Jessica worked for Clarke Eco-science and Sustainability (CES) over her Environmental Studies summer internship as a Field Biologist. During her work with CES she applied conservation and restoration techniques to help rebuild native ecosystems within the urban environment—combining ecological knowledge into the design and landscape of projects in order to maximize the ecological services that nature provides on its own.
The projects Jessica worked on were diverse, and included integrating rainwater from residential eaves-troughs into a constructed wetlands containing native wetland plants and invasive species controls; seed collection from the North Saskatchewan river valley, germination, plant production, and potting in a nursery (including over 8,000 poplars for the new Edmonton Valley Line LRT project); and field data collection and assessment of biomass and soils in different storm-water management facilities.
As a result of her time at CES, Jessica gained valuable skills for future endeavors such as integrated pest management through removal of noxious species with/without herbicides; preparation for her Construction Completion Certification (CCC) and Final Acceptance Certification (FAC); vegetation assessments; research skills; and heightened identification skills of native plants.
As a field biologist, Jessica enjoyed bringing nature back to the urban environment. Moving forward, she hopes to continue working to advance efforts towards ecological naturalization in the City of Edmonton and beyond.