Summer 2019

Newsletter Archive


University of New Brunswick Summer Intern: Emily Blocksom

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I grew up on Galiano, a tiny island in the Salish Sea. The dynamic community and delicate ecosystem there provided me with a unique upbringing that drives my longstanding passion for environmental activism. I spent my childhood roaming the beaches and exploring the forests. After leaving my island home I moved to Victoria where I became a scuba diving instructor. Since then, I have been fortunate to visit many countries around the world and complete my undergraduate degree in geography at the University of Calgary. I am now doing my masters at the University of New Brunswick in Environmental Management.

This summer I am working with the Miistakis Institute to complete my thesis project. The objective of my project is to develop a restoration framework and management strategy for amphibian species in Calgary's urban wetlands. The focus will be on the current state of the wetlands and the best way to move forward, acknowledging that the vast majority of wetlands within the city have been lost, and 3 of 6 species of amphibians have disappeared from within the city limits. I will be using 2 years of data gathered by the Miistakis Institute's Call of the Wetland Program, as well as looking at historical practices that have ultimately led us to our current position. An inventory of indicators will be created to evaluate and report on the status of wetland health, as the initial step in the restoration process. The overarching goal for the report is that it will be used as a tool for productive conversation between restoration ecologists and policy makers regarding amphibian restoration in Calgary's wetlands. I am grateful and excited to be working with the Miistakis Institute this summer!