2018 was an important year for me in many ways, full of change, new experiences, and hard-learned lessons. Here are 18 photographs to summarize that year.
1. I kicked off 2018 with a visit to Pleasant Bay, Cape Breton, where I had spent the previous summer as field researcher with the CBPWP. Besides seeing all the beautiful places and people I missed, the highlight of my trip was getting to see sea ice for the first time (although it wasn’t at its peak, it was still a cool experience).
2. 2018 was also the year I finished my undergraduate studies at Dalhousie University!
3. Before graduating, I successfully completed my Honor’s thesis, and gave an oral presentation of the research at the Dalhousie annual Cameron Conference. For this project, I had looked at the unique features in the echolocation calls of long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas) in the hopes of improving future remote monitoring methods. Depicted in the picture is a spectrogram (frequency over time) of an acoustic recording containing both clicks (vertical lines) and whistles (horizontal lines) from this species.
4. In April 2018 I joined Dr. Mike Stokesbury’s Coastal Ecology Lab and began working on my Master’s research. The summer field season was amazing; I got to work with a number of fish species, including these Atlantic Sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus), which were tagged by our team at the Bramber Weir in Minas Basin.
5. Fieldwork also took me to the Beaubassin – a research facility situated among the beautiful Beausejour Marshes in New Brunswick, and supported by Ducks Unlimited Canada, Irving Oil and Acadia University. There I got to meet the Irvings themselves, as well as the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Dominic LeBlanc, who announced a $1 million project funding partnership with Ducks Unlimited to support fish passage research in Canada!
6. Another highlight of my season was making my first offshore trip to test the tagging protocol I developed on some Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus) 🐟
7. Aside from fieldwork, I spent part of my summer hanging out with friends and exploring the beautiful coastal environment of Nova Scotia.
8. Of course, no summer could be complete without some biking adventures! One of my favorite nearby places is the Salt Marsh Trail.
9. As sign-off to an amazing field season, I got to give a short talk at the 2018 Marine Renewables Canada Conference in Halifax, and won a prize for Best Student Poster. It was quite intimidating to be surrounded by businessmen and corporation representatives, but I met some amazing people and learned a lot about ocean technologies! It is only by working together with industry partners that we can ensure a sustainable future for our oceans.
10. One important milestone this year was a trip to Russia – my motherland! It was a brilliant experience, and I feel in love with the beautiful landscapes, cities, and people. This picture was snapped at the Alexander Gardens in Moscow.
11. One of my favorite things about science is the capacity it has to inspire other people. I love sharing my passion for ocean conservation, and this August I got to do just that when I worked as teaching assistant for a Marine Mammology course taught at Dalhousie University. I was really excited to see my pilot whales again, as well as teach students about the wonders (and challenges) of field research. Photo taken on the White Point Trail, Cape Breton island.
12. 2018 was a magical year, no less because I met this handsome guy ❤️
13. World Oceans Day beach cleanup at Point Pleasant Park 💙🌊 Keeping environments garbage-free and reducing single-use plastic is an important step towards cleaner, healthier, safer environments.
14. 12 years ago, Rob Stewart’s revolutionary documentary Sharkwater brought about a radical change in how people viewed sharks, and lead to new conservation movements aimed at protecting these intelligent and graceful animals. His latest film Sharkwater Extinction continued Rob’s story, bringing to light the continued abuse of sharks in commercial fisheries. A huge thank you to Rob’s family, and the amazing team for bringing us his last film, it was a really emotional experience, and a truly powerful message.
15. Alma is a small village in New Brunswick, centered on the delta of the Upper Salmon River where it empties into the Bay of Fundy, and is the headquarters of Fundy National Park. Despite the biting cold weather in November it was still an amazing trip, with lots of hiking and exploring of the mudflats.
16. More hiking adventures: this is a dead trigger fish discovered on the Crystal Crescent Beach Provincial Park trail.
17. 2018 also saw significant changes happening in our family. But the memories we’ve made together will always be cherished.
18. The year ended in a fiery bloom of fireworks above the Emerald Oval. I can’t wait to see what 2019 brings!