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WEST News & Events

WEST in the Community

WEST ULC’s Nick Bartok received the Alberta Society of Professional Biologists Volunteer of the Year Award aptly named the Flagship Award which is based upon the definition of a Flagship Species or someone who acts as an ambassador, icon, or symbol for the organization and has a charismatic character. Also awarded was Nick’s friend and colleague Charles MacMichael. Congratulations Nick!


WEST teaches in Belize

WEST Wildlife Biologist Nick Bartok is an instructor at the “Fall 2018 NABC Bird Banding Workshop and Certification” in Alta Vista, Belize this week. Attendees at the 5-day workshop will learn the basics of bird banding from certified NABC trainers.

In addition, WEST biologists Quentin Hays and Donald Solick were also instructors for the “Bat Survey Techniques Workshop” section of the training course last week. Hosted by Ecorana Environmental, an eco-travel and environmental education company, and partner facility Toucan Ridge Ecology and Education Society, the workshop brings together students, researchers, and eco-tourists to learn technical bat survey skills, among other subjects surrounding bats.

More information about these two workshops can be found here: http://www.treesociety.org/


WEST attends CanWEA

WEST’s Nick Bartok, Wally Erickson, Dr. Paul Rabie, and Kent Russell are in attendance at CanWEA Annual Conference and Exhibition this week in Calgary, Alberta. Paul will be giving a presentation “GenEst – A Comprehensive Overview” and Wally will be a panelist on the “Adaptive Management” session.

Additional information about these sessions can be found here: https://windenergyevent.ca/sessions/pre-conference-workshop-wind-energy-and-bat-conservation-symposium-managing-impacts-to-bats-at-canadian-wind-farms/​


Nikki Heck joins WEST as a Wildlife Biologist/Avian Power line Specialist

WEST is excited to welcome Nikki Heck to our team in the Calgary office. Nikki is an accomplished environmental scientist and Professional Biologist with over 15 years of experience working primarily in Canada’s electric utility sector. She has a master’s degree from the faculty of Environmental Design at the University of Calgary where for her thesis, she developed the first ever GIS-based avian collision risk model which was used to predict collision risk with transmission lines at a landscape scale. She then went on to champion and implement Canada’s first Avian Protection Plan (APP) which included several risk assessments and standard operating procedures to prevent electrocutions with energized facilities, collisions with overhead lines, and effectively protect nests from utility operations. In addition to working part-time with WEST, Nikki continues in hold of her position as an Environmental Advisor with AltaLink, Alberta’s primary transmission service provider.

Nikki can be reached at nheck@west-ulc.ca.


WEST samples Aleutian tern with UAV

WEST is participating in a joint study with Alaska Fish and Game and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to estimate Aleutian tern colony sizes using images taken from WEST’s research drone.


Drone footage of a rare Aleutian tern sitting on a nest: https://vimeo.com/274212696/354ce7ce0f


WEST Publication: Impacts of temporal revisit designs on the power to detect trend

WEST ​Consulting Biometrician Dr. Leigh Ann Starcevich is a co-author of “Impacts of temporal revisit designs on the power to detect trend with a linear mixed model: An application to long-term monitoring of Sierra Nevada lakes” a recent publication in Ecological Indicators. The publication discusses a linear mixed model to estimate trend in an ecological indicator sampled across large landscapes.

You can view the publication here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1470160X18304382


WEST Publication: Automated Monitoring for Birds in Flight

WEST Research Biologist Luke Martinson is a co-author “Automated monitoring for birds in flight: Proof of concept with eagles at a wind energy facility”, a recent publication in Biological Conservation. The publication discusses the results of using the camera-based monitoring system IdentiFlight to detect, classify, and track birds at wind energy facility.

You can view the full publication here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320717319407


Welcome Wally Erickson!

WEST is happy to welcome back Wally Erickson! Wallace P. Erickson has been a statistician with WEST since 1991 and will be returning after a year away. Upon his return to WEST as a Senior Scientist/Biometrician, Wally will work closely with WEST clients and staff, building on his long experience as a consulting statistician/scientist and offering technical expertise on a wide range of energy, wildlife and statistical areas.


WEST attending North American Joint Bat Working Group

WEST Wildlife Biologist Tim Sichmeller will be in attendance at the North American Joint Bat Working Group Meeting and 28th Annual Colloquium on the Conservation of Mammals in the Southeastern U.S., March 27 – 29th, in Roanoke, Virginia. This joint meeting will bring together conservation biologists, private and public land managers, private consultation organizations, educational institutions, citizen scientists, and outdoor enthusiasts across the Midwest, Southeast, and Northeast Regions.
WEST will have an exhibit booth at the event. If you are in attendance, please stop by and say hello!

Additional information about this joint meeting can be found here: https://sbdn.org/events/north-american-joint-bat-working-group-meeting-28th-annual-colloquium-conservation-mammals-southeastern-u-s/


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