Nature

Monthly Archive: December Natu

Storytelling: Art, Culture, Nature

Posted: November 29, 2016 - 13:35 , by Stacey Kerr
This year’s overall winner of Wildlife Photographer of Year is Tim Laman and his photo story, “While the forest still stands.” This image from the story is titled “Entwined lives.” It shows an orangutan high in a tree with the rest of the canopy below

Guest blog by Environmental Visual Communication graduate Samantha Stephens

Art, Culture, Nature. They may be separate words, but if we consider them separate disciplines, we are doing a disservice to the potential of human wisdom. Without nature, there is no culture. Without culture, there is no art. EVC grad Samantha Stephens gives us some examples of how these themes intertwine in recent ROM research and exhibits, including the 2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit, open now!

Farms, Cities, Animals, and the Museum

Posted: November 8, 2016 - 15:05 , by Stacey Kerr
A goat is milked in front of the ROM for "The Goat, the Honey, and the Museum" project by Bill Burns. Photo by Teghan Dodds

Guest blog by Environmental Visual Communication student Teghan Dodds

Goats are not something you’d expect to see within the confines of the city, and especially not on Toronto’s Bloor Street with its upscale shops and prestigious historical buildings. Read this blog written by 2016 Environmental Visual Communication student Teghan Dodds to find out why we had goats out in front of the ROM, and what that has to do with nature, art, and the ROM.

Not just for show: how and why museum specimens are collected

Posted: October 31, 2016 - 13:42 , by Stacey Kerr
ROM technician Brad Millen processes a bird specimen that will be added to the ROM's collections. Photo by Samantha Stephens

Guest blog by Environmental Visual Communication student Samantha Stephens

The sign on the door seemed quite appropriate. “Abandon all hope ye who enter here.” I imagine that, as this quote from Dante’s Inferno indicates, this might be what hell feels like. As this last barrier swings open and the dim room is revealed, the swarm of hundreds of tiny creatures moving across the concrete floor completes that vision. However, for some of the ROM’s tireless workers, this environment is heaven. Here resides the dermestid beetle colony. These ravenous beetles are eagerly seeking their next meal. Manoeuvring themselves into the crevices of skeletons, they strip the flesh from delicate specimens with more precision and speed than the nimblest of human fingers.

Sebastian Kvist: Leech Hunter

Posted: October 25, 2016 - 13:34 , by Stacey Kerr
A portrait photo of Sebastian Kvist out in front of a swamp in the field in Minnesota, U.S.A. Photo by Vincent Luk

Guest blog by Environmental Visual Communication student Sally McIntyre

When most people think about the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), they think of dinosaurs or mummies. However, it is the invertebrates that live on the ocean floor and crawl through the soil that make up the most diverse collection at the ROM. So who holds the daunting position of keeper of this vast museum collection? Meet Dr. Sebastian Kvist: Leech Hunter. 

Trees for Toronto - Our Urban Forest

Posted: September 22, 2016 - 12:05 , by Stacey Kerr
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evening sunlight streams through the leaves and branches of the trees in Queen's Park, casting shadows on the green grass. Photo by Rhi More

Guest blog by Environmental Visual Communication student Rhi More

Bringing more attention to trees is what the Royal Ontario Museum had in mind when its botanists and Creative Department partnered with the City of Toronto Urban Forester’s Office to create Trees for Toronto in 2004. EVC Student Rhi More decided to check out this ‘urban arboretum’ for herself, and share the findings with our readers.

ROM Collections Contribute to Checklist of Indian Birds

Posted: August 25, 2016 - 11:42 , by Brad Millen
Brad Millen examines one of countless drawers full of bird specimens from across the world. Photo by Filip Szafirowski

Museum collections are often undervalued and misunderstood. Regular visitors to the ROM don’t get to see what lies behind the public galleries, and yet less than 1% of the ROM’s collections are on display. These collections do far more than gather dust: they are a reference point in time, and, from a natural history perspective, provide a baseline for our understanding of life. I have received a lot of data requests from inside and outside the ROM. Some I can answer, and some I automatically forward along to collections. A group of recent emails stood out in particular...

The TRCA Calls Upon Batman for Help

Posted: August 18, 2016 - 14:33 , by Stacey Kerr
Dr. Burton Lim (left) and ROM Biodiversity's Nicole Richards (right) walk along the Scarborough Bluffs waterfront en route to one of the three bat detectors. Photo by Filip Szafirowski

It’s been a hot summer, the sun is shining and the Scarborough Bluffs are standing tall above the Lake Ontario shoreline. But they might not be for long. The Scarborough Bluffs in Toronto’s east end are eroding at a rapid rate, increasing the likelihood of slope failure and damage to local species’ habitats. Although the cliffs have been eroding since the 1940s, the view from atop the Bluffs was too enticing to prevent people from further settling there. As houses were feverishly built along the Bluffs, the rate of erosion further accelerated.

Yukon BioBlitz: Strange Things Done in the Midnight Sun

Posted: July 13, 2016 - 17:49 , by Stacey Kerr
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A single bioblitz participant takes notes on top of a ridge in the Dawson Mountain Range near Carmacks, Yukon. Photo by Stacey Lee Kerr

Blog by Stacey Lee Kerr, Biodiversity Storyteller / Creative Producer for the ROM's Centre for Biodiversity

The idea of what “midnight sun” really means is rather obscure to the uninitiated traveller. It doesn’t strike home until you’ve been sitting at a picnic table with some entomologists while they pin bees and flies without anything more than the ambient light, and you realize it’s almost midnight when it looks and feels more like 8pm...

BioBlitz at the Edge of Beringia

Posted: June 22, 2016 - 22:40 , by Stacey Kerr
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The Northern Lights over Fish Lake near Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. Photo by Anthony DeLorenzo via Wikimedia Commons

Blog by Stacey Lee Kerr, Biodiversity Storyteller / Creative Producer for the ROM's Centre for Biodiversity

What makes the Yukon a special place for the Biological Survey of Canada to conduct a bioblitz?

Behind the Blitz: Become the Biodiversity

Posted: June 9, 2016 - 15:08 , by Stacey Kerr
Four children stand with monarch wing costumes in front of an exhibit in the Schad Gallery at the ROM. Photo by Fatima Ali

Blog by Stacey Lee Kerr, Biodiversity Storyteller / Creative Producer for the ROM's Centre for Biodiversity

At this year's Ontario BioBlitz, things are set to get a little wild... we've invited everyone to dress up as their favourite Ontario Species for our NatureFest Costume Contest. But what does it take to win a fabulous prize? Inside, in the final installment of our Behind the Blitz blog series, we've got some tips for how to come out on top, and "become the biodiversity"!