Announcing the 2016 Charles Labatiuk Scholarship Award Winner
This blog was written by Erin Low, the 2016 Charles Labatiuk Scholarship Award Winner.
Erin Low is the 2016 recipient of Nature Canada’s Charles Labatiuk Scholarship Award. Erin graduated from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology with a diploma in Biological Sciences Technology, Renewable Resources and is returning this fall to post secondary to complete her Bachelor of Science degree at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta.
Erin has been working for an environmental consulting company since 2012 on a variety of projects including bird, amphibian and vegetation surveys, pre- and post disturbance wildlife surveys, setting up and monitoring bird and bat houses, raptor banding, deploying autonomous recording units and wildlife cameras, public outreach, as well as being introduced to what she is now actively pursuing in both work and personal time: bat research.
Erin is excited to return to school and looks forward to being able to combine her field experience with her post-secondary education to be able to further her endeavors with bat research and outreach. She has also been talking with potential graduate supervisors about a project addressing migratory bat mortality at wind turbine facilities for after she completes her undergraduate degree. “Receiving this scholarship means that I can continue to pursue the volunteer bat initiatives that I am setting up and I am thus very grateful to Nature Canada for their support,” said Erin.
Erin is currently working on setting up public bat outreach nights at both national and provincial parks in Alberta. “Having worked with bats in different provinces as well as in Australia, I have been able to see firsthand the reputation that bats have not just in Alberta, but across Canada and the world. I hope that by organizing public bat outreach events that I can start to show people that bats are an irreplaceable part of the ecosystem whose true value cannot be imagined unless we were to lose these cryptic creatures,” said Erin.
Erin is an avid traveller having visited Turkey, Cuba, Mexico, United States, Britain, France, Australia and New Zealand, with a bat research station in Malawi being the likely next stop for her. She spends as much time as she can outdoors, camping, hiking, caving and snowshoeing.
About the award
The Charles Scholarship Award was established through the legacy gift of the late Charles Labatiuk through the Charles Labatiuk Nature Endowment Fund. Charles Labatiuk was an avid nature conservationist, mountaineer and world traveler who enjoyed and excelled as a photographer, writer, and gardener. The scholarship award was introduced to honour his life and his passion for nature.