Layla Neufeld 

What is your position title?

Caribou Biologist

When did you first come to Jasper?

I first came to Jasper as a kid, but returned to work in 2006.

What was your education/career path?

Undergrad in biological sciences, and then MSc in wildlife ecology and management (thesis based, studying caribou and wolves in the Little Smoky range in west-central Alberta, including 9.5 months in the field).

What do you do for Parks Canada?

I work on monitoring a key species at risk in Jasper National Park: woodland caribou, and by extension many associated species and projects. My role in these projects varies from the more mundane financial planning and data entry, to collaborating with some of North America’s best wildlife scientists, to the special moments of standing in a pristine meadow with caribou nearby. I work with spatial data, statistics, models, and numbers to help us evaluate impacts and recovery options.

What would you tell a 10-year-old girl about science?

This world is so fascinating, and there are innumerable ways to measure and examine it – your curiosity can help inspire new ways to apply science to challenging questions about ecology. It’s not easy sometimes, but can be thrilling to better understand details about how ecosystems work, and ultimately to help inform decisions so impacts to wildlife are considered.