Nova Scotia Nature Trust
- Researched priority conservation sites in the province (old growth forests, coastal plain flora habitat, habitat of rare floodplain and gypsum-dependent flora, piping plover nesting beaches), identified and contacted landowners of those sites, and carried out field visits;
- Prepared educational materials for landowners, including letters, newsletters, fact sheets (including one about old growth forests in NS), and posters;
- Maintained a database and records of all landowners contacted;
- Arranged guided walks and media coverage of landowner stewardship program;
- Conducted ecological site assessments of corporate- and privately-owned properties;
- Prepared field reports and proposals for protection of significant areas;
- Prepared a report on working forest conservation easements;
- Prepared funding proposals and end-of-term project reports to funders; and,
- Prepared a lengthy technical report based on field studies of sixteen eastern shore islands and one headland along the eastern shore of Nova Scotia. Surveys were carried out mostly by sea kayak. Rare plant surveys concentrated on low biomass habitats with rare plants (e.g. pebble and cobble beaches, horizontally fractured bedrock, salt marshes and bogs). Bird species occurrence was recorded as well as incidental observations of other wildlife species, including scat, tracks, latrines, trails and sightings.
Bras d’Or Preservation Nature Trust
- Conducted field studies, including a forest and wildlife restoration plan for the McKinnon’s Brook Nature Reserve in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.
Pipeline Corridor Review
Researched and co-wrote a report for Ecology Action Centre on the potential ecological impacts of the proposed corridors for the Sable gas pipeline through Nova Scotia. Documented the routing of the Sable gas pipeline through significant old and unique forests, sites of ecological significance and nature reserves. The report was submitted to the Sable Offshore Energy Panel. Participated in the hearings as an expert witness and cross-examined the proponents of the gas pipeline.
Conducted wildlife research in a variety of habitats:
Hired by Arcadis to take part in a PCB contamination study in the Housatonic River watershed near Lenox, Massachusetts. Searched for and monitored robin nests and checked kingfisher burrows.
Worked for the Quebec Labrador Foundation on a project to restore a gannet colony on an offshore island in the Mingan Archipelago, Québec. Lived solo on Île aux Perroquets conducting gannet observations and daily bird counts. Decoys and a sound system were set up to attract gannets to the island. Reported rare birds to Parks Canada, mapped puffin, razorbill and guillemot nests, gave guided tours, cultivated good community relations and local support for the project, and documented the findings. This project was written up in a chapter of the book Wild Science.
Worked for Bird Studies Canada in remote field camps in the boreal forests of northern New Brunswick, setting up mist nets, and assisting with the banding of high elevation landbirds and the recapturing of Bicknell’s thrushes outfitted with geo-locators. The project was set up to research the migratory routes of the increasingly rare Bicknell’s thrushes (considered a species at risk by COSEWIC).
Other Conservation Work
Nova Scotia Department of the Environment
Worked as a park planner for the Protected Areas Branch of the Nova Scotia Department of Environment, with a focus on leading private land conservation initiatives within and adjacent to Wilderness Areas. This involved:
- Preparation of Cabinet documents and briefing notes;
- Preparation of an Atlas of Sites of Ecological Significance (Intro and Subsections), including mapping of sites with GIS software;
- Preparation of two brochures – one on Nature Reserves and the other Private Land Conservation;
- Provision of in-depth comments on forest harvesting proposals in water supply areas and in areas adjacent to Wilderness Areas;
- Inventory and reconnaissance of candidate Nature Reserves, Wilderness Areas, Wilderness Area in-holdings, and Sites of Ecological Significance; and,
- The creation and maintenance of databases of protected lands in the province.