A new term with a new (and familiar) graduate student.
Sylvie here, I’m the ACS lab’s new manager and research associate.
This fall, things look a little bit different for the lab!
We have had some very special lab members finish their programs and defend their theses. So the lab is looking a little smaller this year, but still mighty! We have just one, very special, new graduate student continuing her relationship with the ACS Lab and the Raincoast Conservation Foundation.
For those of you who follow along with our ACS Lab news, you’ll be very familiar with Persia Khan as she has spent the past two years managing the Lab and assisting in research and fieldwork. She was the reason this place ran so smoothly and now she has moved on to pursue her own research. Luckily, she remains an important part of the lab. I got a chance to catch up with her after her field work and ask a few questions.
How did your relationship with Raincoast and the ACS lab begin?
Actually (and kind of serendipitously) a long time ago! While I was working through my undergraduate degree here at UVic, I was hired to work in the lab as a work-study student to process stable isotope samples for the Bear Project. Down the line after other jobs, research opportunities, and finishing my degree, I came back to the lab as a research associate and lab manager. I would ultimately work on the Heiltsuk Bear Project and collect similar in-field samples to the ones I was processing several years earlier – kind of a full-circle moment!
What drew you to pursue research on the Central Coast?
I really fell in love with the coast and working in Heiltsuk Territory as a field technician on the Heiltsuk Bear Project. I have experienced so much generosity while spending time in and around Bella Bella, and the people I have been introduced to and the opportunities I have been afforded are unlike anywhere else.
What are you most looking forward to this year?
I am really looking forward to diving into this new remote camera project, and eventually retrieving the first round of detection data this spring from the cameras we deployed last summer. I was fortunate during my time as a technician and lab manager to work on several different projects, but this year I am really excited to lean into something more long-term and hopefully make it great!
What is your favorite and least favorite part of fieldwork?
My favorite part is the people. Field seasons create such a unique environment for bonding and friendship. You work together, eat together, share space all day, and really depend on one another. My least favorite part is soaking wet gear!
Stay tuned for ‘Notes from the field’ where Persia and other lab members share what they have been up to this past summer!