Alberta Conservation Association (ACA), Chair in Fisheries & Wildlife and Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta
Mark Boyce’s position is endowed by the Alberta Conservation Association, which manages funds from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses in Alberta. Research in his lab focuses on projects of interest to Alberta hunters and anglers. He has a large laboratory with students and postdocs conducting research on black bears, grizzly bears, cougars, marten, otters, mink, muskrats, wolves, elk, caribou, mule deer, ring-necked pheasants and sage grouse. These projects are designed to help improve the management of wildlife resources in Alberta.
Although the ACA is the main funding agency, additional sponsors for these projects come from many sources including: Alberta Ingenuity, Alberta Pacific, Alberta Professional Outfitters Society, Alberta Sustainable Resource Development, Boone and Crockett Club, Canadian Foundation for Innovation, Ducks Unlimited, Foothills Model Forest, National Geographic Society, NSERC, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Safari Club International, Wilburforce Foundation, Camp Fire Club and Wildlife Habitat Canada.
Wildlife conservation and management depends on habitat preservation and remediation. Therefore, a number of Boyce’s students are studying habitat models that can be used to anticipate the consequences of industrial development in Alberta. Roads, oil and gas pipelines, seismic lines and other linear features influence wildlife by increasing human access and by displacing animals from habitats.
In addition to the Elk Study, Boyce’s team has developed a way to anticipate how habitat alteration will negatively affect (to extinction) at-risk species including sage grouse, caribou, and grizzly bears. The team also researches the role of predator-prey interactions in the management of wildlife populations and has demonstrated that the presence of wolves shape movement and habitat-selection patterns by elk. They have also developed models for optimal harvest policies to ensure sustainable harvesting strategies for wildlife populations.
Shell Senior Environmental PlannerRyan Smith’s role with Shell involved championing the minimization of impacts to the environment in the planning of development and operations across business units. Ryan was initialled devoted to the Foothills asset which includes the Waterton field, but has expanded out into Shell’s Heavy Oil assets. Ryan is based out of Shell’s Calgary office but spends time both professionally and recreationally in southwestern Alberta.
Ryan’s previous roles were as an environmental consultant bringing an integrated background in the fields of archaeology, earth sciences, and geography. Ryan has extensive experience liaising with provincial and federal regulatory bodies, including Alberta Fish and Wildlife, Alberta Environment & Parks, Alberta Culture (AC), Aboriginal Affairs & Northern Development (AANDC), Indian Oil and Gas Canada (IOGC), NavWaters under Transport Canada, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) for oil and gas and large-scale infrastructure and transportation projects. Ryan has provided his expertise on a variety of environmental projects in Alberta, including environmental permitting and licensing, Phase I environmental site assessments, environmental impact assessments, industrial applications, environmental audits, species-at-risk screenings, biophysical impact assessments, and Historical Resources Act clearances.
Professor, University of Calgary, Faculty of Environmental Design
I am an Associate Professor with the Faculties of Environmental Design and Veterinary Medicine (Joint appointment), University of Calgary. The Postdoctoral fellows, and the PhD and Master students in my lab have a strong focus on landscape ecology, genetics and conservation biology. Recently, with some students (e.g. Carly in this project) I am also focusing on human dimensions in wildlife management issues. With other students, I am studying wildlife movements and their reaction to people using multi-agent models. I participate in a number of projects with hundreds of GPS collars deployed on elk, caribou, moose, wolves and other wildlife species throughout the Rocky Mountains and Foothills regions of Canada. All such projects are focused on impact assessment, mainly of forestry and oil and gas development. I also act as a consultant for the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (to protect livestock from wolves).
Shell Community Affairs Coordinator, Waterton Gas Plant
Rod Sinclair is an avid outdoorsman and photographer who has images in various publications such as Mule Deer Foundation, Muley Crazy, Western Hunter, Alberta Venture, Rocky Mt Elk Foundation and National Geographic. His photography skills are used to capture field images of the captures and area the study is taking place in.
Rod was born on a ranch in Southern Saskatchewan and moved to Alberta shortly after where he grew up on various ranches that his family worked on near Edmonton, Longview and Pincher Creek Alberta. Eventually he ended up employed with Shell Canada where he has worked for over 30 years now at the Waterton Complex in Southwestern Alberta. He is the current Community Affairs Coordinator for the Waterton region and enjoys his job working in the community to build and sustain relationships with stakeholders and neighbours along with finding better ways for industry and people to coexist with the environment in a effective, safe and sustainable manner.