One of the perks of being a grad student is the opportunity to travel around the country, and even the world to attend conferences. These events give us the chance to share our research, find out about other research in our field, and network with other students and professionals. This July, myself (Scott Wilson) and my colleague (Anjolene Hunt) journeyed to the east coast to attend the 2015 Ornithology Meeting at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia hosted jointly by the Society of Canadian Ornithologists, the Association of Field Ornithologists and the Wilson Ornithological Society.
The conference was well attended and hosted approximately 120 oral presentations on a broad range of ornithology related topics. Some of our favourite talks discussed bird-friendly glass prototypes (DeGroote et al.), differences in song types of paired and unpaired male Canada Warblers (Staicer et al.), and tern nesting on an ecological restoration site (Prosser et al.). Needless to say, much was learned from our peers on current research occurring in the field of ornithology. I presented preliminary findings from my project on the use of bioacoustic methods to understand how birds use reclaimed well sites. Anjolene presented research on the response of Canada warblers to forestry management practices in Alberta as part of a symposium on landbird species at risk. This was an excellent opportunity to inform others of our research, and to gain feedback and insight on our projects.
In addition to the fantastic talks and posters we attended, we got the chance to go on a few field trips to see some of the unique landscapes and wildlife that Nova Scotia has to offer. Particularly exciting was the pelagic bird and whale watching tour off the coast of Brier Island. Despite foggy conditions, we spotted minke and finback whales. Not to mention sighting countless seabirds that were new to us prairie dwellers – puffins, petrels, shearwaters, gannets, fulmars and many more. Upon our return to Brier Island, we visited a colony of black-backed and herring gulls in a very unique setting of wind swept spruce trees and rocky cliffs.
We are both very grateful for the opportunity to attend this conference, and thank our funding partners and the AFO / SOC-SCO / WOS for travel awards to attend this conference, as well as the support provided to Anjolene through the The James L. Baillie Memorial Fund of Bird Studies Canada and support for Scott through the Land Reclamation International Graduate School.
Post by Scott Wilson