Alana Clason

University: 
University of Northern British Columbia
Program: 
PhD Candidate
Department: 
Natural Resources and Environmental Studies
Supervisor: 
Dr. Phil Burton
Funding Period: 
2011 to 2014
The resilience of high-elevation ecosystems to cumulative disturbances across a climatic gradient

Alana’s research will examine how climate change may influence the persistence of the northern-most populations of whitebark pine in the coastal and Rocky Mountains. Whitebark pine is a critical and severely threatened tree of subalpine and tree-line forests in BC that supports a wide food web including grizzly bears, squirrels and its most important dispersal agent, Clark’s Nutcracker birds. Understanding how this tree species is responding to climate at the northern edge will be critical in developing management and restoration strategies.

Alana holds a BSc in forest science from the Faculty of Forestry at UBC and an MSc from the University of Alberta’s Department of Renewable Resources. Her MSc work introduced her to whitebark pine, which is part of a system that continues to inspire her with interesting ecological questions and important conservation implications. Alana is a board member of the Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation-Canada, working towards building awareness and promoting conservation of this important tree species. She is also an active member and researcher with the Bulkley Valley Research Centre. As a new resident of NW BC, Alana feels strong ties to the people and places that make this landscape home. She likes to grow food, play in various local sports leagues and explore the mountains, lakes and rivers from her home in Smithers.