Work Learn Profile: Graham Matheson, Student Research Assistant
What did you work on in this role?
I collected field data for UBC Farm’s Biodiversity Monitoring Program. I worked with a team to net and identify bumble bees, count and measure earth worms, identify plants, capture images of wildlife on remote cameras, and measure trees at over 30 sampling sites on the UBC Farm property.
What did you learn in this position?
I learned how to identify bumble bees and I also learned the scientific names of many plants. I learned how to measure the height of a tree and how to estimate carbon content based on a tree’s measurements.
Why does this work matter?
UBC Farm is home to all kinds of wildlife. By studying them, we can learn a lot about how land management decisions at the farm and in the university endowment lands in general are impacting the environment and its inhabitants.
What would you tell a new student taking on this role? Or what do you wish you had known?
I would tell a new student taking on this summer role that you will be out in nature a lot, you will get wet and dirty and sunburned and sore, and it will be one of the best jobs you will ever have.
What should people know about the UBC Farm that they probably don’t know?
The UBC Farm is home to so much wildlife, whether its resident coyotes, migrating birds, or elusive pacific tree frogs. It is truly a gem of biodiversity in the region, home to animals that are no longer found in many areas of Greater Vancouver.
What’s your favourite thing to do at the UBC Farm?
What other roles have you held at CSFS at the UBC Farm?
None, aside from volunteering the odd time.