Life Sciences tutor Kim Dawe will present Stories from the Squamish Estuary: turning monthly bird surveys into assessments of change.
Bird species, particularly song birds, are undergoing unprecedented declines in North America, and globally, due to habitat loss and degradation, climate change, and human factors (e.g., cats and windows!). The Squamish Estuary has a history of human disturbance but has also been a focus of restoration efforts since 2001 and may provide a safe haven among stressors elsewhere. The Squamish Environment Society has collected over 300 months of data, from 20 sites in the Estuary, documenting the abundance of more than 235 bird species. This dataset presents an opportunity to understand how and why migratory and resident birds have changed in abundance over time. This talk will provide the first of many bird stories to be disentangled from this citizen science dataset.
The Quest Lecture series takes place on the second Wednesday of each month.
About the speaker
Kim is driven to understand how the combined effects of climate change and land use impact wildlife species, how those impacts lead to changes across ecosystems, and how humans manage and conserve wildlife populations under such uncertainty and change.
While two graduate degrees taught her a deeper understanding of ecological processes, she also gained a clearer picture of how human activity interacts with wildlife on the landscape during three years of environmental consulting. This real world perspective solidified her desire to affect positive change, while changing her perception on how that might happen.
Kim is excited to explore the biodiversity of British Columbia with her students. Her tool box contains skills with geographic information systems, the R statistical package, population genetics, landscape ecology, spatial modelling, and field survey techniques for large and small mammals and their habitat. She is enthusiastic about sharing her knowledge and gaining insights from her students, equally.
Kim can most often be found climbing the amazing rock around Squamish but also takes time to hike, bike, ski, and scramble, or otherwise enjoy the wonderful outdoors. A regular yoga practice keeps her inside from time to time.