Papers: About Tundra Bryophytes

July 26, 2023

Please join us to congratulate Jasmine Lamarre, who recently had two papers published.

Congratulations and thank you for sharing!

If you’re interested in learning more about tundra bryophytes, follow the links below.

Arctic ecosystem restoration with native tundra bryophytes:

A propagation technique for native tundra bryophytes for Arctic ecosystem restoration:

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2023 CSSS Fellow Award Recipient Len Leskiw

July 19, 2023

Paragon’s founder, Leonard Leskiw, P.Ag., was recently named a Fellow of the Canadian Society of Soil Science. A rare accomplishment for anyone and even more so for an independent consultant.

We always knew he was a distinguished fellow – now it’s official!

Congratulations to Len for this recognition of your incredible career and umpteen contributions to soil science. Paragon continues to build on your dedication to conserving and enhancing our soil resources.

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10 Years!!!

July 14, 2023

Celebrating 10 years with Paragon – thank you Britt, Darcy, Konstantin, Leo, Mel, and Shobhana!

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CCLM webinar in May

May 17, 2023

On May 24, 2023 the Canadian Conservation and Land Management Knowledge Network (CCLM) will be hosting a webinar discussing Nature-based climate solutions (NBCSs) as part of the solution in reducing Canada’s GHG emissions.

More information here:

Nature-Based Climate Solutions: Canada’s Carbon Sink Potential | Canadian Conservation and Land Management (CCLM) Knowledge Network (

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Pedology Field School 2023

May 11, 2023

Hello friends of soil, we would like to remind you that the Pedology Field School is coming close, and registration is still open!

We are only two weeks away from the Pedology Field School (SOIL230).

If you are interested, get the details and your tickets here:

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Moss Identification Workshop (Department of Renewable Resources at the University of Alberta)

May 9, 2023

The Department of Renewable Resources at the University of Alberta is offering a 3-day workshop in moss identification from May 17-19, which includes a short field visit to the river valley.

Click on this link for more information:

An Introduction to Mosses of Alberta – Wed, May 17, 2023 – Fri, May 19, 2023 (

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Fun Fact: About Apples

May 5, 2023

Fun Fact: Farmers in England used to threaten poorly producing apple trees with violence to encourage them to bear fruit.

If the threat didn’t work, the tree would be shot the following year. Completely coincidently, this total overreaction often worked by relieving a tight, inhibiting bark.

If violence isn’t a-peel-ing to you (against your core values?), you could try dressing your tree in ladies’ clothes instead. In Germany, orchardists saw a tree that wasn’t producing as male and dressed it in petticoats to encourage a change to “fruitful femininity”. Alternatively, a poorly producing “male” tree could be tied to a fruitful “female” tree with straw and Christmas sausages, they would be proclaimed to be married and urged to bear fruit.

I hope they lived apple-y ever after.

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CLRA Lunch & Learn: Assessing Post-Harvest Interim Seed Storage Conditions

April 14, 2023

The Alberta Chapter of CLRA will be hosting a virtual and in-person (The Derrick Golf and Winter Club) lunch and learn on April 20, 2023. Jean-Marie Sobze will be speaking about Assessing Post-Harvest Interim Seed Storage Conditions, with the focus on native boreal seeds.

For more details and to sign up, click here: Events — CLRA | ACRSD

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Paragon Soil Courses 2023 – Reminder

March 15, 2023

It’s soil course season and our next course is only two weeks away! Head over to our Eventbrite site for more details and to register:

  • SOIL410 Soil Classification (March 29 and 30, 2023)
  • SOIL420 Soil Mapping (April 5 and 6, 2023)
  • SOIL230 Pedology Field School (May 29 to 31, 2023)

We are looking forward to learning with you!

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Fun Fact: About Lichens

February 23, 2023

Fun Fact: Lichens may have been the first farmers on the planet.

The simple lichen Winfrenatia from the Devonian Period (407 million years ago) was made mostly of undifferentiated fungal hyphae arranged as a mat, anchoring it to its growing surface. Scattered throughout this mat, cyanobacterial cells (photobionts) were held in place in tiny pits, like “pigs in a pen”. The fungi fed on the energy the photobionts generated when they were exposed to sunlight. A cross section of Winfrenatia is below (drawing by Falconaumanni from Wikimedia Commons). Just look at those little piggies!

On the spectrum of mutually beneficial interactions, it is difficult to separate the fungi/photobiont relationship from any other form of domestication. Some fungi even resort to rustling – only forming lichens by killing other lichen-forming fungi and stealing their photobionts before settling down as a lichen themselves.

If you’re interested in more reading, see Otherlands, by Thomas Halliday. A great read about natural history… 550,000,000 years of it… I bet he’s a fungi at parties…If I ever meet him, I’ll give him a hyph-ive.

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