This blog began with the story of my PhD research but will continue beyond as I continue to work with grizzly bear conservation in Western Canada.
At the start of March 2013, I began a four year journey to do a PhD looking at grizzly bears and people in the Canadian Rocky Mountain National Parks. This focused on some of Canada’s most iconic landscapes – Banff, Jasper, Kootenay, and Yoho National Parks. In June of 2017, I officially graduated my PhD!
The main focus of my research is try and understand how grizzly bears navigate this landscape in the presence of people, specifically hikers. A second research objective is to understand how people feel about recreating in bear country and what kinds of concessions they are willing to make for grizzly bears to have the space they need to survive. Ultimately, my research and approach always uses an interdisciplinary approach. I believe that examining social systems is just as important as understanding grizzly bears themselves.
The Alberta landscape is a complex one for a grizzly bear to successfully survive. My research helps to increase our understanding of how bears do just that, and identify ways in which we can help them.
Research was conducted by Sarah Elmeligi, Canmore resident, lover of grizzly bears, and native Albertan. This is my home, my backyard, and I want to work to make sure grizzly bears persist on this landscape into the future. Now that I’m finished my PhD work, I’m interested to continue this work through small contracts centering around grizzly bear and human coexistence.