So she began a Master of Professional Communications at Royal Roads University. Now, thanks to a Mitacs internship, Alina is helping the Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team (GOERT) enlist the public’s support to save endangered woodland areas.
A recent outbreak of spruce budworm infestation in Quebec contributed to millions of dollars in lost revenue potential for Canada’s lumber industry and threatened forests in northern New Brunswick. This prompted researchers at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) and Carleton University to partner in the development of solutions to ward off the forest pest.
Native trees are known to support local ecosystems much more effectively, providing a home and food source for local insects and wildlife. But the exact benefit of using native trees has never been studied in Canada.
Her research project, which saw her elaborate a portrait of the preindustrial forest in the Mauricie region which helped AbitibiBowater gain a desired environmental certification, fitted very well with her wider research interest as a modeler. “Accelerate provides something relatively few other internship programs offer: its short, four to six month time frame, gives you a lot of flexibility to pursue a very defined project within a larger research context,” Dr. Tittler explains.