Ian Gazely was already a hard-working field biologist when he won the Robert Goddard Memorial scholarship from the ACTWS in 2005 for his studies at Lethbridge College.
In 2000 he was a volunteer leader on a Roosevelt Elk reintroduction program, and when he successfully completed his program at Lethbridge College, he pursued his BSc while working as a consultant for Traditional Knowledge and Land Use assessments.
Ever a student, Ian is now enrolled in an MSc program at Lethbridge University. He continues to work on elk, and now goats, in British Columbia. The Goddard scholarship was a great motivator, says Ian, however it looks to us as if he needs little motivating. Keep up the great work Ian.
photo: Ian Gazely
Kayla Burak (nee Balderson) was a promising undergrad in 2010 when she was awarded the Ian Ross Memorial Scholarship by the ACTWS. She has fulfilled that promise.
With our support, she completed her Env. Cons. degree at U Alberta and followed it up with an MSc at U Regina studying Sage Grouse habitat selection. Her work on the prairies continued at the Prairie Conservation Action Plan that she managed for two and a half years.
Now Kayla is the Engagement Manager at the Nature Conservancy of Canada in Regina. There, she’s flexing her education muscles as the Engagement Manager, working with Indigenous youth and volunteers. We’re glad to have contributed, in a small way, to your achievements Kayla.
photo: Kayla Burak
We’ve noticed that many of our scholarship recipients travel the world to continue their careers. This is fantastic. We’re happy when the William Wishart award becomes a springboard to wildlife biology around the world.
Dr. Bogdan Cristescu graduated from the University of Alberta in 2013. But it was 4 years before this that the ACTWS recognized Bogdan’s exceptional work. He was awarded the Wishart graduate scholarship at our 2009 conference. This recognition has helped pave a career path that has crossed frontiers.
As a post-doc, Bogdan moved to Cape Town, South Africa to study predator conflicts with ranched cattle. And now he is at the University of California, Santa Cruz and studies mule deer / cougar interactions. We know the life of committed post-docs; Bogdan likely has more moves ahead of him and new lands to explore.
photo: Bogdan Cristescu
Nate Webb has come a long way to return home. In 2006 , his studies on wolves and elk drew the Chapter’s attention for their clarity and originality. Nate was that year’s William Wishart Graduate Student Scholarship winner.
After his PhD, Nate joined the Alberta Ministry of Environment and Parks where he was their carnivore specialist. But a move home, to his native Maine, was always on his mind. He did go home, and joined the Maine Department of Fish & Wildlife. They too recognized Nate’s special abilities, and today he directs the Wildlife Division of Maine F&W.
Nate is another great example of how our early support for inspiring young scientists is influencing wildlife management around the world.
Family Nature Night this year was a another great event that the ACTWS attended. Student director, Nikki Paskar fascinated a young audience with her presentation on “superbirds” and led an activity on how scientists survey birds.
Parents and kids learned that ACTWS members are very active in bird recovery programs in Alberta, like the peregrine falcon and burrowing owl. Nikki was clearly a crowd favourite; and the kids told her so. Perhaps she’s inspired some of Edmonton’s youth to pursue a career in wildlife management.
photos: Nikki Paskar