November 30th 2015 – Janet Ng, University of Alberta

Janet NgI’m a PhD Candidate at the University of Alberta studying potential cumulative effects on Ferruginous Hawks in the Canadian Prairies. I completed my Master of Science at the University of Regina studying Common Nighthawk habitat use and home range ecology. After finishing my masters, I worked as an environmental consultant and then as an environmental educator in Saskatchewan.

Most of my work has mainly focused on birds, but I’ve been bitten and scratched by other animals too.  Red squirrels drew the most blood, but I was most surprised by the tiger salamander bite.  My research interests gravitate towards understanding how human land use and development can potentially affect wildlife.  I’m not anti-development, but I think it’s important to document true impacts and work towards avoiding, reducing, and mitigating those impacts.

My current research focuses on whether different types of land use, such as agriculture and industrial development, influence where hawks choose to live and how successfully they can nest.  Ferruginous Hawks are an endangered species, so being able to predict where they live, how environmental change can affect them, and what actions can improve their conservation and recovery is critical.

I use GIS for spatial analyses and use a variety of remote sensing products to describe the landscape.  I develop ecological models using a variety of statistical techniques and I’ve also been improving my database skills to work more efficiently with big data.

When attempting work-life balance, I enjoy walking my dog, outdoor photography, and sleeping in a tent. I still volunteer some of my time doing environmental outreach and work with Let’s Talk Science a few times a year.  You can usually find me with a cup of coffee in hand, whether in the field or in the office working on data.

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