In June 2021, I joined Dallas Smith, president of Nanwakolas Council, in Da’naxda’xw Awaetlala territory to discuss developments of the BearID Project – our collaborative project that uses machine learning and photo-ID to develop new techniques for bear research and monitoring. This was being filmed for a climate change-focused episode of CBC’s The Nature of Things ‘Ice and Fire: Tracking Canada’s Climate Crisis’, which aired last week on CBC (28th January 2022).
Our segment of the show focuses on how Pacific salmon declines on the west coast are impacting species that depend so heavily on healthy salmon returns, such as grizzly bears. We talked about our emerging method of combining remote camera images with BearID software, to gain a more thorough understanding of the movement of individual bears, over different seasons and across years. The episode also covers the vital restoration work being conducted by Nanwakolas Council, the Ha-ma-yas Stewardship Network, and staff at Knight Inlet Lodge to improve salmon spawning habitat in Knight Inlet.
We are extremely thankful to Yap Productions and CBC Documentaries for covering this story and featuring the work of our partners and the BearID Project. This type of science communication is vital for outreach beyond academia, getting science and technology into living rooms across the country in an engaging and accessible way. It is a real privilege for our work to be featured on a show with such a broad reach as The Nature of Things; TVs longest running science program!