1) Bogs and Beers:
Bus trip to field research sites at Alfred and Mer Bleue bogs, and beers and brewery tour at Beau’s Brewery in Vankleek Hill, ON. (Cost $45)
Mer Bleue Bog
Our first stop will be to the Mer Bleue Carbon Study research site in Ottawa’s Greenbelt. At one of the longest running peatland ‘flux sites’ in the world, you will learn how scientists have been measuring modern carbon dioxide and methane exchange between the bog and the atmosphere for the past 17 years. Further down the boardwalk, a long-term fertilization experiment illustrates the impact of nitrogen deposition on peatland vegetation. We will discuss what our findings suggest the bog’s ability will be to continue to absorb atmospheric carbon and build peat in the face of climate change and atmospheric deposition of pollutants
You will see commercial peat extraction operations as we approach the site by bus, and then learn about ongoing research by Carleton University geographers at Alfred Bog, including a short talk by current MA student Alex Foster about peat extraction and land use dynamics over the past century. The tour will conclude with an autonomous aerial imaging survey and a brief discussion of how this technology is being used to study the three-dimensional structure (vegetation and topography) of this ancient ‘bogscape’.
Finally, we will arrive at Beau’s Brewery in Vankleek Hill. Here, field trippers will be able to sample award-winning beers, enjoy a brewery tour, and socialize at one of the Ottawa area’s finest brewing institutions.
2) Finding Scientific Landscapes:
Peter Anderson (Ph.D. Candidate at Queens University) specializing in Agricultural Science and Urban Culture at the Central Experimental Farm will be leading this field trip.
Why is there a Farm in the middle of Ottawa? Should government support scientific research? Can science be beautiful? Seeking to answer these questions, this tour explores the past, present, and future of scientific agriculture at the Central Experimental Farm and the Farm’s intricate relationship with both the city and the nation. While walking through a diverse collection of landscapes and jumping back and forth across the 129-year history of the Farm, we will discuss the principles, politics, and aesthetics of experimental agriculture, city planning, and heritage policies.
The tour begins with an example of contemporary conservation biology at the Fletcher Wildlife Garden before exploring the Dominion Arboretum, Ornamental Gardens, and the experimental fields themselves. Our last stop is at the Hartwell Locks to compare and contrast UNESCO and Canadian heritage policies where two scientific heritage landscapes, the Rideau Canal and the Central Experimental Farm, meet.