Canadian Conservation and Land Management Webinar

February 21, 2023

Canadian Conservation and Land Management will be offering a free webinar on February 28, 2023 to discuss “The Application of Drone and UAV Technology in Conservation Work”. Click on this link for more information and to register: The application of drone and UAV technology in conservation work Registration, Tue, 28 Feb 2023 at 11:00 AM | Eventbrite

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Paragon Soils Courses 2023

February 16, 2023

We are two weeks away from the first Paragon soil course of the season! Get the details and your tickets here:

  • SOIL220 Introduction to Soil Science (March 4 to 19, 2023)
  • 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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Quantifying restoration success via natural recovery in forested areas following pipeline construction

February 1, 2023

As environmental consultants working with pipeline construction, we often think about the future of the land and its ability to recover. A study done by our own Brittany Flemming and Vince Futoransky, alongside Wade Pruett, has detailed a way to measure restoration success and more specifically, the success of the natural recovery approach. More cost-effective and less labour-intensive, with more diverse results? Read on:

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Happy Holidays 2022

Happy Holidays to you and yours from Paragon!

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Welcome Sully!

Meet our newest employee, Sully!

Edmonton dog gets office job | CTV News

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ALES Internship 2022

In November, Paragon hosted four students from the ALES Faculty at U of A as part of a mini-internship over the fall reading week break. The students met with our President, Lee Waterman, attended a soil lab, and learned about Paragon’s various work scopes, such as vegetation and wetlands, soil monitoring and construction, bioengineering, and soil mapping and GIS. We had a lot of fun and hope to do this again next year!

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Fun Fact: About Mobile Stamens

December 2, 2022

Fun Fact: If a pollinator is spending too much time drinking nectar, a flower will smack it with a stamen to encourage it to move along.

In some flowers, pollen-containing mobile stamens snap forward when a visiting insect’s tongue touches the nectar-producing parts. Linnaeus first observed these “mobile stamens” in 1775 but no one has been able to explain their purpose…until now.

A team of researchers from China recently found that plants use rapidly moving stamens to enhance the turnover of bees and flies on their flowers, thereby reducing their nectar costs per successfully transported pollen grain. In their study on barberry flowers, insects visiting flowers with immobilised stamens stayed 3.6 times longer and removed more nectar than those visiting flowers with mobile stamens. They also found that insect visitors deposited pollen from flowers with mobile stamens on about three times more flowers, and on flowers further away, increasing the likelihood of reproductive success for the plant.

Sounds like a pushy waiter at a restaurant… truly a-pollen’ behaviour. They should bee ashamed.

If you’re interested in reading more, see their paper here:

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In honour of Truth and Reconciliation Day 2022

October 28, 2022

We were able to raise $2,600 for the Nistawoyou Association Friendship Centre this year in honour of Truth and Reconciliation Day. The Friendship Centre promotes positive relationships between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous peoples which helps communities reach their full potential – click here for more info about NAFC and the great work they do:

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Fun Fact: About Orchids

October 20, 2022

Fun Fact: There is a genus of orchid in Western Australia that spends its entire lifecycle underground…including flowering.

 Unsurprisingly, it’s really hard to find. The first species, Rhizanthella gardneri, wasn’t discovered until 1928 when a farmer ploughed his field and found the strange, fleshy, leafless plants (see below). As of 2020, there have been five species described, but they are considered to be critically endangered and their locations are kept secret.

Photo credit: Jean and Fred Hort (

Since they spend their whole lives underground and away from the sun, species of the genus rhizanthella (from the Greek: rhiza [root], and Anthos [flower]…root flower) have given up their ability to photosynthesise and instead rely on a complicated, multi-species relationships to survive. Rhizanthella species are mycotrophic (plants that get all or part of their carbon, water, or nutrients from fungi), but the fungus that it relies on also has a mycorrhizal relationship (fungi that have symbiotic relationships with plants) with the broom bush shrub, which it relies on for photosynthesized carbohydrates. The relationship is so critical that the seeds of the orchid will only germinate when infected by a fungus that is actively “mycorrhizing” with the broom bush.

When it flowers, the blooms typically stay several centimetres below the soil surface, with the very tips of the flowers poking through the surface only occasionally. We don’t know who pollinates it, how many there are, why they have bothered to keep their chloroplasts…

We’re completely in the dark on this one…researchers are practically buried in work… ok, no m-orchid-ding around…

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Paragon Golf Tournament 2022 Fundraiser

October 14, 2022

Thank you to our sponsors and employees who helped us raise $1,820 for YESS this year during the Paragon staff golf tournament. You’re all the best, by par 😉

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