I joined the Applied Conservation Science lab as an NSERC undergraduate student and Lab Manager, which had me overseeing daily research operations. In this capacity, I co-led our lab’s contribution to the Nuxalk Spring Bear Study for four field seasons (part of the Central Coast First Nations Bear Working Group).
More recently, my research questions investigate human-wildlife relationships. During my MSc degree for example, I used an animal welfare perspective to examine how wildlife scientists interact with animals they study.
Currently as a Ph.D student, I collaborate with Nuxalk Nation and BC Parks to examine patterns in grizzly bear activity, individual bear space-use, and vigilance and foraging behaviour using camera traps, genetics, and ethology, respectively. These three scales of inquiry allow us to study bears from diverse vantages, as well as to draw on interdisciplinary approaches to examine how bears might respond to variation in spatial and temporal human activity in an area exposed to ecotourism.
Our field work in the unceded Territory of the Nuxalk First Nation is dynamic and rich with place-based approaches to monitoring bears. A typical day in the field might include a drift down the Atnarko River counting salmon and collecting bear hair with our Nuxalk Fisheries and Wildlife friends and colleagues; hours in a tree stand waiting for opportunities to record bear fish capture efficiency; or moving through the forest among pine mushrooms and cottonwoods to check our trail cameras.
Now that field work has concluded, my days are spent summarizing and analyzing data to be delivered to our partners at BC Parks and Nuxalk Nation, who solicited the study, as well as for peer-review.
Our work is made possible through the support of Raincoast Conservation Fellowship program, NSERC Doctoral Scholarship, Nuxalk Nation, BC Parks, and the University of Victoria, Department of Geography.
Caravaggi, A., Amado, T.F., Banfield, J.E., Brook, R.K., Ciuti, S., Darimont, C.T., Drouilly, M., English, H.M., Field, K.A., Iossa, G., Martin, J.E., McElligott, A.G., Mohammadi, A., Nayeri, D., O’Neill, H.M.K., Paquet, P., Périquet, S., Proulx, G., Rabaiotti, D., Recio, M.R., Soulsbury, C.D., Tadich, T. 2021. On the need for rigorous ethical and methodological reporting for the live-capture of large carnivores: a response to de Araujo et al. (2020). Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 12(10): 1793-1799.
Field, K. A., Paquet, P. C., Artelle, K., Proulx, G., Brook, R. K., Darimont, C. T. (2019). Publication reform to safeguard wildlife from researcher harm. PLoS Biol. 18(5): e3000752.
Field, K A., Quindazzi, M. J., Schmill, A., Juanes, F. Submitted. [Review of the book A primer of life histories: ecology, evolution, and application, by J. A. Hutchings]. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries.
Field, K. A., Short, M., Moody, J., Artelle, K. A., Bourbonnais, M. L., Paquet, P. C., Darimont, C. T. Submitted. Grizzly bear responses to ecotourists depend on salmon abundance along the Atnarko river in Nuxalk Territory. Conservation Science and Practice.