The Fraser Basin Council congratulates Dana Eye and Justin Turner, 2020 recipients of the Elizabeth Henry Scholarship for Communities and Environmental Health.
2020 Scholarship Recipients
The Reproductive Ecology of Female Western Rattlesnakes (Crotalus oreganus) in Southern British Columbia
“I am grateful for the gracious support of the Elizabeth Henry Scholarship, and the opportunity to continue to collaborate with the Osoyoos Indian Band and Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre on this vital research.”
— Dana Eye
Dana Eye grew up in a rural town outside of Kamloops where she spent most of her time exploring and learning about local flora and fauna. Dana completed her undergraduate degree at Thompson Rivers University in 2015 and began working for WildSafe BC. In this role, she helped spread awareness of human-wildlife in her community and provided management solutions to local government.
Dana later held a Master of Science position in Karl Larsen’s research lab, studying Western Rattlesnakes. She had opportunity to work directly with this species at risk and also foster working relationships with the Osoyoos Indian Band (OIB) and the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre (NDCC). Through collaboration with OIB and the NDCC, Dana began the first study on pregnant female Western Rattlesnakes in Western Canada.
About the Project
The Osoyoos Indian Band and Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre have facilitated one of the longest-running snake research programs in Western Canada (2002-present). Over the last 18 years, researchers have tracked rattlesnake movement, identified critical habitat (dens, shedding and mating sites), and assessed the impact of disturbance on local snake populations. Due to limitations, this research has predominantly focused on male rattlesnakes, leaving a large knowledge gap on female ecology and biasing management decisions. In 2017, with the generous support of OIB and the NDCC, and adopted research techniques, Dana began working on the first study on pregnant female rattlesnakes in Western Canada.
To date, she and [her colleagues?] have successfully tracked the movements of a total of twenty-five pregnant female rattlesnakes and have identified 18 gestation sites. Data collected from these sites, and movement and behavioural analysis, will provide critical life history information for future management decisions and conservation of this threatened species.
Wildfire Smoke and Emergency Planning for First Nations People Living with Lung Disease in Remote and Rural British Columbia
“I feel honoured and grateful to receive the Elizabeth Henry Scholarship in support of my collaborative work with Carrier Sekani Family Services, which will contribute to improved wildfire response practices for Dakelh First Nations people in north central BC.
Maarsi (thank you in Michif)."
— Justin Turner
Justin is a Rehabilitation Sciences PhD student at UBC. He has lived and worked as an occupational therapist for the past several years where the Fraser and Nechako Rivers meet on unceded Lheidli T’enneh First Nation territory (Prince George). He previously completed a Master of Occupational Therapy (UBC, 2017) and an Honours BA in Psychology (University of Lethbridge, 2015).
Born and raised in the southern Alberta Badlands, Justin grew up underneath beautiful prairie sky and along the saskatoon berry-laden banks of the Red Deer River. He is a proud Métis Nation of BC citizen with mixed Red River Métis and European settler ancestry. Justin enjoys any activity that involves connecting with the land, such as hiking, snowshoeing and berry picking.
Justin is fascinated by people’s relationships with the environment. In his doctoral work, Justin seeks to understand how increasingly severe wildfires in northern BC are affecting local First Nations communities.
About the Project
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) appears to be highly prevalent in north central BC First Nations communities. Meanwhile, people with COPD often experience negative health effects during wildfires, which are becoming more frequent in BC due partially to climate change. In this mixed-methods and CIHR-funded research project – underway since 2019 – UBC’s Pulmonary Rehabilitation Research Laboratory is collaborating with the First Nations-led healthcare/research organization Carrier Sekani Family Services (CSFS) to answer the question: What are the communication and respiratory health focused components of an effective wildfire air quality emergency response strategy for north central BC First Nations?
Every step of this project is led by CSFS. Quantitative data is being gathered from air quality and wildfire monitoring records, while qualitative data is being gleaned from document analyses and interviews with First Nations community members and other wildfire stakeholders. CSFS will use results to develop improved emergency preparedness and response strategies.
The Elizabeth Henry Scholarship is an annual award of $3,000 to a graduate student whose proposed research is based in British Columbia. Learn more about the Elizabeth Henry Scholarship, eligibility criteria and application process.
Check back soon or subscribe to Elizabeth Henry Scholarship mailing list to learn about the next round of applications.