Monday, February 14, 2011

Would you like to contribute to knowledge? I'm conducting research for my Masters thesis. I'm pursuing a Master of Arts in Environmental Education through Royal Roads University. The Nature Centre has agreed to assist by posting my request for assistance and link to an on-line survey. If the text below describes you, I would appreciate 15 - 20 minutes of your time to fill out the survey.

Many thanks to the Waskasoo Environmental Education Society for their assistance.




My name is Todd Nivens. The Waskasoo Environmental Education Society (WEES) agreed to post this request on my behalf. None of your personal information, including your name, has been forwarded to me and I have no way of collecting personal information from you.

I am a Masters of Arts (Environmental Education and Communications) student at Royal Roads University studying the relationship between peoples’ on-line environmentally-positive behaviours and their real-world environmentally-positive actions. I am investigating the effects the internet, particularly web 2.0 and social media outlets, have on a person’s environmental behaviours in the real world.

As a reader of the WEES blog, facebook groups and/or twitter feeds. you are potentially someone with views I am interested in. Particularly I am looking for people who read or write environmental blogs, belong to environmental-themed Facebook or MySpace groups, sign on-line petitions or take part in environmental email campaigns; or give to environmental charities, through on-line campaigns.

If you feel that I’ve described you in the previous paragraph I would invite you to participate in the study by clicking the link and taking the survey. Here is the survey link:

If you have any questions about this study your participation in it or anything that concerns you, please email me at or phone me at 403-505-1864. This study is under the direction of Dr. Jennifer Good, Associate Professor in the Social Sciences faculty at Brock University. You are free to email her at You can also link to the Royal Roads MAEEC program and to Dr. Good’s listing at Brock University.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Todd Nivens

MA(EECO) Candidate

Royal Roads University

Monday, February 07, 2011

Help Us Help Hayley Help Gorillas

I would like to tell you about a remarkable 3rd grade student, who is

passionate about creating positive change. Her name is Hayley Cartwright and

she attends Ecole Mountview School.

After attending a zoo camp in Calgary, last summer, Hayley learned, that the

habitats for gorillas were endangered because of mining for an ore called

coltan (columbite-tantalite). This ore is a source of the element tantalum

which is an essential coating for components of cell phones and is found in

the Congo in the middle of endangered gorilla and elephant habitats.

She wanted to know what could be done to help the gorillas, how she could

make a difference. Hayley started asking questions and with her mother's

help found a contact at the Calgary Zoo that provided them with the

information to get her 'project' started.

Reducing the demand for coltan will aid in the preservation of these

habitats, and this could be done by simply recycling cellular phones.

Due to their small size and rapid replacement cycle, cell phones often end

up in the waste stream contributing a mass of toxic materials in our


Cell phones and their accessories contain a large number of hazardous

substances including heavy metals which may linger in the environment for

many years and have adverse effects on human health.

By recycling your cell phone, you are keeping toxic chemicals out of

landfills.. You may also preserve vital animal habitats by reducing the

demand for coltan. When people realize that recycling their cell phones

(most homes in North America have 2-3 lying unused in a drawer) can help

gorillas they're very enthusiastic to pitch in.

Eco-cell pays the zoo 60 cents per phone recycled. They collect the phones

at the Calgary Zoo, strip the batteries from them (to be recycled locally)

and ship the phones to Eco-cell. They will accept cords, chargers-everything

that comes with a phone. The money from the phones goes to the Zoo's

conservation fund where it is put towards gorilla conservation in the wild.

They can't assume responsibility for cleaning information off phones, so

they ask that donators do that in advance.

Hayley's drive to be successful at collecting cell phones, was more than

just setting up a collection point within her own school. She started

talking to her friends and family about how many more cell phones could be

collected if more people knew about the gorillas. Now, there are more kids,

from other schools who were more than excited to be part of Hayley's

collective project. Recycle boxes have been compiled with a poster for a

drop off box in several schools, and we have even compiled an information

newsletter to accompany the small blue boxes, for each school to send out in

their email notices and newsletter systems.

Can you help us?

Drop your old cell phone or smart phone at the Kerry Wood Nature Centre. We have a blue box set aside for this project. All the funds will go to the Calgary Zoo Cell Phone Recycling Program.

Friday, February 04, 2011


Now is the time to start thinking of setting out homes for the summer birds that nest in bird boxes. The Friends of the Kerry Wood Nature Centre Bookstore has a great selection of nest boxes at very reasonable prices. It will provide you with information about bird homes to make them successful this summer.
Come to the Friends of the Kerry Wood Nature Centre Bookstore for your bird homes and bat homes. For information ask for Bob or telephone him at 403 346 2010