The virtual events are linked in the menu above

01/April/21 - Botany BC is pleased to present the first of our 2021 virtual events for your viewing pleasure.

This is the first of a series of online events, part of Botany BC 2021. Registration is free, but is required to secure your spot. Please consider making a donation to your favorite local environmental charity, in lieu of a registration fee. A link will be sent to registrants a few days before the event begins. Look for future events on the Botany BC website.

Forays in Uzbekistan - a visual tour of Uzbekistan with emphasis on the Aral Sea Disaster and its cure using native plant species.
by Michael Keefer, Keefer Ecological Services
April 14, 2021 at 7:30 pm

Click here for the youtube presentation

This presentation will provide an overview of the culture, architecture, ecosystems and history of this Silk Road country, and will examine one of humanity's worst environmental disasters that is now being mitigated through afforestation and the creation of a shrubby desert ecosystem on the bottom of the former Aral Sea. The disaster was triggered by Soviet engineers working to boost cotton production in the region for export, ignoring their understanding that these mass irrigation works would likely irreversibly damage the Aral Sea. The Aral was the world's fourth-largest inland water body whose fish offered the regions' population its key source of protein. Not only did the drying of the sea impact peoples' access to fish it triggered massive salty dust storms that continue to do immense damage to people, their crops, and nature. Global and locally induced climate change, the continuing overuse of water all factor into the conclusion that the Aral Sea proper is gone. Its replacement is the Aralkum Desert along with constructed wetlands to bring some of the ecological values back. The novel desert ecosystem is being planted with tough salt and drought-resistant native plants in one of the world's largest efforts of afforestation which is creating perhaps the saltiest novel ecosystem on our planet. Uzbekistan is on a fascinating transition from that of a totalitarian dictatorship as recently as four years ago to a Nation apparently moving towards democracy.

Michael is an ecological scientist who specializes in vegetation as well as an entrepreneur with a flair for bringing together different scientific disciplines with Indigenous and other diverse peoples' to come up with solutions to complex ecological problems. He is the owner of three environmental businesses: Keefer Ecological Services, Keefer Hazmat Services and Aspen Grove Residences - three diverse operations tied together by the thread of ecological health and sustainability. In and outside of his work life, Michael is an avid photographer whose images have a slant towards landscapes, wildlife and botanical pics but he does enjoy taking the occasional pictures of people as well. He is also a devout outdoors person and spends as much time as he can outdoors with his dogs and friends throughout the year. As a public speaker, Michael takes great delight in sharing diverse perspectives on a plethora of subjects to help challenge the minds of audiences. A career goal of Michael's is to work internationally on sustainability-related works, his last adventure pre-Covid was traveling to Uzbekistan in Fall 2019 where he was an invited speaker to a United Nations-sponsored conference focused on finding innovative solutions to the Aral Sea Disaster.

(PS If you are looking for a good cause consider the UBC Oluna & Adolf Ceska Mycology Award. You can donate online HERE. In the "Direct my gift to" prompt, enter the following line: 'Oluna and Adolf Ceska Award in Mycology-G1453'.

Make your donation on or before April 7, 2021, and your gift will be counted towards the UBC Giving Day total. For additional information see HERE. - Many thanks!)

08/February/21 - Due to ongoing Covid-19 concerns and complications Botany BC in the Upper Clearwater / Wells Gray area has been postponed until early summer 2022.

Brought to you by the Botany BC 2021 organizing committee:
Iraleigh Anderson, Scott Black, Elizabeth Easton, Tanis Gieselman, Mike Keefer, Andy MacKinnon & Jenifer Penny

BOTANY BC is an annual meeting of botanists and plant enthusiasts of British Columbia and is open to anyone interested in plants. Although BOTANY BC meetings are focused to British Columbia, we welcome all the plant enthusiasts from the neighbouring provinces/states, and from elsewhere in the world.

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