Summer 2019

Newsletter Archive


Mount Royal University Summer Intern: Rachel Pizante

article image

Although I've always loved nature, it took me until my first year at Mount Royal University to realize I had a passion for ecology and conservation. I was extremely lucky and happened to take the second first-year biology course (which focuses on biodiversity and ecology) with Dr. Dorothy Hill who inspired me and has been helping me to turn my passion into a career. In October 2017, Dr. Hill encouraged me to begin volunteering at Miistakis with Calgary Captured by sorting images collected from the cameras. In Summer 2018 I also began volunteering with Call of the Wetland. Last semester, I was able to dive in deeper and completed an independent project with both Dr. Hill and Miistakis to support Calgary Captured. My project focused on examining and quantifying the difference in efficacy between two camera models used during Calgary Captured so the data collected by both camera models could be used during analysis. Although I learned a lot about wildlife cameras, the biggest lessons I learned during my project were about scientific research, conservation, and how to overcome challenges associated with the two.

This summer, my time volunteering and working with Miistakis has turned into a summer internship. While I am still working with Calgary Captured, my focus is on Call of the Wetland and surveying as many wetlands as possible. I will also be completing a research poster on Call of the Wetland that will be displayed at MRU's Research and Scholarship days and I am helping to prepare data to create an amphibian occupancy model.

During my time with Miistakis, I have learned so much about the field of conservation. I am extremely grateful to Miistakis for giving me so much opportunity to get involved with conservation and research as an undergraduate and I can't wait to see what the future will hold.