MARLENE MACHMER has been an outstanding leader in conservation in the Kootenays for decades. She is an exceptional field biologist who provides innovative ideas to conservation and management, develops collaborative approaches, and has inspired many young biologists in our region.
Marlene has passionately led many initiatives including a reptiles at risk project, a reptile sanctuary in Warfield, heron rookery and osprey reporting and conservation with private landowners, and Yellow-breasted chat conservation to name a few.
Her conservation fingerprints are present throughout the Kootenays, including many management plans for parks and conservation properties; land remediation and conservation plans for highly impacted industrial lands; wildlife interpretations for the new Kootenay-Boundary ecosystem field guide; local inventory and stewardship projects on several listed species (e.g., Great Blue Herons, Yellow-breasted chats, North American racers), and road kill mortality.
Marlene represents local conservation issues on broader scales including as 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. One of her greatest contributions has been as a mentor to biologists in the region including her nominators for this award. As a female in the field of wildlife biology, she is also an inspiration to young women in a male-dominated field.
Marlene has been an active member of the Kootenay Conservation Program including co-hosting the Lower Columbia Conservation Action Forum, providing webinars, and co-organizing Critter Day to name a few. She has developed collaborative partnerships with the Ktunaxa Nation, assisting them with technical expertise, as well as industry, stewardship groups, and other KCP partners. Her long-term Great Blue Heron monitoring and stewardship project has engaged private landowners, naturalist clubs, and others in identifying and protecting important heron rookeries.
Marlene volunteers countless hours of her time in order to improve the outcome of conservation projects all the while maintaining extremely high professional and ethical standards.
Read more about Marlene’s work in Faces & Places.