Hey everyone, this is Nathan. I want to tell you a bit about my work experiences this past summer.


Working as a Conservation Technician for the FVC is not an easy job to pin down. When friends or family asked what I had been up to for work recently, the answer was seldom the same and always seemed to surprise people or get a kick out of somebody. After all most people don’t often corral tiny toads or scrounge around for rare snails as a part of their profession.


Many of our days involved removing invasive plants from certain habitats. If not controlled, invasive plants can dominate an ecosystem, out-competing native plants and destroying biodiversity. Invasive plant removal helped me improve my plant identification skills as well as teaching me the proper techniques for dealing with different pesky invasive species.

Another significant portion of our time as FVC crew members was spent participating in surveys of different types of wildlife found in the Fraser Valley. We searched for Snails, Owls, Toadlets, and Bats. Not only did I learn about the different snail species which call the Fraser Valley home, but I felt that I gained a better appreciation for the scale on which snails live and interact.


Unlike snail surveys, which took place on a very small scale, owl surveys took us all across the lower mainland. Owl surveys took place in the evening when the adult owls were out hunting. We used a long pole with a camera attached to the end to view into owl boxes placed above hay lofts or on stands in fields. Working with Sofi, FVC’s resident owl expert, I learned more about what habitat Barn Owls like, where they hunt, and how to look for signs of recent Barn Owl activity.



A highlight of fieldwork for me was visiting an Oregon Spotted Frog site to help set up acoustic recording units (ARUs). The wetlands are a picturesque setting to work in. I got to enjoy the fantastic scenery, observe wetland wildlife, and learn about new (to me) methods for ecological research.


When the time came for the 2023 toadlet migration, the FVC Summer Conservation Crew helped to build temporary fencing to corral the toadlets towards the tunnel. We also performed road surveys to see where the toadlets were crossing, which made it very clear how important projects like the toad tunnel and other wildlife crossings are to conservation efforts.

We spent time at several volunteer events; cleaning up litter or removing different invasives. It was great to see so many people who were passionate about protecting local natural habitats and willing to dedicate their free time to helping out! I got to see how other people experienced and enjoyed the nature of the Fraser Valley. I also gained a better understanding of how the FVC and other non-profits operate and the time and effort that goes into running them.

It was an amazing opportunity to work with the FVC. I got to experience and interact with many of the wonderful plants and animals that exist right in our backyard which most of the time we don’t even notice. Every week had different tasks and new things to learn about. I felt that my work made a real impact on protecting and improving natural habitats in the Fraser Valley. It was a great reward to see how many people felt the same way about this work and were willing to support the FVC, who thanked us for what we did or who just stopped and asked questions. I am grateful to have been a part of an organization that has such a positive impact on both the local community and local ecosystems.

Written by Nathan Eastman