Welcome Courtney, Heather, and Sam!

courtney burk heather daw sam chevalier

Listen to the article.

These three will work on different projects, but they have something in common: they have all worked with our team before! Courtney and Sam, of course, have spent the spring, summer, and fall on the Caribou Program crew just this year. Heather, on the other hand, has had nearly 20 years of adventures since she did GIS work for us in the early 2000’s. Let’s get to know them a bit better!

courtney burk

Courtney Burk


Caribou Program

Courtney completed her Master of Science in Environmental Management at the University of New Brunswick last year. Her thesis looked at habitat connectivity, animal movement corridors, and conservation, a topic we’ve explored as well.

In May, Courtney joined the caribou crew, and has gotten to know the ungulate density project inside and out. Despite the short daylight and tougher weather, she and Solène are still out there until the end of November, when Courtney will move onto the data analysis.

She also plans to use her time out here in the foothills wisely by climbing, running, biking, hiking, and skiing as much as possible.

heather daw

Heather Daw

GIS Analyst

GIS Services

In 2002, Heather was looking for a change and was drawn to the world of GIS. She got an Advanced Diploma in GIS from the British Columbia Institute of Technology. The 2-year program included a practicum with us, while we were still known as the Foothills Model Forest.

In the years since, Heather worked another year for us before getting a job with Jasper National Park, where she has lived for most of her life. Now retired from the government, she jumped at the opportunity that this casual position offered for keeping her GIS skills sharp. We’re glad to have her back!

An avid hiker and skier, she takes good advantage of her location in the park. Heather is also a landscape painter and singer.

sam chevalier

Sam Chevalier

Biological Technician

Water and Fish Program

Last year, Sam graduated with a BSc in biology from Grant MacEwan University, and, like Courtney, landed fieldwork with the Caribou Program. Though he’s fished pike in Alberta’s lakes, his previous scientific experience has mostly been in land mammals and vegetation, so he’s excited to learn about a whole new ecosystem.

His first job with the Water and Fish Program is inputting and doing quality assurance on the stream temperature data that the program collected this summer. The goal is to create a comprehensive map of stream temperature all along the East Slopes to better understand how stream temperature influences native trout populations.

With the mountain biking season coming to an end, Sam is looking forward to hitting the slopes this winter and spring.