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Ted Nanninga

Employer: The Trans Canada Bear DNA Project
Position: Field Technician
Location: Banff, AB
Date of Employment: May 15 to August 27, 2006

I loved the whole experience!!  I did not have one specific favorite part of the summer, because it was all great!  I received on-the-job training such as building hair snares, working with GPS and compass, learning how to develop a search image for bear sign (tracks, scat, foraging and rub trees) and identifying good bear habitat by looking at foods, elevation, terrain and season.  These are the main skills that I learned over the summer, but I also learned about what it takes and the amount of work it takes to be in a large scale research project.  Aspects like getting funding, raising awareness, and working through different government bureaucracies, both federal and provincial.  I loved working outside everyday in the beautiful Rocky Mountains.  Something exciting happened everyday.  I enjoyed every aspect of the job from the demanding backcountry hiking, to appreciating the opportunity to be part of a project such as this one.

I think this experience will serve me well in my future career opportunities.  I have always wanted to do actual field research and now I absolutely love it!  I think it was an excellent opportunity to gain experience, develop contacts and be part of a project on large carnivores like bears.