I am a molecular ecologist, based at the University of Guelph in Ontario Canada, and interested in tracking how ACG ant communities change here with elevation, temperature and time. I have been following this across three volcanoes in Guanacaste Province (Cacao, Rincon de la Vieja and Orosi) since 2008. My hope and intent is to continue this monitoring for the long term. As part of this monitoring I take GigaPan panoramas of each sampled habitat.
The urban environment is expanding at a never before seen rate. Existing natural environments within urban centres, such as forests or woodlots, are exposed to increasing anthropogenic pressures of degradation, fragmentation, biological invasion and destruction.
One key to our capacity to understanding these changes will be ongoing monitoring through time. If such monitoring is democratized and publicly available then one may assume that a marginalized environment may become more valued by the human population. On the University of Guelph campus in Ontario, Canada, the ìDairy Bushî is an 8.5 ha woodlot that has been part of the city and the university campus since 1830. The sign outside the Bush reads, "The Dairy Bush is a unique and delicate example of Great Lakes St. Lawrence forest in Southern Ontario, and serves as an outdoor laboratory for University of Guelph students."
Starting in August 2009 and continuing 1 time/week until this moment I visit the Dairy Bush weekly to document time in this urban woodlot using GigaPan panoramic images.
In 2012 the University of Guelph/Ontario Universities Program in Field Biology's Arctic Ecology course was fortunate to have 8 GigaPans to distribute amongst the students to help them experience, explore, understand and question this special sub-Arctic environment.
The Arctic has many species not found elsewhere and a warming climate is predicted to have a particularly dramatic impact on this unique biodiversity. Understanding Arctic biodiversity has become an important part of the research and teaching at UofG, from first year to senior field courses to graduate research.
Our goal is to expand the opportunities for experiential learning about Arctic biodiversity by students in two courses (Arctic Ecology BIOL*4610 and Discovering Biodiversity BIOL*1070) by using two wo cutting-edge technologies: DNA barcoding and GigaPan imaging. DNA barcoding is a novel genetic method for species identification and discovery that was pioneered at the University of Guelph. The GigaPan is a transformational piece of technology for creating, sharing and annotating high-resolution panoramic photographs.
The digital products of each technology are publicly accessible and sustainably maintained; both are annotated through time by a community of experts and non-experts alike; and both connect the digital and natural worlds.
Our course is based out of the Churchill Northern Studies Centre (CNSC). Founded in 1976, the Churchill Northern Studies Centre is an independent, non-profit research and education facility located 23 km east of the town of Churchill, Manitoba. The CNSC provide accommodations, meals, equipment rentals, and logistical support to scientific researchers working on a diverse range of topics of interest to northern science. In addition to research, the Centre facilitates a wide range of educational programming ranging from general interest courses for the visiting public to university credit courses for students.
We gratefully acknowledge the support critical for the student GigaPans from the CREATE Lab Outreach Program at
Carnegie Mellon University, the Learning Enhancement Fund of the University of Guelph, the Fine Foundation, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).
Costa Rican Forests (Area de Conservacion de Guanacaste)
The ACG (www.acguanacaste.ac.cr /), is a 163,000 hectare national park in northwestern Costa Rica, extending from 6 km out in the Pacific up to 2000 m at the top Volcan Rincon de la Vieja and down into the Atlantic lowland rain forest is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ACG is home to more than 325,000 species of plants and animals (2.6% of the world's biodiversity) and has grown dramatically from a 10K acre national park (formalised in 1971) to a global example of tropical biodiversity conservation, dependent upon, and inserted within, the development and economy of the local people. If you are interested in more information on the ACG, please visit the Guanacaste Dry Forest Fund website (www.gdfcf.org /). At the bottom of that page you'll find a button to donate to the ACG. "Every penny donated to GDFCF goes to forest purchase to expand ACG" - a very worthwhile investment!
I am a molecular ecologist, based at the University of Guelph in Ontario Canada, and interested in tracking how ACG ant communities change here with elevation, temperature and time. I have been following this across three volcanoes in Guanacaste Province (Cacao, Rincon de la Vieja and Orosi) since 2008. My hope and intent is to continue this monitoring for the long term - using the GigaPan to document habitat in high resolution.
Habitat and sampling localities for project: "DNA barcode-based biodiversity assessment of North American invertebrates: species richness, structure and stability" sites.google.com/site/algonquinorg /
Field work carried out at the Inselberg CNRS research station between Jan.28th and Feb.11th.2011 by Rodolphe Rouguerie and Alex Smith. The objective of our activities in the field was to realize a rapid biodiversity survey in the three target groups (moths, parasitoid wasps and ants) through systematic sampling of all morphospecies and the preservation/preparation of samples/tissues for the subsequent use of DNA barcoding.
Panoramas through time nearby to ongoing Malaise trap insect collections in the old-growth forest of the Shaw Woods Outdoor Centre (www.shawwoods.ca ) The mission of the Shaw Woods Outdoor Centre is, "To foster an ethic of responsible environmental stewardship by providing unique experiential environmental education and outdoor learning opportunities to local school groups, communuity organizations and the public at large."