11 Dec 2018 7:00 pm

OFNC Monthly Meeting

7:00 p.m. Social

7:30 p.m. Presentation

Speaker: Bev McBride

Location: Salon B, K.W. Neatby Building, Central Experimental Farm, 960 Carling Avenue

Iceland is a fish-shaped, volcanic island in the North Atlantic whose northern limit skims the Arctic Circle. Part of the spreading Mid-Atlantic Ridge, it makes the cheeky claim of being part North American continent and part Eurasian. It is geologically young, and remote, with a small human population that arrived relatively recently. Tourists come in droves, enticed by dramatically austere glacial and volcanic features, geothermally-heated bathing opportunities, northern lights and the pleasure of saying they’ve been there. Students of the natural sciences like it too, for many of the same reasons. Its flora and fauna reflect influences from early geologic times to the present. Warm ocean currents moderate the climate. It has no reptiles or amphibians, no bats and one native tree. It has some gorgeous ducks, butterflies only on migration, and two thrushes, both recent arrivals. It has hot-spring-loving snails. It has introduced species, some invasive, and at least one recent extinction. Its national flower is a common arctic-alpine species, one of many sending up bright flowers in the short summer. Landscapes range from alpine to heath to meadow to coastal, and some of them are steaming and bubbling. The marine environment is of course of great importance, paramount in the economy, and relatively biodiverse. Bev will offer some glimpses from a visiting tourist-naturalist-geographer’s perspective.