Assistant professor, PhD Victoria
Chris Darimont is an interdisciplinary conservation scientist who applies natural and social science tools to confront conservation problems that are both conceptually interesting and acutely applied. Although Chris and his fledgling lab group have broad scholarly interests, they maintain three primary research domains: i) landscape ecology at the marine-terrestrial interface, ii) conservation biology of harvest management, and iii) conservation ethics. The wildlife and people of the central coast of British Columbia – an area popularly known as the Great Bear Rainforest – comprise a study system of particular interest. While this geographic focus invokes a strong sense of place, the research is designed to have a global reach.
Chris’ interdisciplinary roots can be traced to broad training and a wide network of collaborators. After earning a PhD in Evolution and Ecology from the University of Victoria, his postdoctoral work took him to the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a large group of research partners. Throughout this scholarly preparation, he also worked closely with conservation leaders from First Nations communities of coastal British Columbia. He maintains these important relationships, which guide his research interests. Although many conceive these collaborations as opportunities to develop the capacity of First Nations, Chris views them as prospects to develop his own capacity as an applied scholar. Finally, much of Dr. Darimont’s development can be traced to his long-term affiliation with the science-based eNGO Raincoast Conservation Foundation, having served as its Director of Science.
This background has cultivated in Chris a sense of responsibility to engage in outreach. Trained in science communication, he serves frequently as an ambassador for universities. His work is commonly featured in high-profile media (e.g., National Geographic television, New York Times).
Teaching and mentoring students, however, is Chris’ favourite form of outreach. Currently, he teaches GEOG 391 (Contemporary Topics in Coastal Conservation) and GEOG 353 (Coastal and Marine Resources) during the spring term. He is also developing a field course in the Great Bear Rainforest for summer 2013 and beyond.Work conducted by Dr. Darimont and his students is made possible by the foresight and generosity of the Hakai Beach Institute (Tula Foundation) and the Raincoast Conservation Foundation.