Welcome to our Summer Assistants!

Manitoba Important Birds Areas is excited to welcome Alyssa and Nathan to our program for summer 2020. Alyssa will be working with both the IBA program and the Manitoba Chimney Swift Initiative (MCSI), and Nathan will be primarily working on the Grassland Bird portion of our IBA program. Please give them a warm welcome!

Alyssa

Hi folks, my name is Alyssa and I am working this summer as a Manitoba Program Assistant, primarily focusing on our Chimney Swift program. Very fittingly, my first day is a Swift night!

I obtained my BSc from the University of Regina where I spent most summers doing a variety of fieldwork for graduate students. A lot of this work focused on researching bats, but I have also researched western painted turtles and common nighthawks. In fact, the first bird I ever held was a common nighthawk (which I admit was a tad scary the first time). I’ve always loved wildlife, but it was in these positions where I knew conservation was becoming my passion.

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A where’s Waldo situation with this common nighthawk. Photo by Alyssa Stulberg

Currently I am also pursuing my MSc in Bioscience, Technology, and Public Policy at the University of Winnipeg in what is known as “the bat lab”. For my thesis I am investigating potential methods to inhibit the growth of Pseudogymnoascus destructans, the fungus causing white-nose syndrome, in environments where bats hibernate. While my degree has nothing to do with birds, it has been during my time as a graduate student where my appreciation for birds has really flourished. I have spent time volunteering at Oak Hammock Marsh and Last Mountain Lake assisting with migratory bird banding efforts, as well as goose banding with the Canadian Wildlife Service. And like many of you, I have spent a lot of time birding! I am very excited to be joining the team and will be spending many days monitoring our aerial-insectivorous-feathered-friends!

Nathan

Hello there! My name is Nathan and I’m the newest member of Manitoba’s IBA crew.

I have graduated from Lakeland College with a diploma in wildlife and fisheries conservation and am working towards my bachelors degree in resource management, majoring in fish and wildlife, at the University of Northern British Columbia. I’ve had field experience working with fish as a part of Ducks Unlimited’s restoring the tradition program in delta marsh as well as ground squirrel research with the University of Manitoba. After studying fish and mammals I figured it’s about time to study birds!

I have a passion for conservation outreach and have spent two seasons as a nature interpreter at Fortwhyte Alive where I earned/gave myself the nickname ‘Nature Nate’. My most memorable moment there was seeing a green heron take flight from shore as this is when I truly fell in love with birds. When I’m not looking for critters you can find me at your local open mic comedy night cracking nature jokes and teaching bird calls to the audience.