Pamela Wright, a UNBC professor in the department of ecosystem science and management, is presented with the Mitacs Award for Exceptional Leadership - Professor, at a virtual ceremony today (Nov. 24) in recognition of her collaborative work with community partners and students to conserve Canada’s northern lands. (Photo submitted by Mitacs)

Pamela Wright, a UNBC professor in the department of ecosystem science and management, is presented with the Mitacs Award for Exceptional Leadership - Professor, at a virtual ceremony today (Nov. 24) in recognition of her collaborative work with community partners and students to conserve Canada’s northern lands. (Photo submitted by Mitacs)

UNBC professor receives prestigious conservation award

Pamela Wright recognized for leadership in ‘breakthrough’ work on northern issues

A University of Northern B.C. professor is being recognized for her innovative work to conserve critical northern lands and tackle issues normally ignored by other researchers.

Pamela Wright, a UNBC professor in the department of ecosystem science and management, was presented with the Mitacs Award for Exceptional Leadership – Professor, at a virtual ceremony today (Nov. 24) in recognition of her collaborative work with community partners and students to conserve Canada’s northern lands.

Mitacs is a not-for-profit organization that fosters growth and innovation in Canada for business and academia.

One of Wright’s interns, Dr. Karine Pigeon, is currently conducting research to help communities, the outdoor recreation industry and provincial government understand the impacts of recreation and tourism on the forests.

VIDEO: Victoria police, B.C. Conservation help two bucks caught in one fishing net

“As a society, we tend to focus on the environmental impact of industries like mining, forestry, and oil and gas,” Wright stated in a press release. “Recreational use can be equally problematic, and we’ve been ignoring it. Now, the pandemic has brought this to the forefront.”

The team is partnering provincial and federal park agencies and other land managers to develop new tools and techniques to reduce the cumulative impacts of outdoor recreation.

In a related project, Wright is working with Indigenous organizations, conservation groups and other partners to identify important lands for conservation. This is billed as groundbreaking work that incorporates the impacts of climate change to identify areas that area at greater risk.

“In the large, remote wild northern landscapes we’re studying, there’s very little Western science to turn to because we just don’t spend the time and money to collect data,” said Wright.

READ MORE: Famous Kootenay deer shot by poacher, sparking conservation probe

Wright blends traditional Indigenous knowledge of the land with western science, translating oral history from years of experience living on the land into a mapped format.

“We can look at a model of how a conservation system should work and where important habitat should be, compare it to Indigenous knowledge and see how the two fit together,” she said.

The Mitacs Award for Exceptional Leadership – Professor is presented to an academic supervisor with an exemplary record of developing collaborations with industry and partners, providing valuable research and training experiences to their interns, and initiating research projects with significant outcomes through their Mitacs funding. Wright is one of eight Mitacs award winners nationally, chosen from thousands of researchers who take part in Mitacs programs each year.

kritika@gailbergmanpr.com

Conservation

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Wireless voice and data services are out for those on Telus as of Thursday (Jan. 14) afternoon across Western Canada, Telus Support said in a recent Tweet. (Black Press file photo)
UPDATE: Telus services restored across Western Canada

Telus said they are monitoring the situation to ensure connections remain stable

The leisure pool at the Sam Lindsay Aquatic Centre will be open Thursday and closed Friday for maintenance, the DoK said in an updated Facebook post Thursday (Jan. 14). (Kitimat Leisure Services photo)
UPDATE: Leisure pool at Sam Lindsay Aquatic Centre open Thursday, closed Friday

The leisure pool will be closed Friday (Jan. 15) for maintenance due to a mechanical issue

The Haisla Nation Council buildings in Kitamaat Village, which are currently closed as staff continue the work-from-home orders put in place prior to the winter break. (Haisla Nation Council photo)
Case numbers rise as Kitamaat Village preps for arrival of COVID-19 vaccine

Haisla Nation Council said Kitamaat Village will be getting the vaccine “sometime in January”

The leisure pool at the Sam Lindsay Aquatic Centre has been temporarily closed due to mechanical issues. (Kitimat Leisure Services photo)
Leisure pool closed temporarily at Sam Lindsay Aquatic Centre

The leisure pool was closed Wednesday (Jan. 13) and is expected to re-open Saturday (Jan. 16)

A woman wears a face mask and shield to curb the spread of COVID-19 while walking in North Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday, January 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
536 COVID cases, 7 deaths reported as B.C. find its first case of South African variant

Henry said 69,746 people have received their first dose of the COVID vaccine.

Letisha Reimer died Nov. 1, 2016 after being stabbed at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.
No evidence that killer was in ‘psychotic state’ during Abbotsford school stabbing: Crown

Second day of closing arguments at ‘not criminally responsible’ hearing for Gabriel Klein

Alan Davidson was sentenced to almost six years for abusing seven boys in the late 1970s and early 1990s. (Canadian Press file)
Full parole granted to former Mountie, sports coach convicted of sex abuse of boys

Alan Davidson convicted of abusing boys in B.C. and Saskatchewan in late ’70s, early ’90s

The first COVID-19 vaccine arrives in B.C. in temperature-controlled containers, Dec. 13, 2020. (B.C. government)
More vaccine arrives as B.C. struggles with remote COVID-19 cases

Long-term care homes remain focus for public health

The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada is prepared at The Michener Institute in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in 60 B.C. First Nations by next week

B.C. has allocated 25,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to First Nations for distribution by the end of February

Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone questions the NDP government in the B.C. legislature, Feb. 25, 2020. (Hansard TV)
Todd Stone says he’s not running for B.C. Liberal leadership

Kamloops MLA was widely viewed as a front-runner

Screenshot from video.
2 students arrested in assault of transgender girl at Lower Mainland school

Mother says daughter was targeted because of how she identifies

Constable Ken Jaques broke a window and crawled into a home to rescue an elderly man who had be laying on the floor for days. Jaques was the officer who provided oversight for the 2020 Remembrance Day services and is shown here in a picture with his son. Photo Andrea DeMeer
Senior who fell and spent days lying on floor of home saved by Princeton cop

He broke the glass and crawled into the house, while calling for assistance from BC Ambulance

Luke Marston works on the seawolf mask for Canucks goalie Braden Holtby. (Mike Wavrecan photo)
B.C. Coast Salish artist designs new mask for Canucks goalie

Braden Holtby’s new mask features artwork by Luke Marston inspired by the legend of the seawolf

Most Read