Last year the Raincoast lab at UVic marked an important new milestone with the creation of the Raincoast Chair in Applied Conservation Science at the University of Victoria. This five year Chaired Professorship allows us to expand our research, teaching and outreach programs in community-driven applied conservation science.
Our long-term vision is to train next generation applied conservation scholars whose research informs and empowers resource management decision-makers. Over the years our science and informed advocacy has contributed to significant conservation wins for grizzly bears and many other species. A key geographic focus, and place of special importance to me personally, is in the Indigenous territories within what is now known as the Great Bear Rainforest on British Columbia’s central coast. Our interdisciplinary work is shaped by the values of our colleagues, especially those of the Heiltsuk, Kitasoo/Xai’xais, Nuxalk, Wuikinuxv, and Gitga’at with whom our lab works in close partnership.
Although our research lab at the University of Victoria is best known for its work on wildlife, our team also actively investigates wildlife policy. Although the best available evidence about wildlife ecology forms the basis of sound decisions, identifying ways in which policy could improve can ultimately bring lasting change. We also engage in policy processes. For example, several of us have contributed expert witness testimony to the Joint Review Panel (Enbridge), the National Energy Board (Kinder Morgan), and the Auditor General of BC (grizzly bear management). We also recently contributed to an expert panel with recommendations to inform the BC government’s proposed Endangered Species legislation.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the values, individuals, and areas of focus of the lab, please watch and share our latest video.
Much of our research is available in open access journals.