VIDEO: A Day in the Life of an ABMI Wetland Crew

What is it like to monitor a wetland in southern Alberta? What do wetland monitoring crews actually do? What do the different protocols look like in action? In an attempt to answer these and other burning questions, our Information Coordinator, Jill Smith and our Communications Coordinator, Sonya Poller visited Ciara Sharpe and Emily Jansen, one of ABMI’s wetland crews on July 19. (See for yourself! Here is a link to a slideshow/video: “A Day in the Life of an ABMI Wetland Crew.” password:abmi1234)

It was clear from the start that the crew had a lot of passion for their work. “When I work, I get in the zone and I love it!” grins Ciara, wearing rubber coveralls to prevent the water from soaking her. Ciara carries out various plant surveys and protocols along the outskirts of the wetland while Emily is the “boat person” and does water protocols such as depth transects and invertebrate collection using the inflatable boat.

Everyday is different for the team, and the range of biodiversity is immense, even between nearby wetlands: “Yesterday, I filled a page of notes, there were 50-60 different species…but today there will likely be only 10-15,” said Ciara. Many of these plants will get identified in the field, still quite a large number  are difficult to identify in the field and those samples are sent to our Processing Centre who will take on the monumental task of identification throughout the month of August.

No matter how biologically diverse a wetland is,  both Ciara and Emily put a great deal of effort into getting the best quality data possible.

Look forward to next month when we post a video on the “A Day in the Life of a Terrestrial Crew.”