Category Archives: In the News

Congratulations to Natalie!

Hi Everyone,

I don’t mean to toot my own horn here but I’m just so delighted that I have to share the good news! I have just been awarded the Claudetle MacKay-Lassonde Graduate Engineering Scholarship, which is awarded annually by the Canadian Engineering Memorial Foundation to one female engineering student who has demonstrated a passion in engineering. I have received the award in part for my work with SEEDS and as such wanted to say a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who has worked to make SEEDS a great success!

To read more about the award, you can visit Carleton’s website here.


PS: I think it’s important to celebrate our successes so if you have any announcement that you would like to share please let us know at!

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Satellite Photos of the Athabasca Oil Sands

Nasa’s Earth Observatory today posted this image showing the expansion of the Athabasca Oil Sands development from 1984 to present.  Note, the scale on these images are 1 cm:4 km, keeping that in mind you can gauge how huge the operations really are.

The page also provides a full page of information, and a video slideshow of every year since ’84.

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Rising Acceptance of GMOs!

GMOs seem to finally be overcoming old prejudices!  Recently the Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics published an article showing that consumers were willing to pay up to 25% more for transgenic foods that were modified to be healthier.

Details can be found in the Science Daily article.

Increasing GMO share of agriculture products opens the door for huge efficiency gains in agriculture as well as decreased use of pesticides – an all around win for everyone.  As it stands, the Organic Food label still excludes any foods produced containing GMOs.

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Up In Smoke

Up in Smoke – One Man’s Burning Issue

Opening show of Up In Smoke

Opening shot of Up In Smoke

Read a promo for this new documentary on New Scientist today. A trailer is available on

Slash and burn farming generates more carbon annually than all global aviation combined. Throughout the humid tropcial zones of the world, it is practised by between 250 and 400 million families. It is rarely reported and in environmental terms is the real elephant in the room, that very few people appear to see.

Up in Smoke follows the work of one British scientist, who over 25 years has been perfecting an alternative to slash and burn farming in the world’s equatorial rainforests.

And he’s found it…

This documentary follows scientist Mike Hands as he highlights the environmental and sustainability problems with slash and burn agriculture while proposing an alternative method – alley cropping.  This documentary is surely one worth jumping at the opportunity to watch it whenever that opportunity arises.

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Update: Dogooder Non-Profit Video Awards Winners Announced

The 5th Annual Dogooder Video Awards have been announced and the Post Carbon Institute’s video, “300 Years of Fossil Fuels in 300 Seconds”, took the top prize for a small organization. A big thanks goes out to everyone for voting, no matter what videos you voted for. The other winners are as follows: 

  • Best Video from a Large Organization – “A Public Service Announcement not approved by AJWS”, from the American Jewish World Service
  • Best Video from a Medium Organization – “Meet the Digits”, from Ronald McDonald’s House Austin
  • Best Video from a Small Organization – “300 Years of Fossil Fuels in 300 Seconds”, from the Post Carbon Institute
  • Best “Thrifty” Video Produced for less than $500 – “It’s in Your Hands”, from the Watershed Management Group

 All these videos can be viewed here. And for more information on the Non Profit Video Awards, see the Seeds blog post about it published on March 13th below.

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Article Series: War Over the Oil Sands

The Tyee, British Columbia’s premier independent online newspaper, is currently running a series of articles titled “The War Over the Oil Sands” which is shedding light on the controversy in Washington DC over the Alberta’s oil sands. The Series’ webpage can be found here:

In this major series, The Tyee energy reporter Geoff Dembicki reports from America’s capital on the intense, high stakes political struggle there fueled by Alberta crude. Canadian politicians, allied with oil lobbyists, are battling environmental groups for the hearts and minds of U.S. politicians with the power to vote either a free flowing future for the oil sands, or climate change legislation that severely crimps Alberta’s markets.

This multi-part series begins with three stories this week and will feature many more in the coming weeks. The first article primes the reader for the conflict between environmental NGOs and the monolith of Canadian politicians and the industry’s lobby groups. This macro-view of the debate is then illustrated by the second and third articles, which are essentially an interview with Tom Corcoran, a former Republican congressman who now advocates on behalf of Alberta’s oil sands. During his afternoon with Tom, Mr. Dembicki looks at the passing of The Energy Security and Independence Act of 2007, and section 526 of the act which is meant to limit the import of “unconventional fuels” and has led to the current conflict.

Stay tuned to the Tyee for the next couple of weeks; this is truly original and in-depth journalism at its best.

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Vote for the 5th Annual DoGooder Nonprofit Video Awards

The Annual DoGooder Nonprofit Video Awards is a contest where nonprofit organizations must submit videos, animations, or mash-ups that they created in 2010 to make the world a better place. These are short videos, roughly 3-6 minutes long, produced by non-profits to further their cause through new media.

A panel initially judged submissions and the top sixteen entries were designated as finalists, which the public at large is to now vote on to determine the winners. Voting started on March 7th; ends on the 14th, and four winners will be announced on March 19th. The categories are as follows:

  • Best Video from a Large Organization
  • Best Video from a Medium Organization
  • Best Video from a Small Organization
  • Best “Thrifty” Video Produced for less than $500

The finalists’ submissions are posted on YouTube at:

There is a limit of one vote per day and you must be logged into your YouTube account to vote. My vote is for the Post Carbon Institute’s video: “300 years of Fossil Fuels in 300 seconds”.

The DoGooder Nonprofit Video Awards is an annual contest run by See3 Communications in partnership with YouTube with support from the Case Foundation, Flip Video, and the Nonprofit Technology Network.


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In the news: Demand grows for environmental engineers

In the Ottawa Citizen today, they talk about the growing need for environmental engineers. You can read the full article here.

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