Larissa Simulik Photo: Samuel Perfect
This spring and summer, Bird Studies Canada’s seasonal staff are on the ground executing valuable research and conservation projects. These positions provide opportunities for staff to develop specific skills and experience, and advance their careers in bird and conservation-related fields. Read on to discover the important work they are doing across the country.
In British Columbia, Marisa Bischoff is working as a Conservation Assistant for the Fraser River Important Bird and Biodiversity Area. Her responsibilities will include supporting Bird Studies Canada’s activities at the busy International Ornithological Congress and Vancouver International Bird Festival this August.
Five seasonal staff are currently in the field gathering data for the Saskatchewan Breeding Bird Atlas.
In Ontario, two field technicians are working on the Forest Birds at Risk Program. Jacob Lachapelle is looking for Louisiana Waterthrushes, Acadian Flycatchers, Prothonotary Warblers, and Cerulean Warblers in southwestern Ontario. Larissa Simulik is doing Cerulean Warbler point counts and habitat measurements in the new Frontenac Forests Important Bird and Biodiversity Area. You can get the inside scoop about Larissa below!
Two students are working for the Piping Plover Conservation Program in the Atlantic region. Brenna Martell, from St. Francis Xavier University, is our Coastal Stewardship Biologist. She is coordinating Piping Plover monitoring, protection, and stewardship activities on beaches on the northern mainland of Nova Scotia and on Cape Breton Island. Benn Himmelman, from Acadia University, is our Coastal Stewardship Assistant. He’s coordinating community engagement activities focussed on Piping Plovers and beach stewardship, and also helping with plover monitoring and protection on beaches in southwestern Nova Scotia.
Also in the Atlantic region, Remi Torrenta and Saundra LeClair are searching northern New Brunswick’s high-elevation forests for the elusive Bicknell’s Thrush, and Laura Achenbach is surveying wetlands for the Maritimes Marsh Monitoring Program in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and on Prince Edward Island. Dalhousie University students Kyle d’Entremont and Ali Gladwell will be monitoring Leach’s Storm-Petrels on Kent Island in the Bay of Fundy.
Meet one of our seasonal staff: Larissa Simulik!
Larissa graduated from Dalhousie University in 2016 with a B.Sc. (Honours) in Biology and a minor in Statistics. Larissa has joined Bird Studies Canada this year as an Ontario Forest Birds at Risk Technician. She’s conducting surveys for four species at risk: Louisiana Waterthrush, Acadian Flycatcher, Cerulean Warbler, and Prothonotary Warbler. So far, her favourite parts of the job are: “spending a lot of time in some of the most picturesque areas of Ontario and getting a chance to see some really cool birds. Also watching Louisiana Waterthrushes is a lot of fun … They move their tails from side-to-side so it looks like they are groovin’ out to some music only they can hear.” Larissa’s long-term career goal is to work as an avian or wildlife biologist.
Bird Studies Canada’s seasonal positions are made possible with generous support from: EcoCanada, the Government of Canada (Canada Summer Jobs and the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk), the Government of Ontario, the New Brunswick Wildlife Trust Fund, the Nova Scotia Student Summer Skills Incentive Program, Orano Canada, the PEI Wildlife Conservation Fund, the Saskatchewan Fish & Wildlife Development Fund, Tolko Industries, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Weyerhaeuser.