Nikki Heim’s passion to protect wild spaces began early on. She was fortunate to be raised in the small town of Rossland, British Columbia. Growing up in an active outdoor enthusiastic family provided her with the opportunity to spend much of her time exploring the local wilderness where she developed a great appreciation and love for the natural world.
Nikki is conducting a study of wolverine populations in south-central Alberta as part of her M.Sc. in Environmental Science. Little is known about the elusive wolverine and this lack of information greatly impedes wolverine management.
Nikki spends her winters traveling through the backcountry on skis to set up hair traps and remote cameras to learn more about this unique animal (watch the video on DNA snagging). The data collected from these non-invasive tools will help her better understand what human impacts and factors limit wolverine population in Alberta Eastern Slopes.
Her work will be combined with results from surveys conducted by the Alberta Research Council and will be used to develop Best Management Practices for agencies and industry to manage their activities within the Eastern Alberta Foothills region.
Nikki's involvement in wolverine research has already made headlines. Last winter she was the first person to see a remote camera image of a wolverine using an overpass in Banff National Park.
Once Nikki has completed her M.Sc. student in Environmental Science she plans to pursue a career in wildlife conservation.