grizz sitting

Operationalizing definitions of animal behaviour: building an ethogram

Defining animal behaviour requires careful observation and the use of measurable markers to quantify those behaviours. Recent calls for consistency in defining and coding animal behaviour have stemmed from variation in how behaviours are defined within and across species, which could have implications for reproducibility and comparability of results. Lately, I have been working with […]

Lauren Eckert thinking in the ACS Lab

Conservation Science Isn’t Always Fieldwork: And that’s a blessing too

PhD student, Lauren Eckert, pondering in the Raincoast ACS Lab. A quick Google search of the term “wildlife biologist” or “conservation” reveals some pretty compelling images – sprawling forests, bears, frogs, wolves, lions, a rhinoceros ambling through a dusty savannah, and many a Scientist amidst the splendor of these wildlife and ecosystems.  And while we […]

Bryant DeRoy presents key COMPASS workshop take-aways to ACS lab members over powerpoint.

Four months of learning

Bryant DeRoy presents key COMPASS workshop take-aways at our annual lab retreat. As the days become shorter, the campus hustle and bustle picks up once again with the beginning of the final exam period. My first semester as a graduate student within the lab is coming to an end, and I can’t help but feel […]

a black bear in the distance of an estuary


A black bear forages in the estuary. Photo: Lauren Henson. As modern scientists, we frequently deal in abstraction. We are separated from the species and ecosystems we study often by hundreds of miles, bureaucratic bubbles, cloistered campuses, and the machinations of innumerable statistical analyses whirring silently away in the electric flatness. And despite this physical […]

A distance shot of students standing in a circle in the forest with members of the ACS lab. Lauren Henson, PhD student in the ACS lab is in the middle talking to the students about studying bears using non-invasive hair collection methods.

Fun with the Salish Sea’s newest Emerging Stewards

Members of the Raincoast ACS lab and W̱SÁNEĆ Leadership Secondary School gathered around the freshly installed “bear hair snare.” Photo by: Nathaniel Glickman. Just over a week ago, we had the absolute privilege to host nearly 50 students from WŚANÉC Leadership Secondary School. These high school students participate in the Salish Sea Emerging Stewards (SSES) programme – […]

An aerial view of mountain goat habitat with a small white mountain goat that blends in well with crumbling white rock and green moss all around.

Searching for sentinels at the top of the world

A mountain goat tucked away in the rocks in Kitasoo/Xai’xais territory. Photo: Kim Poole. White on white is hard to see. It is especially difficult when what’s white is a mountain goat tucked into the nooks and crannies at the top of a mountain. These elusive animals cling to the windswept peaks of the coastal […]

Today in International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day. February 11th likewise celebrated women – in particular, Women and Girls in the Sciences. As a woman in the sciences – in metaphorical halls previously dominated by male counterparts and now buzzing with inspiring female / femme mentors and colleagues – today is a day to reflect and celebrate. It […]

A gif of a creek with clear water surrounded by orange fallen leaves. The gif shows splashing as a salmon swims upstream. The back of a child's head watching the salmon swim is in the lower right hand corner.

Discussion with a dataset

Like many of you, I am always pleased to go out and observe nature and wildlife. As a child, I had the opportunity to grow up with the forest at the end of my backyard, and every summer our family spent weeks up North at our fishing cabin. These experiences forged my decision to become […]

2018 Kitasoo/Xai’xais biocultural survey crew including Vern Brown, Santana Edgar, Stephen Neasloss, Sarein Basi-Primeau, Chantal Pronteau, Rosie Child, Sam Harrison, Mitch Robinson, Johnny May and Andra Forney. Everyone is posing in the lush green rainforest. The background is full of deer ferns, cedar and spruce trees and moss.

Field dreams

Above image: 2018 Kitasoo/Xai’xais biocultural survey crew including Vern Brown, Santana Edgar, Stephen Neasloss, Sarein Basi-Primeau, Chantal Pronteau, Rosie Child, Sam Harrison, Mitch Robinson, Johnny May, Christina Service, and Andra Forney Maybe it’s the short days and cold weather, but I am missing the field season. Especially all of the people we are fortunate to work […]

Microwell with capsules of bear hair

From field to lab – preparing 2018 bear hair for stable isotope analysis

Above image: The prepared samples (tin capsules filled with ~3mm of hair) ready to be sent for analysis. Each sample represents hair from an individual bear. It’s that time of year again. The bear hair samples collected during the 2018 grizzly and black bear monitoring season with our Coast First Nation partners have safely made […]