MABR Newsletter | December 2015
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Thanks for checking out the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Newsletter, a quick and easy way to learn about recent developments, initiatives, research and events.
Upcoming Holiday Events in the Region

Dec. 16-20, 5pm: Christmas Magic at Milner Gardens 
Dec. 17-31: Merry Christmas George Bailey at Village Theatre in Qualicum Beach
Dec. 18, 6pm: Phil & Ben Dwyer play Jazz standards at The Old School House
Dec 18-19, 5pm: Magical Nights of Light at North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre
Dec. 20, 12:15pm: Free Family Skate Day in Parksville
Dec. 31, 5pm: Free New Year's Eve Family Celebration in Parksville
Jan. 1, 12pm: Polar Bear Splash at Parksville Beach
Paris Climate Agreement: Results of the International Climate Summit
From November 30th to December 12th, representatives from 195 countries gathered in France to adopt the Paris Climate Agreement, a historic agreement to combat climate change. Read the Paris Agreement HERE.

Canada's sixteen UNESCO biosphere reserves have a role to play in climate change monitoring, mitigation, and adaptation. The Canadian Biosphere Reserve Association has corresponded with The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Canada's Minister of Environment and Climate Change (see letter here). Each biosphere reserve has corresponded with their federal MP's and made individual commitments to ensure that climate change is a priority in all 16 regions across Canada.
A weather station and snow pillow have recently been installed on Mount Arrowsmith to help gather accurate climate-related data that will help our region forecast water supply, potential flooding, and changes in precipitation, temperature and snow pack.

The purchase and installation of this weather station are the result of a collaboration between the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region, the BC Ministry of Environment, BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN), Island Timberlands, TimberWest, and the Arrowsmith Water Service, which includes the RDN, the City of Parksville and the Town of Qualicum Beach.
Brant Wildlife Festival 2016 Dates Set for March 19 to April 16
Join us during the 2016 Brant Wildlife Festival for Brant goose and wildlife viewing, marsh walks, nature photography, BioBlitz, guest speakers and much more in the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region and surrounding area. If you would like to volunteer or lead an event, contact Robin Rivers at The Nature Trust of British Columbia:
In November, the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region hosted a visioning forum to discuss the future of the Brant Wildlife Festival with founders, festival volunteers, tourism students, and regional tourism and conservation groups. Currently coordinated by The Nature Trust of BC, festival planning will hopefully shift back to the region in years ahead. Interested in helping? Contact Robin Rivers:
Read the 2-page summary of the Brant Wildlife Festival Visioning Forum here. Interested in knowing more about Brant geese? Here's a free handout.
Like our Facebook page and stay posted on upcoming events in the region.
Meet Haley Robinson, a VIU student doing a project on Sense of Place within the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region
Title of project: "Sense of Place within the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region: An Evaluation of Outdoor Interpretive Signage"

Haley grew up near Toronto, Ontario, and moved to Nanaimo in 2013 to attend VIU. When she first moved to Vancouver Island, she spent a lot of time visiting different parks and beaches. "The knowledge that I gained from the interpretive signage at these 
sites helped me develop sense of place and a connection to my new environment," Haley explains. She's now in her fourth year of the natural resource management geography program at VIU and expects to graduate this spring.

Haley is working on an eight month senior independent research project with MABRRI on interpretive signage and sense of place. She's visiting sites within the MABR where people have the opportunity to connect with nature, and evaluating any existing interpretive signage at these sites. "People develop familiarity and sense of place with their environment through direct interactions, and effective interpretive signage can deepen this connection. I’m looking for well designed, up-to-date signage that effectively communicates important or interesting information about the landscape." MABRRI is excited to have Haley on board. Her findings will inform the creation of future signage within the region that reconnect people with the environment.
VIU Sustainable Leisure Management Students out in the Biosphere
From October 26 to 28, twenty-six graduate students enrolled in VIU's MA in Sustainable Leisure Management explored the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region (MABR). They were on a mission to understand how sustainability and innovation manifest themselves in organized, leisure-based environments.

Activities included:
  • A walk along Top Bridge Regional Trail to understand the connection between watershed management and tourism;
  • Visits to Little Qualicum Estuary and Moorecroft Regional Park to understand the balance between wildlife and leisure management;
  • A tour of Qualicum Commons--formerly Qualicum Beach Elementary School--to understand how the meaningful repurposing of infrastructure can create positive community impacts;
  • A tractor ride at Little Qualicum Cheeseworks where sustainable farming, local food security, and economic vitality meet in one place.
VIU Professor Joanne Schroeder and the MABR's Monica Shore thank all those who introduced students to memorable educational experiences in the biosphere!
The Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Research Institute at VIU Captured on Film by VIU Communications

MABRRI is the engine behind the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region’s research and educational programs. Projects pursued at MABRRI reflect the mandate and functions of UNESCO biosphere reserves and research is carried out in whole or in part within the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region.
The Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Region Research Institute at VIU (MABRRI)
MABR 2016 Action Plan Hot Off the Press
Find out where the MABR is heading in 2016 by reading our latest Action Plan, available on the Resources tab of our website:
Read our next newsletter in February 2016
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