Gila Somers

MSc Candidate (January 2009 - present) 

Gila SomersHometown: Yellowknife, NWT
Education: HBES 2004 Lakehead University (Thunder Bay, ON)

Research: "Temporal changes in habitat and  slimy sculpin (Cottus cognatus) in the Kennebecasis watershed"

There is a poor understanding of the connections between riparian structure and river function.  This study will focus on the Kennebecasis watershed where land uses include forestry, agriculture and urban development. 

It will develop a framework of the relationships between natural drivers in the system (vegetation, flow, morphology, temperature, etc.) and the health of fish populations. The long term goal of the study is to develop a predictive model of the cumulative effects of development activities to minimize potential impacts of development on fish populations in the Kennebecasis watershed.

Spatial analysis using a Geographic Information System (GIS) will be used to assess the effects of land use change from 1994 to 2009.  This application will correlate the measure of disturbance to various activities, and then relates those disturbances to the condition of the study species and other VECs. This allows the illustrated creation of certain cause-effect relationships.

Relevant work experience

From 2004-2008 I worked with the Federal Government of Canada with the Contaminants and Remediation Directorate at INAC in Yellowknife. My work focused on assessment and development of remediation plans for various abandoned mine and military sites across the north. My interest was on water quality and compliance with Environment Canada’s Metal Mining and Effluent Regulations.