Fall 2018

Newsletter Archive


Volunteer Profile: Sara Jordan-McLachlan

article image

I am a born and raised Calgarian and from a young age I can remember having a passion for wildlife. I remember attending "zoo school" as a toddler and looking for frogs in the wetlands that used to be near my home growing up. I was always fascinated by wildlife from insects to elephants so it made sense that I should pursue zoology in University. Despite a growing love of all things wild throughout university, cats have kind of always been my number one love so the opportunity to work on the East Slopes Cougar Study following my graduation was a dream come true. Since then I have been fortunate to work with a variety of species including turtles in Costa Rica, grizzly bears in Banff, Cascade red foxes in Washington and a great variety of animals with wildlife rehabilitation in Calgary. In 2014 I took a break to start my own family and now have a 4 year old son, Leo and 2 year old daughter, Violet.

All of projects I have had the opportunity to work on have helped guide a curiosity for how whole ecosystems work, from plant and insect interactions all the way up to bird and mammal life cycles. I have become particularly fascinated with how species adapt to survive in an ever increasingly human dominated landscape. In 2017 when I heard about a project in the City of Calgary where cameras were being set up in parks to see what wildlife is here I knew I had to get involved. I was fortunate to begin volunteering on the Calgary Captured project run by the City of Calgary and the Miistakis Institute in September of 2017 and soon after was offered a contracting position on the project. My role is to go through thousands of photos captured from the 63 cameras dispersed throughout Calgary's parks and process photos of humans before the remaining photos go onto a public database called Zooniverse for citizen scientists all over the world to classify. I have gotten to see some incredible photos including moose, beavers, bobcats and a cougar! While working on Calgary Captured I learned about Call of the Wetland and was excited to get involved. I have always loved amphibians and I thought this would be a great opportunity for my children as well. My whole family enjoyed volunteering our time to go out to wetlands this past season in search of frogs and salamanders. It has been a great introduction to wetlands for my kids and my son particularly enjoyed catching snails! We can't wait for next spring already!