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 […]

Predator Presence

Predators are the wildlife marmite of our living landscapes, dividing the human populace into lovers and haters of our carnivore companions. In my relatively short scientific career I’ve been drawn to the plight of predators, working on a debilitating gastrointestinal disease in maned and red wolves, a tick-borne pathogen in African wild dogs, and finally, […]

Kid Conservationists and the Value of Outreach

A flourish of waving hands darts across my computer screen as I close my video chat window. The waves goodbye signal the end of my first virtual hangout with Ms. Michael’s fourth grade class. Based near Chicago, IL, the class is as diverse as they are enthusiastic. I smile with a mix of relief and […]

Camping in Wuikinuxv Territory

The sound of laughter comes in through forest, mixed with the smell of barbequing fish. It is a warm June evening. I look up from my gaze to the fire to all the kids running around, and cannot imagine feeling luckier to work (and play) in such a beautiful place. For five years now, the […]

Lunch in the Field

Nearing the end of a long day in the field, we decide to stop for a late lunch. Shelby, one of the extraordinary field interns from Bella Bella, suggests we stop by a nearby beach with a rope-swing attached to a tree: a perfect spot for a quick swim as well. We anchor our mighty […]

Biocultural Stewardship

A large plank of cedar lumber was chiselled and pried from this culturally modified tree in Heiltsuk Territory. The Great Bear Rainforest supports so much more than the much beloved mega fauna of its namesake. These rainforests have also been home to Coastal First Nations people for over 14,000 years. In some cases the forests […]

Wildlife Welfare

Adult grizzly approaches non-invasive hair snag station, leaving us his or her DNA February 14th, 2018 A key value upheld by our lab is employing non-invasive methods of studying wildlife to reduce potential harm to research animals. This ‘wildlife welfare’ ethic is evident during our multiyear bear monitoring research. In collaboration with our Central Coast […]