Bats, Leadership Showcase & Youth Engagement

Hiya Folks! Kaitlyn here! Not unlike Jamiel, I’m on blog duty for my last week here at the HLC. It’s been a jam packed week, but I still managed to find time to soak in the beauty and serenity of Sandy Bay before making my way back to Halifax, and back to school.

My position here at the HLC is funded through the Clean Foundation Leadership Program. This week, Clean Foundation hosted an end-of-season showcase at Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute (MTRI) where interns from around the region gave presentations about the work they’ve been up to throughout the summer. It was great to catch up with many of the interns I had met earlier in the season, and to learn all about their summer projects. I also had the opportunity to present my work with Carters Beach and the HLC. Big thanks to MTRI for hosting.

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On Wednesday we set out to learn all about bats. We were joined by Brad Toms, the Wildlife Biologist and Partnership Coordinator for Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute. Brad shared with us a fantastic presentation about Nova Scotia’s resident and migratory bat populations, what sort of state they are in, and what we can do to help out. In 2012-2013 White Nose Syndrome (Geomyces destructans) was responsible for a decline of 95% of bats in five of Nova Scotia’s largest overwintering sights. In the wake of this, MTRI and the Province of Nova Scotia have partnered up on an initiative to better monitor locations of bat populations in the province. If you see a bat, you can report it here: http://www.batconservation.ca/ and contribute to a growing database of past and current bat sighting, and ultimately help guide conservation and recovery efforts in the province.

 Wild Wednesday crew tuning in to the bat presentation

Wild Wednesday crew tuning in to the bat presentation

This Thursday was an exciting day for me- I hosted a focus group with some young naturalists about the role that youth play in natural resource management. This all relates to my Masters research project; Youth Engagement in Coastal Management: Addressing inter-generationally blind resource management. Inter-generationally blind resource management is when management initiatives do not consider the ways youth interact with resources, nor monitor impacts of management initiatives on youth populations. Inter-generationally blind management initiatives are subsequently at risk of being shortsighted and may not reflect the desires and perceptions of the entire community they impact, nor the ‘future generations’ resources are being managed for. The focus group with the Indian Point Young Naturalist Club is one step in the effort to overcome this tendency, and to show that youth have important and creative ideas and that natural resource management needs to carve out a space for meaningful and deliberate youth engagement. A huge thank you to the Indian Point Young Naturalist Club for having me out.

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 Some discussion questions from the Indian Point Young Naturalist focus group

Some discussion questions from the Indian Point Young Naturalist focus group

That’s all from me for this Summer. It’s going to be tough to say so-long to this place and these people. A big thanks to Jessica, Jamiel and Dirk for being the dream team- I hope to work with you all again.

Until next time,

Kaitlyn, out.

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