Are you looking for opportunities to build skills in data management, project management, and in the field? Workshops and volunteering are a wonderful avenue to do this! The Faculty of Environment (SFU) is hosting a workshop on September 22nd to guide conservation professionals and restoration practitioners in using the Open Source process to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of collaborative efforts of conservation management. To find out more and to register for the event, click here. In addition, the SFU Research Commons offers a variety of workshops to help you build skills in data management, GIS, and scientific writing. Alternatively, check out the College of Applied Biology website for upcoming certification courses to build your repertoire of qualifications in the field. Lastly, don’t forget about all the great skill-building opportunities available through your local ecological society, such as the Stanley Park Ecological Society (SPES).
As we’ve learned throughout the year, timely monitoring paired with good science is key to developing a baseline of site conditions, and gauging success following restoration. We spent the first few weeks of May learning how to design and implement survey methods in terrestrial and aquatic environments. The first week, focused on terrestrial surveys, included small mammal trapping, radio telemetry, amphibian surveys, as well as bird and vegetation surveys. The highlight of the week was certainly trapping grey voles and deer mice in the old growth and secondary growth at Mission Tree Farm. Fish sampling and ID’ing, in situ water quality analysis, and the Fish Habitat Assessment Procedures (FHAP) were explored during the second week (aquatic). In addition to survey methods, we had our hand at log drilling and cabling. This is a restoration technique in which large woody debris is installed into a river to increase stream complexity for fish. Overall, I’d say those two weeks were an engaging, fun-filled, and great way to end year one of the program!
With the first cohort of the Masters of Science in ER having graduated in the past few weeks, many of them have embarked on the search for a career position. This begs the question “What does a career in ER look like?”. Well, here is a wonderful example of the organizations and responsibilities you’re likely to encounter.
With the support from Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation, Jane Chow is currently monitoring the effect of hand removal and mowing on the regrowth of Himalayan blackberry, an invasive species in the lower mainland. Her capstone project will determine which method is most effective in blackberry removal over one growing season. Jane began her fieldwork in March 2017 with the support of many volunteers to assist with manual removal. She will continue to monitor her experiments until the end of the growing season (i.e., October 2017). BCIT/SFU Supervisor: Scott Harrison
On Tuesday, March 7th a small group of us, Brenley, Nicole, Donnah and Caroline, went to the Fraser River Discovery Centre (FRDC) to attend the first of the Fraser River Dialogues. The discussion was led by Dr. Brian Riddell, President and CEO of the Pacific Salmon Foundation, and the FRDC Executive Director. They spent the evening discussing the current state of the Fraser and Pacific salmon and some of the issues associated with salmon in the Fraser today. Many industry partners were present and interested to hear about the ongoing efforts surrounding salmon research and what their industry can do to help ensure they aren’t contributing to the overall issue of salmon decline. The great part about this dialogue series is the open floor questions to get the audience involved and broaden the range of the discussion.
Dr. Riddell was very positive towards the current condition of the Fraser and stated that it isn’t in as bad of a condition as people make it out to be. However, he pointed that the cause of salmon numbers is still an unanswered question and that we must act quickly to find the leading causes before the populations hit a place where they may never be able to recover.
We had a few moments following the discussion to speak with Brian and he was excited to learn about our program. It was great to hear that where we are headed following graduation there is plenty of restoration work! Especially involved with estuaries, rivers and salmon. Our group of young restorationists are the next generation that can help to really make a difference by restoring degraded systems associated with such global issues as declining salmon populations.
Here’s a video from the ECO 622 Project Management and Policy course last spring when the second year cohort worked with Port Metro Vancouver to do some supplemental planting at a tidal marsh habitat bank site just north of the Alex Fraser Bridge.
Logan Lake is a small mining community located just north of Merritt in British Columbia, Canada. This video show the joint BCIT-Logan Lake efforts to restoring wetlands to disturbed areas around the lake. Several BCIT/SFU Ecological Restoration MSc students and the BCIT ER undergrad class participated in a 7-day wetland construction course in September 2016 at Logan Lake led by wetland construction expert Tom Biebighauser. Tom is a wildlife biologist and wetland ecologist who has created more than 1800 wetlands across the US and western Canada.
Rebecca and her crew did a 6 day field program on Sidney Spit researching nighthawk habitat to gather important details for her capstone project. (Image credit: Rebecca Tranmer)