The CABIN certification as part of the STREAM project in Smithers, BC last week was a success! Representatives from 4 First Nations – Babine Lake Nation, Wet’suwet’en Nation, Gitanyow Nation and Gitxsan Nation as part of the Environmental Stewardship Initiative (ESI) were in attendance. Participants will work collaboratively with Living Lakes Canada to create biomonitoring study designs to answer land use questions related to stream health assessments. These Nations will collect benthic samples consisting of macroinvertebrates (bugs), which act as indicators of stream ecosystem health. To identify these bugs, the benthic samples will be analyzed using DNA metabarcoding by the University of Guelph. For more information on DNA metabarcoding and the STREAM project including bringing a CABIN training to your area visit https://livinglakescanada.ca/projects/cabin-edna/
Or email Program Manager Raegan Mallinson at firstname.lastname@example.org
Selkirk College Training, B.C.
April 27-28 2019
With spring well and truly underway in Canada, it is the perfect time to start training budding citizen scientists for the 2019 STREAM sample collection.
At the end of April, Raegan Mallinson (Living Lakes Canada Operation Manager) visited a group of first year Selkirk College students, enrolled on the Integrated Environmental Planning Program, to train them how to collect benthos samples for DNA metabarcoding.
Raegan describes the success of the training in our latest blog post, which you can read here.
STREAM eDNA Workshop in Smithers, B.C.
March 28th 2019
Members of the STREAM team were recently invited to present information on STREAM at a technical meeting in Smithers, BC. The drive behind this workshop was to showcase DNA metabarcoding and more specifically STREAM to First Nation and local community group representatives as a viable tool for ecosystem assessment of watersheds in BC and across Canada. We were hosted by Forest Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO) and joined by representatives from three Environmental Stewardship Initiative (ESI) First Nation groups as well as individuals from Morice Water Monitoring Trust and Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategies. The ESI is a new form of collaboration among the Province, First Nations and industry with the main goal being to develop a new, collaborative approach to establishing environmental legacies and to generate high quality, accessible and trusted environmental information.
Dr. Donald Baird kicked off the workshop with an informative presentation on DNA metabarcoding and its application in relation to assessing freshwater ecosystem health. Following this, Dr. Chloe Robinson presented the STREAM project, highlighting the goals, project timeline and how data produced will be accessible to stakeholders. After a productive Q&A session, training and protocols were discussed by STREAM project team members Raegan Mallinson (Living Lakes Canada) and Sheena Pappas (Environmental and Climate Change Canada) and we finished the meeting by discussing the launch of the STREAM website.
We are optimistic that the ESI will sign up to STREAM after hearing how the project can contribute towards their main goal and how the ecological questions community groups and First Nations have can be answered through using DNA metabarcoding in their local watershed.