royal alberta museum
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visitors since 1967

Quaternary Environments

Palaeoenvironmental work at the Royal Alberta Museum focuses on the investigation of landscape and vegetation change over the last 11,000 years or so, especially as these relate to the human history of the Province.

These investigations involve examination of plant remains, especially seeds and pollen, that may be preserved in lake muds and peats. These remains can often be identified according to the plants that produced them. Knowing the types of plants that were growing on the landscape in the past can provide information on past climates and climate change. This information is of value to archaeologists trying to piece together a picture of the landscape around their site. In addition, palaeoenvironmental data provide analogues for what conditions in the Province may be like if climate warming continues as most experts predict.