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Student Profile: Samara Kolasko
Ecological Restoration master's student in the Faculty of Environment
I am an MSc. Ecological Restoration student with a BSc. Environmental Science from UNBC. I am originally from the Okanagan but have lived across the province over the past decade. As my Master's comes to a close, I hope to become involved with ecosystem and wildlife restoration and conservation projects across the province. Outside of academia, you can find me exploring mountain ranges and rivers with my dog, Clover.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?
SFU was an easy choice for me, because it is the only school in BC that offers a program like the one I am enrolled in. It was a unique opportunity to learn exactly what I was interested in.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RESEARCH OR YOUR PROGRAM TO A FAMILY MEMBER?
I am studying the ways in which we can increase and improve critical habitat for at-risk raptors in the Lower Mainland by taking advantage of anthropogenic features (namely, the Vancouver Landfill). I am doing this via a mark-recapture study of the small mammals that sustain these raptors, and comparing "healthy" habitats to the landfill so that we can implement improvements in such a way that the prey supply is improved.
WHAT ARE YOU PARTICULARLY ENJOYING ABOUT YOUR STUDIES/RESEARCH AT SFU?
As soon as I applied for this program, I knew that I was interested in wildlife restoration and my project is exactly that. I feel so lucky to have studied a topic I was so interested in.
HAVE YOU BEEN THE RECIPIENT OF ANY MAJOR OR DONOR-FUNDED AWARDS? IF SO, PLEASE TELL US WHICH ONES AND A LITTLE ABOUT HOW THE AWARDS HAVE IMPACTED YOUR STUDIES AND/OR RESEARCH.
I was a recipient of NSERC and the BC Graduate Scholarship through BCIT as the ecological restoration program is joint between SFU and BCIT. I was also a recipient of the John Halliday award through SFU. These awards have made the financial strain of education a lot more manageable and have allowed me to focus on my studies.
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