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Winter 2013

Newsletter Archive


Staff Profile: Tracy Lee

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Senior Project Manager

I have worked at Miistakis for so long that I've lost track of the number of years. During my very long tenure at Miistakis I married, had a child who is now eleven, completed an MSc, bought a house, sold a house, bought a really ugly old house, renovated it into a beautiful house and started a foundation with my husband that focuses on poverty relief in Uganda, my husband's home country. Miistakis has been a constant in my life. I have had the pleasure of being a part of, and witnessing the evolution of, Miistakis over the years into what can only be described as the best place to work. I have given it this title because we do a lot of interesting research and contribute to the goal of maintaining healthy ecosystems (something all humans and wildlife benefit from) but also because of the people that work at Miistakis, who are all really funny and smart. And like me, staff do not seem to leave Miistakis. We might have to start implementing staff term limits :)

In my early years I was lucky to spend a number of years in Uganda, East Africa where I worked on a chimpanzee ecotourism project. Here I quickly learned the value of local knowledge, as the local guides schooled me on the wonders of tropical rainforest ecology and the behaviours of our closest cousin- the chimpanzee. Although my work at Miistakis is very diverse, I have always had an appreciation for how local knowledge and experiential learning can contribute to the understanding of a conservation problem and lead to the development of better solutions. One of my favourite Miistakis projects involved identifying high collision zones along a busy transportation corridor through data collected by Road Watch in the Pass, a program that enables citizens to enter their observations of wildlife along Highway 3 into an on-line mapping tool (developed by Ken, Miistakis Programmer). This program opened the door to the development of many new opportunities for me and I have had the privilege of working with so many great people, from the ranching community in SW Alberta who monitor carnivores and human interactions to a new relationship with the Crown Roundtable to explore the role of ecosystem services programming in the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem.