Yukon Biodiversity Awareness Month...all April

For current information on Biodiversity in the Yukon, go to the Environment Yukon website.

The 2012 Yukon Biodiversity Awareness Award goes to...

Two winners!

Josie Jacquot-Sias
jose_siasJosephine (Josie) Jacquot-Sias (Oct. 21, 1927 -- Aug. 24, 2012) was dedicated to sharing her unique knowledge of the people, history and geography of Yukon. As a park interpreter, volunteer and businesswoman, this Elder of the Kluane First Nation used storytelling to keep alive the traditions of her people. Josie was widely respected for her leadership of the Parks Canada Youth Corps. Along with her husband Frank Sias, she helped foster teamwork and mutual understanding among young people from various economic and cultural backgrounds. Josie also taught anglophone, francophone and Aboriginal students about their respective languages and cultures. In recognition of her outstanding leadership, she was appointed to represent her people and her region at the Canadian Polar Commission from 1999-2001.

Josie and her family assisted with scientific exploration of the St. Elias Icefields beginning in 1935. She supported the work of early explorers such as Walter Wood, who later helped found the Arctic Institute and the Kluane Lake Research Station. Josie's guidance and support for science, the research station, research, and education continued until her death. Her smile, mild manner and influence on scientific endeavour will remain far into the future.

Llloyd Freese

lloyd_freeseLloyd Freese worked as a park warden for Parks Canada for 40 years, with 39 spent in Kluane National Park and Reserve. Throughout his career, and now his retirement, Lloyd has gone out of his way to acquire and promote natural history and to participate in field projects that advance our understanding of Yukon's biodiversity.

Lloyd's work is centred on the Kluane area, but includes research using aerial captures of Grizzly Bears on the Yukon North Slope. In Kluane, he started monitoring the Kokanee population in 1977 and when it drastically declined, he persuaded experts to examine why. During the biophysical inventory of Kluane in the early 1980s, Lloyd collected, identified and mounted many of the plants in the Park's herbarium. He had a key role in searching for new locations of the endangered sedge, Carex sabulosa, and mapping out its critical habitat for special protection. Another important contribution of Lloyd's was keeping invasive plants from moving into the Park and other non-native plants off the highways. He was a founder and has worked on the executive of the Yukon Invasive Species Council.

Lloyd has inspired many people with his deep love and reverence for the Kluane landscape. Lloyd's largest contribution to biodiversity awareness has been at this scale -- quietly supporting and challenging people to expand their understanding and wonder.


The Yukon Biodiversity Working Group has recognized seven recipients of the Yukon Biodiversity Awareness Award in recent years:

2001 Helmut Grünberg.
2001 Robert Frisch (posthumously)
2002 Charlie Peter Charlie
2005 Phil Caswell (posthumously)
2006 Bill Cody
2007 Manfred Hoefs
2008 Dave Mossop
2009 Ted Murphy-Kelly, Ben Schoneville
2010 Joe Johnson, Jim Hawkings
2011 Bob Sharp

The goals of the award are to recognize people who have promoted biodiversity awareness and stewardship in the Yukon. Their efforts may have:

  • provided contributions that benefit the Yukon
  • increased biodiversity awareness and education, and , or
  • made a significant contribution that is well demonstrated.

There is no requirement that nominees be Yukon residents however there is an expectation that their contribution benefited Yukon. We request short, written nominations and appreciate any anecdotes or details that nominators can supply that will help us understand the full impact of the nominee's work. Members of the BWG who may be nominated will be considered but will be asked to excuse themselves from the portion of the meeting dealing with the award. More than one annual award may be given.

Listen to an info clip on Yukon biodiversity here (MP3, 363K).

For further information on biodiversity follow some of the links listed below:

Related links (Yukon):

"The Importance of Biodiversity" Your Yukon article

Frog Watch Yukon

Yukon Department of Environment

Teaching About Biodiversity

Backyard Biodiversity and Beyond Yukon learning resource

Canadian Forestry Association School Kit

Biodiversity...Bio-What? Download overheads and a lesson plan that illustrate six reasons to protect biodiversity.

Why preserve biodiversity? lesson plan (Grades 6-9)

Related links (Other):

Convention on Biological Diversity

International Biodiversity Day May 22

The Biodiversity Project

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Canadian Centre for Biodiversity (Museum of Nature)

Canadian Nature Federation Homepage:

Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC)

Environment Canada | Nature

Natural Resources Canada

Sierra Club of Canada

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Canada

International Sites:

Defenders of Wildlife

Conservation International website

UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre

Convention on Biological Diversity Website

The Natural History Museum, London

World Conservation Monitoring Centre

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