UBC Peter Arcese Lab, Mandarte Island, BC
I have recently begun my fourth co-op work term and so far the island life has been everything I have expected and more! Upon my arrival on Mandarte Island, monitoring of the resident song sparrow population (Melospiza melodia) and banding of their nestlings began. Since then I have been collecting data on the territories, movement and feeding behaviour of song sparrows and spent some time mapping the territories of fox sparrows as well. With a population of 3 (myself included), Mandarte Island is the epitome of a small town and I have grown very fond of my coworkers and the life off the grid. Over the last month I have greatly improved my patience, as it is essential for gathering the data we need, and became familiar with the requirements to maintain accurate data records. All of these skills will be transferable to both my studies at UBC and in my pursuit of a research-related career. With the help of co-op, I was able to find a position working in the field which has peaked my interest ever since my first year at UBC. For this reason, I suggest the co-op program to everyone.