Currents of Change: Inspiring, Creating, Transforming

Currents of Change: Inspiring, Creating, Transforming

Monday, 18 November 2013

A special message from Chris Hadfield: Resilience- The ability to adapt to change

By Chris Hadfield, Astronaut, Former Commander of the International Space Station

There's an old adage that "if you want things to stay the same, things are going to have to change". While the humour in this is wry, the core idea is very sound. Nothing stays the same. Change is normal, to be expected, and thus, most importantly, to be planned for. 
Each of us plans for change to a different degree. In the big picture some of us buy insurance, contribute towards a pension, we even get extra education. These don't really help in the short-term, but are, rather, investments in future ability to adapt to expected changes. 
How do you get ready for unexpected change, though? Knowing that things change is only a part of the solution. The necessity to plan for unforeseen changes is key in being able to adapt. 
In astronaut parlance, we call this “visualizing disaster”. We don’t visualize success, as that is often akin to doing nothing and hoping it all turns out OK. In my book An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, I put it this way:
It’s puzzling to me that so many self-help gurus urge people to visu­alize victory, and stop there. Some even insist that if you wish for good things long enough and hard enough, you’ll get them—and, conversely, that if you focus on the negative, you actually invite bad things to happen.

Anticipating problems and figuring out how to solve them is actually the opposite of worrying: it’s productive. Likewise, coming up with a plan of action isn’t a waste of time if it gives you peace of mind. While it’s true that you may wind up being ready for some­thing that never happens, if the stakes are at all high, it’s worth it.

You don’t have to walk around perpetually braced for disaster, convinced the sky is about to fall. But it sure is a good idea to have some kind of plan for dealing with unpleasant possibilities. For me, that’s become a reflexive form of mental discipline not just at work but throughout my life. When I get into a really crowded elevator, for instance, I think, “Okay, what are we going to do if we get stuck?” And I start working through what my own role could be, how I could help solve the problem. On a plane, same thing. As I’m buckling my seat belt, I automatically think about what I’ll do if there’s a crisis.

But I’m not a nervous or pessimistic person. Really. If any­thing, I’m annoyingly upbeat. I tend to expect things will turn out well and they usually do. My optimism and confidence come not from feeling I’m luckier than other mortals, and they sure don’t come from visualizing victory. They’re the result of a lifetime spent visualizing defeat and figuring out how to avoid it.
So think about it. How are you planning for change? Have you taken the time to truly visualize the details of what may happen? And more importantly, have you then thought through the details of your actions if/when it happens?
It doesn’t take long to consider and think about it, but the readiness that it gives, the confidence it engenders, will not only make you more likely to handle change well – you’ll be more optimistic in looking forward to change.

Chris Hadfield is the pioneer of many “firsts” in Canadian space history. In 1992, he was among the first chosen as Canada’s second class of astronauts. Three years later, he became the first Canadian to use the Canadarm and the first Canadian to board a Russian spacecraft during his mission to the Russian space station. In 2001, he performed two spacewalks as a mission specialist on STS-100—the first Canadian to do so, and in 2010 the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced Hadfield’s third mission: commanding the International Space Station (ISS)—again a first for a Canadian.
Hadfield launched into space on December 19, 2012 and took command of the ISS on March 13, 2013. His multiple daily Tweets and photographs from space made people see the world differently.
A heavily decorated astronaut, engineer, and test pilot, Hadfield’s many awards include being named a Member of the Order of Ontario (1996); receiving an honourary Doctorate of Laws from Trent University (1999); the Vanier Award (2001); the NASA Exceptional Service Medal (2002); and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal (2003).
Hadfield is the Friday Lunch keynote speaker at the 2013 A.D. Latornell Symposium.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Green Hotel Practices:Just a few ways the Nottawasaga Inn helps to make your stay environmentally friendly

By: Ashley Noseworthy, Marketing & Event Coordinator, Nottawasaga Inn

With the A.D. Latornell Conservation Symposium officially kicking off next week it’s both a busy and exciting time for us here at the Nottawasaga Resort.  Not only do we have the privilege of welcoming like-minded environmentally conscious guests, it’s also a great opportunity for us to showcase the many green initiatives that we have in place throughout the resort.

While many of our active environmental programs are visible within our public spaces (recycling bins in guest rooms, low flush toilets, etc), there are many more that we practice “behind the scenes” that are some of the most exciting such as:

Our resort is quite large which means that we have a lot of light bulbs! It’s important to us that we use a sustainable and environmentally responsible means of lighting the way for our guests and we were able to accomplish this by replacing the existing T12 bulbs with new high efficiency T8 bulbs. These new bulbs use 40% fewer watts, produce 40% less heat, and output 10% more light.  Conservation of energy is further achieved through the installation of motion sensors ensuring that lights are not unnecessarily left on in rooms when not required.

Water Conservation
One of the most important green initiatives that we undertake here at the resort is the recycling of tertiary treated effluent from our own private sewage treatment plant.  Throughout the golf season the recycled treated effluent is used on the golf course which not only helps to feed the grass and reduce the amount of granular fertilizer needed to keep the golf course healthy, but also reduces the amount of phosphorus rich water that enters our receiver stream.  In addition this practice also helps to reduce the amount of water needed from the river to irrigate the course ensuring that we’re operating our business in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way.

Paper Consumption
We have an ongoing commitment to reduce our paper consumption which includes changing over existing supplies to recycled and FSC sources whenever possible.  This year we introduced a line-up of environmentally friendly take out containers and cutlery throughout the resort helping to reduce our carbon footprint.

Locally Sourced Foods
We are very fortunate to be located within a rich growing area which means that we have access to an abundance of locally sourced foods.  We try to buy local whenever possible; not only because it’s important to us to support our local food growers but the food comes to us at its freshest.  Throughout the summer months our Head Chef also keeps a garden on the property that provides us with an abundance of delicious herbs and heirloom veggies.

When we prepare food for our guests we are always very diligent about ensuring that there is as little waste as possible; however kitchen scraps are inevitable.  A little known, but very interesting, fact is that all of our kitchen produce, peelings, deep fryer shortening and discarded food scrapings are collected and converted into secondary fuels.

Eating local is easier than you think!  Our Executive Head Chef, Paul Dills, has created a delicious Cedar Plank Trout recipe that includes ingredients that can be sourced locally within your own area.  Bon Appetite!

Cedar Plank Trout with Maple Butter

The inspiration behind this plate came from the iconic Canadian summer campfire and it’s glorious smoke scent.  A cedar plank is an excellent way to capture this adding an incredible aroma and flavour to the fish.  The trout has been paired with a delicious maple butter giving it a hint of sweetness which is the perfect accompaniment to the earthiness of the trout.


2 Whole Trout, fillet and bones removed
2 tbsp Olive Oil
Chopped Fresh Herbs (chives, thyme, parsley), to taste
Salt and Black Pepper, to taste

Maple Butter
4 oz Dark Maple Syrup
8 oz Butter, softened

4 Cedar Planks, approximately 4” x 10”
Candy Thermometer
Piping bag


  1. Soak the cedar planks in water for a minimum of one hour. 
  2. Meanwhile, place the softened butter into a stand mixer.
  3. Heat the maple syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat until it reaches 240 degrees on a candy thermometer (approximately 7 minutes).
  4. Once heated, slowly pour the syrup over the butter.  Turn the mixer onto a high speed and whip the butter and maple syrup together until well blended.  
  5. Using a piping bag, pipe the mixture onto parchment paper (into desired shape) and chill in the refrigerator.
  6. Remove the planks from the water and pat dry. 
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  8. Place the trout on the plank, skin side down. Rub the trout lightly with olive oil, salt and black pepper so that it is fully coated.
  9. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the fillet can be flaked with a fork.
  10. Transfer the trout and plank to a plate and garnish with fresh herbs.  Place the Maple Butter pats on top of the trout just prior to serving.

On the Grill

Preheat a grill to medium-low heat. Place plank with fish on the grate and cover. Grill for approximately 15 – 20 minutes, or until fish can be flaked with a fork.  

Serve trout with potatoes and a fresh selection of seasonal vegetables.  Serves 4 people
Outdoor dining recommended!

Enjoy with the refreshing clean finish of Hillebrand Trius Riesling Dry.

Ashley Noseworthy is the Marketing & Event Coordinator at the Nottawasaga Inn Resort & Conference Centre located in Alliston, ON.  The 2013 A.D. Latornell Conservation Symposium will be held at the Nottawasaga Resort on November 20-22, 2013.

Friday, 1 November 2013

The Amazing Latornell Race: A message from our champion

By Michelle Berquist, winning team member, Amazing Latornell Race


In our working lives, there are precious few opportunities to take time out to grow as professionals by learning outside our specialty and by making new connections outside our organization. It especially rare to have such an opportunity while riding a miniature merry-go-round and combing the grounds of a countryside resort, in the cool night air, looking for an Anne of Green Gables look-alike.

Last year’s Symposium bore witness to the inaugural Amazing Race and I am proud to be guest-blogging as a representative from the first ever winning team. At first I was as shy and hesitant as many others seemed to be to join in for a yet-to-be-proven concept, but I am glad I did. The Race was a highlight of the conference for me.

The Amazing Race event gave me a chance to share a common purpose with three complete strangers, though it quickly became clear we had plenty else in common, including care for the environment. The women on my team were accomplished in fields ranging from biology to public engagement to editing and their approaches to the challenges laid out by the race gave me insights into new ways to tackle challenges in my professional life.

Some activities tested our knowledge, others tested our skills and others tested just how goofy we could get with our colleagues. The sense of comradery that I felt my team and with my fellow racers would have been reward enough for participating. However, I have to say that the cash prize for the winning team was a very nice bonus. It gave us each a boost on the next evening’s competition: scoring the winning bid on some of the most sought-after items at the Dream Auction.

The Race will be on again this year, so rally your colleagues into a team or prepare to form a new alliance by signing up as a free agent. No one knows exactly what the race will bring, but one thing is for certain: it will bring a good time.
Michelle was honoured to be a student moderator at Latornell 2012 while completing her Master of Science in Planning at the University of Toronto.  Michelle was on the winning team of the first annual Amazing Latornell Race. Michelle's coursework explored the interface of natural, built and social environments and culminated in her independent research on storm water financing.  Look for her talk on storm water credits at this year's Symposium.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Knowledge Comes but Wisdom Lingers

By Barbara MacKenzie-Wynia, Regional Nature Network Coordinator, Ontario Nature

"To me, mentorship is about guiding. This isn’t the same as teaching because, in my mind, a good mentor doesn’t give you a step-by-step guide to success. Instead, they provide valuable insight that can only be gained through experience, and this insight can in turn be taken and applied in a way that makes sense to the person being mentored. The results of this transfer and application can then be fed back to the mentor in a reciprocal, iterative process. With this in mind I believe that mentoring is particularly important to me in my current situation: as someone who is working toward completing a PhD I feel that I am in a position to both offer and accept career and life lessons. We are never too young (or old) to help guide others down the paths we have already walked."
William Trenouth, PhD Student, University of Guelph

I have always thought that the Latornell Symposium would be a perfect venue to provide formal mentoring opportunities for Conservation professionals. It just makes good sense.  Art Latornell believed in sharing ideas and experiences with young people, and wanted to ensure that younger generations learned about natural resources and the environment.  Despite Art's numerous professional achievements, many would argue that Art had his greatest impact through his influence and teaching of students and colleagues. Fittingly, even the A.D. Latornell Conservation Symposium logo was designed to represent the significant aspects of Art Latornell's life and legacy. Looking closely, the logo is a silhouette of an ancient tree, which represents the conservation of natural resources, and Art's long-standing interest in the natural world. When viewed in the negative however, the white areas formed by the trunk contain the profiles of two people, a young student and an older man, with their heads lowered as if studying something on the ground. This view of the logo represents Art's belief in the importance of mentoring and teaching which he practiced in his lifetime and which continues through his bequest in the Latornell Symposium Programs.

And now, after 20 years of successful Latornell Sympoisum’s, a comprehensive mentorship program is being launched.  The new mentorship program is meant to foster opportunities for career growth at the beginning of your career, mid-way through, or for any continuous learner that enjoys connecting with new people of all ages with common interests. Throughout the Symposium there will be a collection of events and activities planned to purposefully connect you with new people of all ages with similar interests, to share stories, experiences and to learn from one another. I think there is no better time for this program to be launched than at the Symposium’s 20th anniversary celebration! It is my hope that the mentoring program will foster inspiration and collaboration in our community and continue to build relationships far beyond the week of the actual Symposium.

If you want to learn more about the Latornell Mentoring program (and I hope you do), check out this link for more information:

Barbara MacKenzie- Wynia is the Regional Nature Network Coordinator for Ontario Nature. She is also a long standing member of the A.D. Latornell Conservation Symposium Steering Committee and a member of the newly established Latornell Mentoring Committee. Look for her at the Symposium- she’s ready to chat!