(Thunder Bay - November 30, 2005) A Lakehead University student in the Masters of Environmental Studies program, in the School of Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Tourism, has been honoured for her research presentation at the Parks and Protected Areas Research Forum of Manitoba held this September in Winnipeg.
Jennifer Smith received the Student Research Award for her presentation titled, "Wild Wolves? Understanding Human-Wolf Interactions in the Broken Group Islands of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve."
Wolves re-established themselves in the Broken Group Islands (BGI) of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, BC, in 2000-2001. This re-establishment has created a concern that these animals will need to be removed from the park as a consequence of human actions resulting in wolves losing their fear of humans and endangering visitor safety.
"Historically, wolves have generated a wide-range of human responses. Some perceive the wolf as a symbol of wilderness, and some feel they should either be protected or destroyed," Smith explains. "Whether or not sea kayakers - the largest user group within the park - are willing to co-exist with wolves has become a primary issue for Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Therefore, it's important to explore the human dimensions of this situation and to better understand kayakers' attitudes toward wolves in the BGI in order for wolves and humans to co-exist in the area."
"I am pleased that Jennifer's research presentation was awarded at the Forum," says Dr. Harvey Lemelin, a faculty member with the School of Outdoor Recreation, Parks and Tourism at Lakehead U. "This research deals with an important issue - human-animal interaction - and it has the potential to impact future parks and protected area policies across Canada."
The goal of the Parks and Protected Areas Research Forum of Manitoba is to encourage research relating to parks and protected areas and its application to understanding, planning, management, and decision-making.
To speak with Jennifer, please call Marla Tomlinson at 807-343-8177.