Training the Future of Wildlife Professionals

A Pair of New Masters of Science Students Hope to Help Secure the Future for Caribou

Leaders in wildlife health bring aboard a pair of bright young women to train in the area of wildlife health surveillance. The Alberta region of the CWHC welcomes Ms. Andrea Hanke and Dr. Naima Jutha as affiliated students. Both are students within the University Of Calgary Faculty Of Veterinary Medicine and are advised by CWHC Alberta’s director Dr. Susan Kutz. Naima is co-supervised by CWHC British Columbia’s co-director, Dr. Helen Schwantje.

Andrea moved from Ontario, where she completed a Bachelor’s of Science focused on outdoor recreation, parks and tourism paired with natural science at Lakehead University. Throughout her experience in Thunder Bay, Andrea developed a strong interest in wildlife management and disease, community-based research, and traditional ecological knowledge (TEK). She is working with the community of Kugluktuk, NU to document TEK on the health of the Dolphin and Union caribou herd. This caribou herd is currently declining and she hopes that traditional knowledge, together with scientific knowledge, will provide new insights into the causes of this decline.

Andrea Hanke

Naima is a veterinarian, who earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the Ontario Veterinary College. Throughout her academic and professional career, she has gained diverse experiences and developed keen interests in wildlife biology and conservation medicine. During her veterinary education, Naima had the opportunity to take part in a number of wildlife medicine externships across Canada, through which she became passionate about studying health in northern Canadian species. Working with the Tahltan Guide & Outfitters Association, the Tahltan Nation, and the Government of British Columbia, she seeks to bridge the gap between science and local guide and outfitter knowledge in the assessment of woodland caribou health in northwestern British Columbia.

Dr. Naima Jutha

For a closer look at what these new wildlife advocates hope to build on, check out the TEK work that PhD student Dr. Matilde Tomaselli is doing here. To continuously stay up to date on what the rest of the Kutz research group is doing, follow them on Facebook at UCalgary – Kutz Research Group or Twitter @KutzLab.


Contributed by: Collin Letain, Wildlife Technician, CWHC Alberta

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *