Richard Hebda

Richard Hebda: Another Palynologist in the News

The latest issue of the Canadian Geographic magazine (Volume 112, No. 6, Nov/Dec 1992), contains a short article in the GeoWatch section on page 12, reporting the activities of Dr. Richard Hebda of the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria. Dr. Hebda is a long-time CAP member. Under the intriguing heading “Garbage dump yields climate records”, the article, written by Douglas Cowell, describes how Dr. Hebda has been collecting samples from Heal Lake, a site chosen for a new landfill within the Regional District of Greater Victoria. According to this report, the recovered record extends back to around 12,600 – 13,000 yr BP, and provides details of the initial post-glacial vegetation of the area. Among the events registered at the site is evidence of an interval of rapid cooling early in the record. Dr. Hebda points out that such a detailed record may yield valuable data for assessment of the rate of climate change, which could have important implications for predictions of future changes, and he is quoted as saying that “Because of Heal Lake, Victoria may have one of the best-detailed records of environment and climate, and understanding of how land and climate interact, of anywhere in the world”.

Palynology is not mentioned specifically in this article, but it is good to see palaeoenvironmental research gaining attention in a national magazine.

Alwynne B. Beaudoin
Edmonton, Alberta

Note: This article appeared in CAP Newsletter 15(2):19, 1992.