Sarah Poole is the new Caribou Program research intern. She comes with a wealth of experience doing wildlife science across Canada, studying many familiar themes to the Caribou Program, such as habitat selection, animal movement and work with threatened species.
“I’m excited to come with my skills and apply them to new fields, for new partners,” says Poole.
The first months will largely be devoted to data analysis, modelling, and report writing, which will be something of a change of pace for Poole.
“I just got back from Coats Island, in the arctic. I was in charge of safety on a thick-billed murres study. We had to go out on sea cliffs so I put in dozens of steel bolts and 700m of climbing rope.
Poole has also worked on the Algonquin Black Bear Project, studying the effects of offspring on movement and habitat selection.
“Our job was to go into the bear dens in winter and tranquilize the mothers so we can measure the cubs to monitor growth and weight,” explains Poole. “You get lowered down head first into the dens, with one person holding each foot. They might not be able to hear you, so the signal to get pulled out is you click your heels together.
“On my first time going in I was trying to get down and was kicking my feet and I accidentally touched my heels together, so they yanked me out fast! The next time, they accidentally let go and I slid head first into the mother bear, who had her eyes open. She was out, but with the sedatives we use the eyes stay open.”
Aside from Sarah’s strong academic credentials and experience as a biologist, the Caribou Program job is also a good fit because of the location. If the office days start to get to her, the foothills of the Rockies is a good place to indulge her love of climbing, biking, skiing, and paddling.
You can find out more about Sarah’s past research and see her wildlife art on her website.