I am thrilled to announce that I have begun a new position as Conservation Scientist with the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y). I will be based in Canmore, Alberta, with applied research throughout the Y2Y region.
My two years as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Victoria in Victoria, British Columbia have been terrific. I was fortunate to work with talented researchers and conservationists in the Marine Ethnoecology Lab (Natalie Ban & team) and Applied Conservation Science Lab (Chris Darimont & team), and their partners in the Great Bear Rainforest and Sea. They generously shared their knowledge, skills, and time with me – these experiences and collaborations will be invaluable on my path ahead. I will miss them all dearly.
Big wild places and wildlife have always been close to my heart. Stretching over 3200 km, the Yellowstone to Yukon region is one of the most intact mountain ecosystems in the world. For nearly 25 years, Y2Y has been a global leader in large-landscape conservation, working with diverse partners to connect and protect wild lands, waters, and biodiversity over 1.3 million sqkm. Critical to its success are commitments to collaboration and evidence-based work, values I care about deeply.
As Y2Y’s Conservation Scientist (and for the first year continuing my Liber Ero Fellowship), I will design, conduct, and communicate applied research to inform key issues across the Yellowstone to Yukon region. This includes strengthening existing partnerships – and forging new ones! – with academic, conservation, media, industry, and governance communities.
Y2Y has a bold mission: To connect and protect habitat from Yellowstone to Yukon so that people and nature can thrive. I am excited to engage with partners to achieve it.
More about Y2Y:
I got such a kick out of seeing wildlife through remote cameras, and these videos from coastal British Columbia are great. They were taken in the "Great Bear Rainforest" (aka BC's Central and North Coast), a huge stretch of temperate rainforest on Canada's west coast running from northern Vancouver Island to southeast Alaska. Wildlife are plentiful and people have lived there for millennia, but the region really sprang onto the world stage in the last decade or so. It's an amazing place - and it's where I hope to do postdoctoral research!
Remote cameras let scientists study wildlife from afar. Using these and other non-invasive methods of research, we can minimize the impact of research on animal behaviour. But Remote cameras aren't entirely without impact - they can inadvertently affect animals - so we need to be careful how, when, and where they are used.
This last video isn't about remote cameras - it's about Norm Hann's stand-up paddleboard trip through the Great Bear Rainforest, following the route of the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines project. His goal was to highlight First Nations culture and traditional food harvest and the threat that an oil spill would have on local people, wildlife, and the environment. (Go to 32:00 to see my friend Chris Williamson's project making cedar stand-up paddleboards with students at the Bella Bella Community School - also covered by National Geographic!)
Conservation Scientist at the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y). Likes trees, mountains, chocolate, and looking under rocks. Feminist.