In the News - Feature Interview Queen's Gazette May 26, 2008
Hilary attended the University of Guelph where she majored in Biological Sciences. In 2001, she graduated with distinction with an Honours Bachelor of Science. Hilary entered teacher's college in the fall of 2003 and graduated with a Bachelor of Education in 2004.
Inuit knowledge of environmental stressors and their impact on the marine ecosystem in Anaktalak Bay, Labrador
As in many other northern regions, increasing environmental stressors and their resulting impacts have led local Inuit in Nain Labrador to notice changes in their marine environment. Potential stressors in this environment include, but are not limited to, mining and related shipping activities, climate change and harvesting. In order to study the impacts of these stressors and monitor changes over time, it is necessary to understand the marine ecosystem that is being monitored. This study focuses on Anaktalak Bay which is a fjord located approximately 35 km south of the town of Nain. To date, while individual components of this marine ecosystem have been investigated, there is little understanding of the ecosystem dynamics of this bay and the potential impacts of the increase in environmental stressors. Individuals who inhabit and utilize a region can provide detailed and valuable knowledge regarding their local environment. In the case of Anaktalak Bay, those able to provide the most insight into the state of the local ecosystem are the residents of Nain, who are predominantly Inuit. The purpose of this study is to use Inuit perspectives to form a holistic understanding of the marine ecosystem in Anaktalak Bay. In addition, key environmental indicators that could be incorporated in future monitoring programs will be identified. To this end, a workshop involving Inuit participants will be used to document their current understanding of the marine ecosystem, perceived environmental stressors, and potential indicators to help monitor the ecological health of Anaktalak Bay. This description of the marine ecosystem will then be compared with a historical perspective to gain an understanding of the environmental changes. The resulting information will then be presented to the residents of Nain in a community consultation. It is hoped that this study will identify key indicators that can be used to monitor potential changes in the marine ecosystem and thus allow appropriate management strategies to be implemented in the future.
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Coordinator of Food Down the Road: "Towards a sustainable local food system for Kingston and countryside" (www.fooddowntheroad.ca); Coordinator of GreenUP! Celebration of Earth-Friendly Living, 2008 (http://www.greenupfestival.ca/).
September 2008 - Stewardship Coordinator for Evergreen (www.evergreen.ca). This is an environmental non-profit group out of Vancouver and Toronto.
June 2010 - Joined Research Services at Queen's University. My work involves the administration and coordination of external research grant submissions for Queen's natural sciences and engineering researchers.
April 2011 - Moved on to a position as Policy Advisor with a government agency called the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy.