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BGS Institute: Director's Message

Dr. E.A. Johnson

Director's Message 2012-2013:

This has been a year of changes. The Biogeoscience Institute (BGS) is now back under the Vice President- Research as a University level Institute from our previous position under the Dean of the Faculty of Science. Those of you that remeber we were moved about six years ago to the Faculty of Science from the Vice President- Research.

We lost one of our valued board members Patricia Carswell this spring after a brief illness. Pat was an enthusiastic and active member of our board bringing a refreshing enthusiasm for the natural world. She will be hard to replace. Gordon Pritchard was a long time faculty member in the Department of Biological Sciences and researcher at the Barrier Lake station. Gordon started out as a postdoctoral fellow at Barrier Lake in 1967. You will find memorials to both Pat and Gordon in the 2012-2013 Annual Report

This winter a workshop was held at the Barrier Lake field station to celebrate more than 50 years of reserach conducted in the Marmot Creek Research Basin.

The usage at the Biogeoscience Institute stayed much the same the fiscal year running from April 2012-March 2013. There were 54 refereed publications for researchers at the Institute which are highlighted in the Publication section.

We are now in the first year without the NSERC-MRS grant, which has put considerable strain on our finances. We held the MRS for 24 years and were the only one of two other field stations which held MRS's.

We also had flooding at the Barrier Lake station during the June storms that caused extensive flooding in Calgary, Canmore and High River. Susan Aldridge who teaches in our education program lost her house and cars in Exshaw.

After a quarter century working at the Biogeoscience Insitute both Judy Buchanan-Mappin our reserach services coordinator and Mike Mappin our coordinator of environmental and ecology educational programs retired in the fall of 2013. Judy will be rememberd by researchers and students for always being available to help expedite their reserach and learning at the Biogeoscience Institute. Mike received the Emerald award this spring from the Province of Alberta in recognition of his long contribution to education. Mike has written a history of the education program at the BGS which he implemented from scratch at the start of his appointment. The history of the education program can be found in the BGS Institute: 2012 Highlight 3. The education program now has an international reputation for experiential learning.  


E.A. Johnson, PhD, FSB
Director, Biogeoscience Institute and
Professor, Biological Sciences
September, 2013