Iqaluit, 2013, marine bird dissection workshop at the Nunavut Arctic College

In addition to getting to do science in amazing places like East Bay, I also have the privilege to work with the students at the Nunavut Arctic College in Iqaluit each year. The program was started in 2007 as a way to teach the college students about marine bird research in northern Canada, and provide some hands-on training.

The day starts with Guy Savard from Environment Canada’s National Specimen Bank showing the students how to dissect a marine birds while taking samples for contaminants, genetics, stable isotopes, diet studies etc. You name it, we try to sample it and share with out collaborators.

smaller IMG_6840After the demonstration the students work in pairs to dissect their own birds, taking turns being the dissector and the data recorder. Both are important jobs so the students are kept busy.

Allison dissectingOne of the best things about working at the college is that I get to do some really hands-on activities with the students. The Environment Technology Students are always very excited to get to dissect some birds, and this year we even had some students use a go-pro camera to film their dissections.

Allison 3All in all this year we dissected 78 birds with 7 different species being represented. Not bad for 4 days of work!!!

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