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Spring 2013

Newsletter Archive


Staff Profile - Danah Duke

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Danah Duke, Executive Director

My love of western skies, alpine flowers, prairie grasslands and mountains didn't start until I packed up my car 19 years ago and left Ontario for what I thought was to be a short fun-filled summer in Banff. While I did have a fun-filled summer in Banff, I also embarked on a journey that continues today. As a child I had been enamored with wolves and one of my biggest reasons for heading west was to explore any opportunities to work on Banff's renowned wolf research project that I had read about in Canadian Geographic. As luck would have it, I was fortunate enough to spend the next 4 years researching wolves in Banff.

My early days tracking wolves around the backcountry exposed me to the most challenging issue that wolves faced: dealing with people. Understanding this complex relationship between humans and wildlife has been the foundation of my continual quest to explore how humans and wildlife can coexist and share our landscapes. This is one of conservation's fundamental challenges and one that my work at Miistakis allows me to ponder every day, including how we design and build safer and more wildlife friendly transportation corridors, how we engage citizens in conservation issues, and how we ensure our provincial environmental policies and regulations will ensure Alberta's treasured wildlife and landscapes are here for my kids to enjoy.

I have now been Executive Director at Miistakis for 12 years and continue to love my job and thrive in the diversity and challenges thrown at me each day. My coworkers are the most dedicated, hard-working and funny people I know and our time spent trying to solve complicated conservation challenges continue to inspire me every day. I have come to call the west my home, one that I share with my husband and two young girls. We spend our time exploring the foothills and mountains, and camping in our '73 Trillium trailer.