Envisioning the way forward

At our recent AGM in March 2017, the BVRC said farewell to two board members and welcomed Pamela Wright to the table (see her member profile below). We would like to thank Phil Burton and Laura Guillon for their service and support throughout the years.

The board has worked tirelessly over the past year to create a new BVRC strategic plan. This has been a substantial task and will guide the direction of the Centre for the next 5 years. The BVRC has benefited greatly from strong governance and strategic planning since our inception. We are also fortunate to have a dedicated board who invest significant volunteer time to ensure we have the vision and direction that positions us for success.

As mentioned at the AGM, the BVRC is entering a period of reduced administration. This is reflective of the funding marketplace, which has resulted in a smaller research program. Therefore, the BVRC will continue to adjust operations to align with our funding realities.

We are open for business throughout the summer, so please stop by during office hours to connect or share stories from the field.

—Rick Budhwa, Executive Director

Seeking instructors for a new training course

The Bulkley Valley Research Centre, in collaboration with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, is developing a Vegetation and Soils training course for the Environmental Stewardship Initiative. We are looking for instructors who can provide foundational training in plant identification or soil description. This course will either take place between June 19th-23rd, or June 27th-30th.

If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact the BVRC at info@bvcentre.ca.

Laura Guillon joins the BVRC support team

We are excited to welcome Laura Guillon to the BVRC support personnel team as she takes on the multifaceted role of Administrative Coordinator.

Laura became a member of the BVRC shortly after moving to the Bulkley Valley in 2014. In 2016, she had the opportunity to join the Board of Directors, where she served as Secretary. Laura is now looking forward to developing her new administrative role at the BVRC while the society as a whole puts its new strategic vision into action.

Originally from Prince George, Laura completed her post-secondary education in Vancouver, where she was involved in a number of research projects over the course of her academic and professional career. She is a microbiologist with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Biotechnology and a Master of Science in Interdisciplinary Oncology.

As the Administrative Coordinator of the BVRC, Laura will manage day-to-day operations of the Centre and support researchers through contract administration, health and safety procedures, human resources, office support, and equipment management.

Partner profile: World Wildlife Fund

In December 2016, WWF-Canada and the BVRC convened First Nations, multiple levels of government, and environmental NGOs at a two-day workshop to discuss water sustainability in the Skeena watershed. The workshop was spearheaded by Jeffrey Anderson, WWF-Canada's Senior Manager in the Skeena region, and served to create space for an open dialogue between First Nations and government surrounding components of water sustainability, biodiversity, ecosystem health, and community needs.

Guest speakers presented on topics related to water conservation, the Skeena Knowledge Trust, the importance of conserving environmental flows, legal measures available for First Nations under British Columbia’s Water Sustainability Act (WSA), and ensuring available and accessible public data to empower community-based decision making. “Bringing the main stakeholders in the Skeena region together really identified that water sustainability is not only a shared priority, but also requires a sustainable model for training, financing, and community-based monitoring,” says Anderson.

WWF has been working in the Skeena River Estuary and coastal interface for nearly 15 years, contributing to marine conservation and protection area planning. Over time, at the national and global scales, their work has evolved from protecting particular species and habitats to protecting life on earth—including our own. The mission of the WWF is to secure the future of healthy, thriving ecosystems. They operate within a framework that includes taking a collaborative approach to science-based, solution-oriented, lasting results in order to create community-based conservation solutions both here in Canada and around the globe.

Protecting the wild nature of the Skeena watershed is a shared priority that requires community groups and stakeholders to collaborate and demonstrate to the rest of Canada how maintaining biodiversity, healthy rivers, and resilient watersheds can support community and economic well-being.

Find out more about WWF-Canada's projects and initiatives at wwf.ca.

Member profile: Pamela Wright

Pamela Wright lives and teaches at UNBC and resides near Prince George, but is slowly building a retirement home just outside of Smithers in the Call Lake area, which she retreats to throughout the year. She has been visiting friends and vacationing in the Bulkley Valley for 25 years and sees it as the place she wants to set down permanent roots.

Pamela's work deals with conservation planning and management at a broad provincial or national scale, although some of her work is focused in the Muskwa-Kechika management area and the Peace River Break. She is looking forward to grounding her thinking and conducting place-based work in an area she really cares about. "The Bulkley Valley has such an interesting ecology and dynamic communities. Joining the BVRC will provide me with the opportunity to get to know the landscapes, the people, and the issues more deeply and to contribute to its sustainability," says Pamela.

Her attraction to conservation work began as a child. Pamela grew up in northern Ontario where she spent the summers camping, hiking, canoeing, and fishing in and outside of parks. This early exposure guided her toward conservation work that relates to managing and monitoring for ecological integrity either within park agencies, non-governmental organizations, universities, or in broader natural resource management contexts, such as sustainable forest management in Canada, the US, and internationally.

This year, Pamela was awarded a Wilburforce Foundation Fellowship in Conservation Science. The Fellowship is helping her to build a network of scholars throughout western Canada and the US who are working on related issues. It also involves training and support in a wide range of conservation science topics, including a recent intensive week she spent this past April focusing on communicating science in the media.

In the summer, you can find Pamela and her trusty, four-legged sidekick on a canoe, kayak, or paddleboard (the dog enjoys all three). For fun, she builds tiny houses on wheels, and currently has two on the go in her barn.

BVRC Photography Contest: MACROrganisms

The BVRC's annual photography contest is coming up soon and this year's theme is MACROrganisms. We are looking for creative macro photography of plants or insects as you work and play in the field.

This year's winner will receive a gift card from a local retailer, as well as a free 1-year BVRC membership (worth $50). The submission deadline is September 15, 2017.

Stay tuned over the summer for our official call for submissions.

Journal of Ecosystems and Management (JEM): Discussion Papers

The Journal of Ecosystems and Management (JEM) has just published two new discussion papers:

JEM is an open-source journal, freely available to the public, that offers peer-reviewed scientific articles covering natural resource and ecosystem management issues relevant to British Columbia.

NRTG's upcoming course offerings

Peruse the NRTG course schedule for a list of upcoming courses and training opportunities.

New NRTG Certificate Programs include:

  • Cultural Resource Monitor (CRM)
  • Environmental Inspector
  • Forestry Field Skills
  • RISC Archaeology & CMT Inventory Training

Note: If you are interested in having NRTG offer training programs to your organization, contact them at 250-323-2599, or info@nrtraininggroup.com.

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