Meet Kate, Cultural Resource Management Advisor

Favourite part of the park?

My favourite part of any park are spots where you can see ancient travel routes through the landscape. Standing on a viewpoint you can follow the path of a river, but also start to connect the higher areas of dry land that would have been good for walking. This makes the park come alive with the footprints of those who came before us.

Best project/study you’ve gotten to work on?

In summer 2021 I was on the team who, over only 9 days, canoed 160 km of the Hornaday River in Tuktut Nogait National Park. The team took samples to assess water quality and the aquatic macroinvertebrate community, did a raptor occupancy and abundance survey, and a lemming winter nest count near Uyarsivik Lake. 25 cultural sites were visited and studied for factors like animal activity, permafrost slumping and wind erosion. Monitoring of these isolated cultural sites relies heavily on the river monitoring trip and would not be possible without teamwork.

Favourite part of your job?

A favourite part of my job is working to enhance and support connectedness to Parks Canada parks and sites through cultural resources. Local people, visitors and Parks Canada staff alike gain new insights on Parks Canada places through visiting cultural sites and doing activities like handling artifact replicas. These insights are different depending on the individual’s background and that’s exciting and important to the work we do.

What do you love most about science?

I love how developments in science and technology open up new ways of learning about the past. We can now walk around a cultural site and make a digital map in real time with special software on a smartphone. Fascinating new developments have also been made in how we understand the movement of people, animals and objects based on isotope analysis. There are always new ways of doing science, and integrating these with traditional Indigenous knowledge reveals a rich and complex picture of the past.