Exploring Alberta's Two O'Clock Ridge. Image: Adam Linnard
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Karine Pigeon

Raised by avid backcountry enthusiasts in Québec, Karine Pigeon developed a keen interest in the conservation of wildlife and wild places.

Soon after high school, Karine moved to Alberta in a quest for undisturbed wilderness. She pursued her post-secondary education in Environmental Science, during which time she had the opportunity to conduct her own research on snowpack dynamics. Also during that period she began work as a summer research technician for the Foothills Research Institute Grizzly Bear Program, collecting habitat-use data for grizzly bears and gathering data for the provincial grizzly bear DNA population census.

Karine Pigeion - Sarah Baker
Karine conducting research in a bear's den.
In June 2010, the Alberta government changed the status of grizzly bears to “threatened” as a result of this census. Karine's passion for grizzly bear conservation grew, and she now devotes all of her work efforts to that cause.

In 2008, Karine started an MSc and then transferred into a PhD program at Université Laval, Québec, focusing on the links between environmental variables and the denning behavior of grizzly bears, a joint effort with the
 Foothills Research Institute, which her Sarah Baker grant is supporting. The results of Karine's research will ensure that proper habitats are maintained for grizzly bears denning and living in the boreal forest.

“The Y2Y Initiative is a remarkable example of people working together,” said Karine. “I am highly grateful to the Sarah Baker Fund and the Y2Y community for helping me do my share to improve understanding of wildlife habitat needs, and play an active role in conservation efforts in the region.”