Of Meerkats and Killer Whales

For animal species that form social groups, living together can have a strong effect on individuals’ chances of survival and reproduction, and ultimately on how population sizes change over time. New work, led by Dr. Andrew Bateman of the Raincoast Lab, and involving a team of researchers from Canada, the UK, and Switzerland, combines theory […]

We’re Hiring!

Job Posting: Lab Manager Raincoast Applied Conservation Science Lab Department of Geography – University of Victoria The Lab Manager will join a productive, collegial team of applied conservation scholars to coordinate research and lab logistics. The position is varied and dynamic, requiring academic, administrative, & technical tasks. Duties include: Preparing samples for isotope analysis, ensuring […]

British Columbia’s wildlife model reform

As applied conservation scientists, we often work on regional issues. But we also try reach other scientists and policy makers more globally.  To this end, we recently wrote about the opportunity for British Columbia to reform its wildlife management approach.  The letter appeared in the journal Science.  You can read it here.

To Cover Ground

The mantra of this field season for the Kitasoo/Xai’xais Cultural Feature Inventory team is to cover ground. We have spent the last 5 weeks conducting cultural feature surveys throughout Kitasoo/Xai’xais Territory, tacking on the kilometers each day. Our all-star crew is made up of Vernon Brown (project co-lead), Stephen Neasloss, Santana Edgar, Chantal Pronteau, Sarein […]

Thinking Big with Open Access data

Studying a wide-ranging and highly-mobile mammal like the grizzly bear means thinking big. To address questions that are relevant for individual bears or populations over space and time, our research group has to seek out comprehensive datasets that span thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of square kilometres and often over many decades. These data […]

Coastal Carnivores of the Great Bear Rainforest

Standing in silence, eyes glued to the creek, we wait. Marven Robinson, a Coastal Guardian Watchman, Ecotour Operator, Knowledge Holder and member of the Gitga’at Nation Bear Monitoring Project with Raincoast and UVic in Gitga’at Territory, lets out an impressive howl. We listen for a response, but, nothing. Perhaps the nearby landslide, one of many […]

Fish Bait Finale

  It was bitter-sweet to pour fish oil bait for the final time of the Spring 2018 Raincoast Conservation Foundation / Nuxalk Bear Study. I have grown rather fond of the nostalgia associated with whiffs of the fishy scent, which will soon lay dormant for another year. We use the non-reward bait to lure bears […]

First days in a foreign land

Now that the first round of field work is complete on the Heiltsuk bear project I’m finding it hard to put into words what it’s been like.  Last night around a crowded dinner table a long-time friend of Raincoast, colleague and mentor – Chester Starr – asked me “How are you liking my country?”. I […]

As spring comes knocking, field work preparations are underway!

With the start of spring comes a new season of field work for the ACS lab. This means a lot of preparation in the weeks leading up to May, from purchasing and packing field equipment, to detailed plans and schedules. It’s a busy time, but one that carries a certain excitement. The lab is abuzz […]

Computer Vision and Conservation Science

Artificial intelligence, computer vision, machine learning, shape predictors, GPUs, face recognition….not usually terms you hear within a lab dedicated to conservation science! However, these technological advances are starting to become of interest to scientists outside the field of computer science. ‘Conservation technology’ is a rapidly emerging field which bridges the gap between hardware/software development, and […]