Andrew Ferguson

BSCN – British Columbia Conservation Foundation 

For my second co-op term I have been working for the British Columbia Conservation Foundation as part of the Spartina Control Crew. This crew is made by possible by the collaboration of numerous stakeholders throughout the lower mainland, including the cities of Vancouver, Delta, Surrey, Port Moody, as well as, Environment Canada, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and Ducks Unlimited Canada. Most of our days are spent monitoring salt marsh ecosystems of the lower mainland for Spartina Anglica. It is a highly invasive cordgrass that changes the soil structure of these ecosystems and outcompetes/smothers native vegetation. The potential changes it could cause to the mudflats would have dire consequences to many of the invertebrate species that inhabit them, and thus much of the food supply for the native and migratory bird populations. This term has given me a great deal of insight into the salt marsh ecosystems around us in the lower mainland, including what vegetation occurs in them and the potential threats these ecosystems face (and in getting stuck in mud). I have also gained first-hand experience in invasive species control and in using GIS software like Survey 123 and Collector. Lastly, this job boasts some great views of our beautiful coastline, even when waist-deep in mud searching for invasive grass seedlings.