applications with “smart” capabilities.
In this talk we present a gentle introduction to artificial intelligence, its past successes, current efforts, and future impact. AI is widely deployed today, but its presence and impact remains largely hidden from the average consumer. All that will change within a decade.
Jonathan Schaeffer is a Distinguished University Professor of Computing Science at the University of Alberta and is currently the Dean of the Faculty of Science. His research are is artificial intelligence. He is best known for applying his research to computer games. He is the creator of the checkers program Chinook, the first program to win a human world championship in any game. In 2007 he announced that checkers was solved: perfect plays leads to a draw. He is a founder of Onlea (onlea.org), the world’s first MOOC production company.
- Wednesday, February 1st
Top Dog: The Ecology, History and Survival of Gray Wolves in Kananaskis and Alberta
A subject of absolute fascination for many, gray wolves are a native, top predator in Alberta, considered integral to the maintenance of ecological health. While few have actually seen wolves, their presence can be confirmed by prints on trails and the occasional howl on a moon-lit night. Melanie Percy’s presentation will highlight various aspects of wolf ecology, social behaviour, and research techniques, as well as personal stories of her experiences studying these amazing creatures.
Presenter: Melanie Percy
Since moving to the Rocky Mountains in 1994 to study wolves, Melanie has worked with both federal and provincial government, industry, and environmental NGO’s, fulfilling her passion for wildlife and wild spaces. She currently works as the Conservation Ecology Team Lead for Alberta Parks in the Kananaskis Region, and is based out of Canmore.
- Wednesday, January 4th
Maximizing Renewable Energy in Alberta
This is a golden opportunity to hear one of Alberta’s foremost renewable energy experts. Presenter Ken Hogg will provide a highly visual picture of the potential for renewable energy in Alberta, and how this will meet the province’s twin objectives of lowering Alberta’s carbon footprint and promoting renewable energy generation. Ken will show the necessary steps, how vital and achievable this transition is, and how it can help Alberta exceed its modest GHG reduction goals.
Ken Hogg, M.Eng., P.Eng. founded the Alberta Renewable Energy Alliance (AREA), a grassroots organization with almost 900 participants from across Canada, with a focus on promoting renewable energy throughout Alberta. As chair of AREA, he has been holding monthly meetings (now MeetUps) since 2004. Ken lectures at the University of Calgary, and has instructed the Renewable Energy Technologies course since 2003.
- Wednesday, December 7th
Who’s the ‘public’ in public lands?
Recreational access on Alberta’s grazing leases
**photo from www.agr.gc.ca
Andrea Johancsik B.Sc.,
Alberta Wilderness Association
Public lands policy, law, and management in Alberta’s rangeland has had a long and often-contested history since the arrival of settlers. What are public lands? Who benefits from land used for grazing? And who has the right to access public lands? Andrea will raise these sometimes contentious questions from the conservation perspective of the Alberta Wilderness Association. Andrea will touch on and overview all three main issues (sales, compensation, and access) then zoom in a bit to access to grazing lease land as that is a particular piece of a broader campaign AWA is working toward (and has worked towards for decades).
Though Andrea has lived in Melbourne, Kingston and Singapore, she is a born and raised Calgarian and has worked and traveled extensively throughout southern Alberta. Andrea’s conservation focus is on AWA’s wilderness priorities in the South Saskatchewan River Basin within southern Alberta. She hopes to encourage others to share her passion for responsible management and enjoyment of the mountains, prairie and badlands she has grown to cherish.
- Wednesday, November 2nd
Geothermal Energy Potential in Canada
Geothermal resources are a potential source of secure, clean and sustainable energy. CanGea believe geothermal energy is one of the best possible sustainable energy sources to help Canada transition to a green economy. The geoscience and engineering expertise of the Canadian oil and gas industry is easily transferred to the geothermal energy, making geothermal energy a prime candidate for Canada’s next resource boom and creating thousands of jobs. The direct heat applications of geothermal energy is also a huge opportunity to improve Canada’s food security, solve the abandoned well crisis, all whilst providing yet more jobs.
The presentation will give an overview of what geothermal energy is, what other countries are doing around the world and the opportunities for Canada. Scott Andrews will discuss the principles of geothermal power production, co-production and also the direct heat applications of geothermal energy.
Scott Andrews, MSc Geology & Integrated Geoscience
Canadian Geothermal Energy Association
Scott was a geologist for an oil/gas company who transitioned to the renewable energy world. After discovering that the geothermal industry was almost non existent in Canada in spite of its huge potential, Scott decided to help get this amazing resource industry off the ground. He is now the Operations Manager for CanGEA where he manages the day to day operations through these very exciting times.
**photo provided through Creative Commons Asgeir Eggertsson (photographer)
- Wednesday, October 5th
The Bow River and Its Headwaters: Human Impact
Kevin Van Tighem is a native Calgarian and the author of several books on Alberta wildlife and his most recent book, Heart Waters is a beautifully illustrated paean to the Bow River and its tributaries. His long career with Canada’s national parks culminated in 2011 when he retired as superintendent of Banff National Park. He continues to serve as a strong voice on behalf of Alberta’s wildlife and natural places.
Kevin is a proponent of the importance of knowing, caring about and conserving our province’s natural resources – particularly its headwaters. He will be discussing the impact of human activity on the Bow River and the importance of the foothills area to our water supply.
- Wednesday, June 1st, 2016
Urban Agriculture: Local Solutions to Climate Change and Food Security
Have you ever wondered how to grow your own produce – which would be healthy for you and the planet?
Sandy Aberdeen will include some Climate Change basic science, as well as what food production changes we can expect due to its effects. Options to mitigate and adapt to ensure a more sustainable food future will be discussed.
Since finishing the Environmental Management Program at the U of C in the ’90s, Sandy Aberdeen’s passion has been learning about and becoming active with environmental issues. He and his son Brendon started one of Calgary’s first Urban Farms.
Sandy Aberdeen is a L.E.A.D. Fellow (Leadership for the Environment and Development), an active member of Citizens Climate Lobby, and a founding member of Calgary Citizens on Climate Change. Sandy is also a certified trainer of the Climate Reality Program (by former Vice President Al Gore).
- Wednesday, May 4th, 2016
Your Driving Future: Electric, car-sharing and self-driving vehicles
Many predict that we are moving quickly in the direction of electric, car-sharing and self-driving vehicles. Such a future also offers huge potential reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
For Canada to do its ’share’ in addressing climate change, reductions of 65 – 90% will be needed in (GHG) emissions across all sectors of the economy by mid century. In the personal vehicle sector (ca. 12% of Canadian emissions), the focus has been on electric vehicles, but in the coal-dominated electrical grid in Alberta, is there a GHG benefit? What impact would car-sharing and autonomous (driver-less) vehicles have? And what impact would a such a transformation have on the demand for, and price of oil, and therefore on the Alberta economy? The presentation will use a simulation model of the personal transportation sector in Alberta to explore these questions.
David Layzell is a Professor at the University of Calgary and Director of the Canadian Energy Systems Analysis Research (CESAR) Initiative where he works to understand and identify strategies that can be used to transform Canada’s energy systems towards sustainability. Over the past 18 years he has led multi-disciplinary teams focused on climate change solutions, first as President & CEO of the BIOCAP Canada Foundation (at Queen’s University) from 1998 to 2008 and then as Executive Director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy (ISEEE) at the University of Calgary between 2008 an 2012.
- Wednesday, April 6th, 2016
THE BOW RIVER: ITS PAST, ITS PRESENT, ITS FUTURE
The Bow River is our source of water, our place for recreation, a home for fish and a place where we dump our sewage. Should one have priority over the other? If so, who should decide? Who did decide? What were the decisions? How were they made? Did you agree with them? Do you agree with them now? What do you think should happen in the future? An evening of history, discussion and insight
Dr. Paetkau is a retired zoologist and educator. As a pollution research biologist for the Alberta Government in the early days of his career, he studied the Bow River. He took samples, he set up a bioassay laboratory and he puzzled over what should be done and who should do it?
He went on to do other things in life: such as working as an agro-forester in Kenya; teaching Marine Biology at Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana, with his son; marrying his current wife, Jan Geggie, three years ago with their combined six sons as their attendees; and playing the cello in the Calgary Civic Symphony, but never forgot those earlier questions.
- Wednesday, March 2nd
Bumble bees and their flower associates in managed Alberta landscapes: Is life good?
The human footprint outside of Alberta’s cities is deep and wide, with few places in the province, outside of parks, now more than a few kms from a physical man-made disturbance. Drawing upon research done in his lab, Dr Cartar will illustrate some of the impacts of human management in Alberta’s forests, grasslands, and agriculture on bumble bees and the showy plants that they pollinate.
Dr. Ralph Cartar is an ecologist in University of Calgary’s Natural Sciences Program and Department of Biological Sciences. He obtained a BSc from the University of Toronto, an MSc from Queen’s University, and a PhD from Simon Fraser University. He pursued postdoctoral studies in Australia, the US and Manitoba. He taught for 9 years at the University of Lethbridge, prior to coming to University of Calgary. He has studied bumble bees in western Canada for ~30 years, and is smitten with them.
- Wednesday, February 3rd
Oil and Gas Development Norwegian Style
Like Alberta, Norway is rich in oil and gas resources. But the Norwegians took a radically different approach to the development of those resources and the revenues they garnered. Once the second poorest country in Europe, Norway now has a $1 trillion sovereign fund and is preparing to transition to a green economy. How did they do it? Are there lessons from this approach that could be applied in Alberta?
Gillian Steward is a Calgary-based journalist. She was the 2014-2015 Atkinson Fellow in Public Policy which enabled her to extensively research the Alberta oil sands, including a visit to Norway. A series of articles based on her research was published in the Toronto Star last September, please click Atkinson Series to view.
- Wednesday, January 6th, 2016
Marble Canyon Cambrian Fossils
In 2012 paleontologists made a discovery that will change the way we view the origins of animal life. Similar in age to the famous Burgess Shale fossils, the Cambrian fossil site in Marble Canyon also shares incredible fossil preservation and diversity of life.
The Marble Canyon site is dominated by arthropods, as is the Burgess Shale, and is remarkable for its high density and diversity of soft-bodied fossils, as well as for its large proportion of new species. Fantastic soft part preservation of previously unknown anatomical features sheds light on how these amazing creatures lived, died and evolved into more familiar forms.
We will look at the Marble Canyon discovery in the context of the origin of life itself and the evolutionary pathway that led from these bizarre organisms to the major groups that continue to dominate life on Earth. Our own earliest ancestor is among this group of weird and wonderful creatures.
We are delighted to have David Moore speak to us again. This will be David’s third presentation to CALL and those who attended his previous talks know they are in for a lively, entertaining and knowledgeable presentation. David is a Petroleum Geologist by trade and an enthusiastic volunteer guide at the Burgess shale. David was previously a panel member for our fracking presentation and spoke to us subsequently about the Burgess Shale fossils.
- Wednesday, December 2nd
From Yellowstone to Yukon to Nature Needs Half:
A necessary and hopeful conservation vision for Alberta and the world in the 21st century
The talk will be a fascinating look at how nature conservation works in Alberta and around the world. Harvey will offer an inspiring vision for humanity and nature that will help Albertans feel good about our environmental performance, meet First Nations’ goals and reset our global image.
Harvey Locke is a Calgary native son now living in Banff who is globally renowned for his work on parks,wilderness and large landscape conservation. He is co-founder of the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative and of the global Nature Needs Half movement. He has won several national and international awards for his work and Time Canada magazine named him one of Canada’s leaders for the 21st century.