2010 Bear Team photo

I know I promised the picture of the momma bear and cubs I wrote about yesterday, but the satellite internet being what it is up here, that will have to wait.

In the meantime, I’d like to introduce you to this year’s crew:

From left to right: Me, Howard Humchitt, Collin Reid, Kyle Artelle, Heather Bryan, Doug Brown and Christina Service.

Its Howard’s second year with us. He is an amazing mariner and loves the bear work. He is beautifully intense; a large man who is very gentle. On days off, Howard’s favourite things to do are salmon fish, salmon fish and salmon fish.  With characteristic Heiltsuk grace, he gave the team his first (and big) spring salmon of the year.

Collin Reid is new to our team this year. Having done this type of work before, he knows exactly what to do. In fact, when we hop off the boat to a site, he is out in front and about 3 steps (literally and figuratively) ahead of us.

Kyle is a recent Biology graduate from UVic and a recipient of an NSERC undergraduate fellowship for his work with us. Kyle is always thinking…about science, politics, the human animal, and more recently, coastal wildlife. I dare say that he is the only one of us not to see a large carnivore yet this season, but only as a function of being on the wrong boat at the wrong time! When not in the field, he likes to walk Newton, his little old lady dog.

Heather has been with Raincoast in one way or another for at least 5 years…..she is now a PhD student at U of Calgary working on hormones in bears to assess their levels of stress in an era of declining salmon.  She is about the kindest person you could ever meet. And reminds us with her enthusiasm how lucky we should feel being in this beautiful landscape. On her days off, she is in front of her computer like me…actually, unlike me, she likes to run the gravel roads behind the field station.

I wrote about Doug 2 posts ago. Naturalist, photographer, a class act. ‘nuf said. He is a long term member of Raincoast and we hope so for many years to come.

Christina is a 3rd/4th year Geography Honours student from UVic, also blessed with an NSERC fellowship for this work.  Far beyond her 20 years. Very, very keen to be here, which we all appreciate. She’s a runner too. Last week, she and Heather had a several minute staring competition with a young wolf who fancied the same running trail.

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