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Summer 2014

Newsletter Archive


Staff Profile: Rachelle Haddock's Pick3

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With the intent of sharing more about ourselves with our readers, we created a bank of potential staff profile questions. Each staff member gets to pick 3 of these questions to craft their staff profile.

A Picture Says a Thousand Words - provide a photo and tell the story behind it/how it inspires you to do the work you do/etc.

I took this picture during a trip to Central America in 2006, while flying over Nicaragua from Managua to the Corn Islands. The scene on the landscape demonstrated how boundaries (whether physical, political or philosophical) can both shape and reflect how our resources are managed. It also speaks to the opportunity to learn from and collaborate with others who are facing shared challenges on similar landscapes. This is particularly relevant to my work at Miistakis on the use of beavers as a watershed stewardship tool. The use of beavers for watershed stewardship in Alberta is in its nascent stages however land managers in the United States have been using beavers for this purpose for many years. A handful of states have even passed legislation mandating the use of beavers for improving water storage. We have much to learn from our American neighbors on this topic. On that note, I am pleased to report that we have entered into a partnership with the Clark Fork Coalition (a Montana-based non-profit organization) and Cows and Fish to develop a workshop centered on the use of beavers as a climate change adaptation tool in the Crown of the Continent. The first offering of this replicable workshop will be held in Butte, Montana on October 15.

What led you to working in conservation and/or the non-profit sector?

My path to working in the conservation sector began in the sixth grade when I wrote a report about the giant panda. Through my research I learned that pandas were endangered and felt compelled to do something about it. With the support of my parents, I began raising money by the typical means available to kids (e.g., mowing lawns, babysitting, collecting bottles) and made a donation to the World Wildlife Fund. For those readers who remember Owl Magazine, I was awarded a "Hoot Club Award" for my efforts. Although I received this recognition during elementary school, the award was presented during my first year in our town's high school which housed grades seven through twelve. As a shy eleven year-old, I wanted to crawl under the bleachers, never to emerge again, when our vice-principal called me up to the front of the gymnasium to accept my Hoot Club Award in front of all the "big kids". Despite a few deviations (and the occasional urge to hide under the bleachers), my path in life has pretty much involved conservation in some capacity ever since. Sharing this story reminds me of the importance of environmental literacy/education for young people. And, it reminds me to thank the teachers whom inspired and encouraged me along the way.

What book(s) are you reading right now?

I just finished reading The Emperor of Paris by C.S. Richardson which came highly recommended by both my brother-in-law and sister. I was not disappointed. The Emperor of Paris is a love story set in Paris around the time of the First World War, centred on the interweaving lives of a cast of characters. The book has nothing to do with conservation however I feel it can inform how we tell stories about conservation. I was struck by the author's efficient and elegant use of prose to create a compelling story. If you are looking for guidance in this vein, I would also recommend William Zinsser's On Writing Well. I read this style guide as a form of "positive" procrastination while writing my thesis and I find myself continually referring back to its contents.