[Full Interview] Designs For Life - with Dr Tara Martin

Season 1, Ep. 0

I had the delightful honor of meeting Tara Martin when I lived on Vancouver Island. We canoed out to a tiny Salish Sea sand island and shared a delicious sunset picnic among old growth forests. I love Tara because she is a rare breed of scientist that can seamlessly blend rigorous data science and ecological analysis with deep intuition and cultural insight.

In this interview, we cover the basics of conservation decision science and “priority threat management” - a field she is pioneering - and how it can help policymakers prioritise complex conservation decisions. We discuss her lab’s work in the Frasier River Estuary and with First Nations across Canada. Listen to her vivid descriptions of lost eco-cultural landscapes, how she worked to save a preserved island and returned it back to indigenous stewards, how to have a seat at the table for the salmon, the role of art and beauty in conservation and the old-growth herbaceous elders that are hiding just out of sight.

Tara is a Professor in Conservation Decision Science with the Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences at the University of British Columbia. She is also the Liber Ero Chair in Conservation at UBC and is a pioneer in the field of Conservation Decision Science. Tara was recently awarded The Nature Conservancy Professor in Practice Award and is a member of the IUCN Climate Change Specialist Group and co-leads the Climate Adaptation Theme.

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Look out for meditations, poems, readings, and other snippets of inspiration in between episodes.

Music: Electric Ethnicity by Igor Dvorkin, Duncan Pittock, Ellie Kidd

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