A gentle man & scholar – Dr. Michael Soulé

Our senior mentor, Paul Paquet, texted this morning to let me know that MichaelSoulé had died.  Earlier this week, Paul had sent an email entitled, ‘Michael Soulé’s Last Stand’. I opened it with a heavy heart, knowing Michael had been battling advanced dementia.  Family members were soliciting comments from people to read aloud to Michael. […]

Black Lives Matter

As Conservation Scientists in the Applied Conservation Science Lab, we acknowledge the pervasive racial and socioeconomic disparities and systems of oppression that have and continue to harm Black people (and Indigenous peoples and POC). We recognize that there is no successful conservation, no empowered science, no justice anywhere while injustice prevails.  We also understand that, […]

This image is to backdrop what Melanie's work from home looks like during the Covid-19 crisis.

Working from home… during a pandemic

Melanie displays, ‘Bears on computer screens, for when we can’t see them in the field’ while working from home during the Covid-19 crisis. As we begin to adapt towards physical distancing measures in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, we are faced with not only the emotional challenge of digesting what the world is experiencing, […]

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 […]