Inaugural APB Seminar on Aerial Ungulate Surveys and Wildlife Tracking


The APB works at providing practicable training options for biology professionals to advance their career.  This seminar course is an opportunity for biologists to become familiar with wildlife survey methods, discuss large-scale ungulate declines, and see how modern techniques in population surveys can translate into conservation actions.



The APB is grateful for the generous support of sponsors who help make this event possible.  Sponsors help the Association at providing practicable training options for biology professionals and advance their career.  Become a sponsor.




In the CLASSROOM Seminar

November 25 and 26, 2019

  • Introduction to survey Techniques: Random Stratified Block, Modified Gasaway (U of Alaska), Distance Sampling;
  • Pros and Cons of Various Survey Methods;
  • Survey Logistics, Aerial Survey Navigation, Counting, Data Collection;
  • Moose Expert, Guest Lecture: The Importance of BC’s Moose Populations;
  • GIS, Habitat Suitability, and Predictive Ecosystem Models;
  • Introduction to DISTANCE and other software for census detection bias;
  • Mapping and Stratification of Management Unit 7-7 for Aerial Surveys.


Dough Heard, MSc, RPBio.
Tithonus Wildlife Research

I started studying predator prey relationships during my MSc research over 45 years ago while watching Vancouver Island marmots trying to avoid predation by cougars and eagles.  Since then, my research has focused on the relationships between wolves, caribou & moose.  While working for the Government of the NWT and the Province of BC, I designed numerous surveys to estimate ungulate density.  I retired from government in 2014 & I started my consulting business, Tithonus Wildlife Research.


Cathy Mackay, RPBio.
Senior Biologist, EDI Environmental Dynamics Inc

Cathy Mackay is a Senior Biologist and Chief Operations Officer at EDI Environmental Dynamics Inc. (EDI). Cathy has been involved in aerial wildlife survey since 1995. She first participated in moose random stratified block surveys while employed by the Province of BC in the Cariboo Region between 1995 and 2002. She has continued leading aerial surveys and has completed at least 14 moose surveys in addition to other species including goat, caribou, and most recently free-range horses. She has completed aerial stratification, survey preparation, and has led surveys in BC and the Yukon. Cathy is committed to sharing her experience to perpetuate continual capacity of qualified moose survey observers available to MFLRNORD and others.

Dr. Roy Rea, RPBio.
Senior Laboratory Instructor
UNBC, Ecosystem Science and Management

Roy Rea obtained a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from California State University, Stanislaus in 1992 and a Master of Science, Biology from the University of Northern British Columbia in 1999.  In 2014, Roy completed a Doctor Philosophiae in Ecology from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences in Ås, Norway.  Roy has worked as a Senior Laboratory Instructor in the Ecosystem Science and Management Program at the University of Northern BC since 2000 where he teaches Introductory Biology, Field Applications in Resource Management and labs in Plant Systematics.  Roy has worked with the Prince George Airport Authority on several projects aimed at reducing potential conflicts between aircraft and animals since 2007 and also works jointly the provincial Ministry of Transportation on projects aimed at mitigating wildlife-vehicle collisions on highways in northern British Columbia.

Mark Thompson, MSc, MEd, RPBio, CPESC.
Senior Research Ecologist
Ecologic Consultants / UNBC

Mark Thompson specializes in herpetology and the terrestrial and aquatic habitats of amphibians, but is knowledgeable about wildlife management more generally. He is the president of the APB and an adjunct faculty member with the UNBC Ecosystem Science and Management Program. Mr. Thompson has used his skills in ecological statistics, study design, GIS, and r-stats to manage projects covering a wide range of topics including development of a provincial restoration framework for ungulates, animal vehicle collision hotspot, habitat occupancy modelling, and ecotoxicology.

In FLIGHT & FIELD Training

November 27, 2019
Aleza Lake Research Forest.

In Flight Training:

  • Helicopter safety and flight school training;
  • One hour flight training in aerial survey techniques.

On the Ground Wildlife Tracking Methods:

  • Includes pellets identification, trackways, camera motion sensors, sound recorders, telemetry .


Dan Webster, BSc, PAg., RPBio., PBiol.
CEO, Senior Project Manager
Eco-Web Ecological Consulting

Dan is a second generation biologist, growing up in northeastern BC and originally learning about moose and moose inventory from his dad, starting out as a spotter in the helicopter, and now has been able to even get his own kids out on the occasional inventory project to start the third generation going. Dan has twenty-four years’ experience in the environmental consulting industry doing a wide variety of aerial and ground ungulate inventories, wildlife monitoring and research, mitigation planning, environmental impact assessments and a host of other ecological assessments.


Damian Power, RPBio.
Wolfhound Wildlife Services

Damian Power has more than 40 years’ experience with inventory and research projects on many species of mammals (bears, furbearers, ungulates, small mammals, and cetaceans; birds (raptors, waterfowl, tundra iand forest birds); and amphibians.  Damian has worked on wildlife inventory, monitoring, and habitat assessment projects in Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, the Yukon, Alaska, Alberta, and throughout British Columbia.   He has co-authored a bear sign identification guide for the British Columbia Ministry of Environment.


Claudia Houwers, BSc, RPBio.
Ecologic Consultants

Ms. Houwers is a senior terrestrial biologist with over 27 years of experience in the professional biology industry. Her expertise is wildlife habitat assessments and terrestrial ecosystem mapping with a focus on wildlife habitat suitability modelling, ecological communities and species at risk and sensitive ecosystems such as riparian areas, old-growth forests, and wetlands. Ms. Houwers has conducted aerial and ground wildlife surveys across the province involving helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft, radio telemetry, mark-recapture, snow and summer tracking and wildlife sign interpretation. She currently works as a senior biologist at Ecologic Environmental Consultants. She is responsible for conducting environmental assessments including baseline studies, effects assessments and management plans. She has a good working knowledge of the international and Canadian federal and provincial environmental legislation as well as provincial regulatory and permitting process.  She has strong GIS working capabilities, digital data collection skills and technical field skills.


Jim Cuthbert, MSc, RPBio.
Cuthbert Consulting Services

Jim Cuthbert’s environemenatal consulting focuses on the general field of applied biology with emphasis on environmental inventory using current protocols, environmental assessment, environmental monitoring, environmental impact assessment and environmental mitigation.  Jim conducted extensive surveys, both in-flight (fixed wing, helicopter), by small boat and on the ground to assess the population dynamics of the Bald Eagle population over the northern quarter of Vancouver Island and in the southern portion of the Great Bear Rain Forest.  Advanced techniques were used to detect individual occurence, population abundance, distribution and producivity including identifying active nests and prevention of nest disturbance during surveys.  Jim Cuthbert completed his graduate studies under the supervision of his mentor Dr. Ian McTaggart Cowan, widely known as the Father of Canadian ecology."