By grey rat snake
One or two groups had to get up around 6:30 this morning to finish off the last bit of the wetland assessment. We still managed to finish our breakfast promptly and meet outside of QUBS just past 8:00am. Today is the last day of our two week field course. Some students bought QUBS t-shirts as souvenirs, and took photos with the staff and people at the station. We took two big white vans, along with Steve’s car to go visit Canada’s capital, Ottawa!
After our two hour drive, we were very fortunate to be able to visit the collection that is not open to the public at the Canadian Museum of Nature. The collection contains over 10 million specimens that were gathered for more than 150 years, and covering four billion years of history. We were quickly introduced to Roger, who along with his lovely coworkers showed us the Earth Sciences, Botany, Vertebrates, and Invertebrates collections at the museum. In the invertebrate collection, we saw specimens of mollusks, parasites, annelids, and other general invertebrates. Moreover, the National Herbarium of the Canadian Museum of Nature houses numerous specimens. In particular, the Vascular Plant Collection is the largest in Canada. In the vertebrate collection, we saw some skeletons of amphibians and reptiles, some bird specimens and eggs, and many mammal skins, pelts, mounts, and skeletons.
After our picnic lunch at a local park, we headed to downtown Ottawa! Here, the area was dominated by government buildings like Parliament Hill and the Supreme Court. Most of the other buildings here are office towers, hotels, and condominiums. We also visited the Rideau Centre and the Byward Market which was just across the street. It was a fun afternoon, and we got a good feel of the commercial and economic centre of the city.
Our farewell dinner was arranged at the Mongolia Hotpot. It was the first time for some of our Canadian students, and our Chinese students were also happy to have food from our homeland. This was our last supper together and depressing for many of us. We took many group photos in front of our big white van after dinner and said goodbye to Ottawa. Fortunately, we still get the evening and morning to be together until our goodbyes to the Canadian students.