Postdoctoral Fellow Carleton University Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Session Description: The scientific challenges in designing effective ecological monitoring programs are well known. Ecosystems are inherently complex, and when monitoring threatened species and places, it can be particularly difficult to achieve the replication necessary for conventional scientific studies. However, there are additional, more important (and often neglected) considerations when designing monitoring programs. These include establishing meaningful engagement with Indigenous knowledge and rights holders, ensuring clear links between monitoring and stewardship decisions, and, relatedly, properly considering both Indigenous and non-Indigenous laws and regulations that must guide decisions. Effective monitoring must therefore consider much more than gathering scientific data.
Our workshop will outline the proper foundations for sound ecological monitoring programs, and will demonstrate how careful design can lead to monitoring that can better inform stewardship. Specifically, we will use an interactive and case-study based approach to show how partnerships with Indigenous knowledge holders, and anchoring in both Indigenous and non-Indigenous laws can prevent wasted or even counter-productive effort. We will also demonstrate how engagement with community science programs can help contribute to effective monitoring. Finally, we will show how partnerships employing a “Two-Eyed Seeing” approach combining Indigenous knowledge with emerging mathematical tools and new monitoring technologies, show great promise in improving ecological monitoring programs.