Faces & Places: Marlene Machmer

Marmmlene is a registered professional biologist who has focused her career on identifying and conserving biodiversity in the Kootenay Region. She is the Managing Director and Principal Ecologist with Pandion Ecological Research Ltd. based in Nelson, which she founded in 1990.

Marlene has a Masters in Ecology from SFU and 27 years of broad-based experience with ecosystem, wildlife habitat, and biodiversity inventory, research, management, and monitoring. She continues to work as a field ecologist in forest, range, and riparian settings, and has authored many technical reports and publications focused on management and stewardship of ecosystems, habitats, and species at risk. Her background in environmental impact assessment has helped her develop and implement a number of mitigation and restoration plans for hydroelectric, forestry, mining, and recreation sectors. She has followed projects through to monitoring phases, and applied her findings to help refine practices and develop operational guidelines.

Marlene works as a technical advisor to the Ktunaxa First Nation, and she has written many management plans for parks and conservation properties in our region (e.g., Fort Shepherd Conservancy, Pend d’Oreille, Marsden, Broadwater). She is currently developing and implementing land remediation and conservation plans as part of a Lower Columbia Ecosystem Management Program, funded by Teck Metals Ltd. Wildlife interpretations for the new Kootenay-Boundary ecosystem field guide were developed by Marlene. She is also conducting local inventory and stewardship projects on several listed species (e.g., great blue herons, yellow-breasted chats, North American racers) and has recently completed an eight year study on wildlife roadkill mortality, with broad implications for listed wildlife. Marlene is a member of the BC Forest Practices Board, the Elk Valley Cumulative Effects Management Framework, the Provincial Yellow-breasted Chat Recovery Team, the Pacific Northwest Great Blue Heron Working Group, the BC Herptofauna and Road Ecology Working Group, and the Salmo Watershed Streamkeepers Society.

Marlene was inspired when she first arrived here in 1987 to study the Kootenay Lake osprey population and she continues to work tirelessly to promote responsible stewardship of the impressive biological diversity our region has to offer. She enjoys kayaking, mountain biking, hiking, and watching wildlife, and she feels especially fortunate to be able to pursue these activities as part of her work.