We are pleased to announce that Lauren Eckert is one of therecipients of The Dr. Ian and Joyce McTaggart Cowan Scholarship for 2015/2016. Dr. Ian McTaggart Cowan was a scientist, researcher and director of The Nature Trust. This scholarship in honour of him and his wife Joyce recognizes conservation studies at the University of Victoria.
My research on BC’s Central Coast seeks to integrate traditional ecological knowledge of Coastal First Nations with ongoing scientific studies for holistic fisheries management. BC’s biodiverse ocean, inlets, fjords, and estuaries support ecosystems and fish species economically and ecologically vital to a multitude of stakeholders and governments.
My research focuses on groundfish (rockfish and lingcod) on the Central Coast and utilizes a combination of semi-structured interviews with First Nations elders and fishers, and collaboration with marine scientists working to study current groundfish population dynamics. My project joins a growing body of work aiming to advance the efficacy of marine fisheries management by overcoming data limitations and user conflicts through exploration of diverse cultural perspectives and historical knowledge.
In conclusion, my interdisciplinary work aims to more deeply understand and thereby manage rockfish populations in BC, inform and engage local First Nation communities, and utilize traditional and historic knowledge to facilitate a re-examination of simplistic and inadequate fisheries management paradigms.