Volunteer profile – Michelle Gray

October 3, 2015

Meet Michelle Gray, a member of the NB Advisory Committee.

Gray is an Assistant Professor at the University of New Brunswick in the Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Management. She just recently switched to this new exciting role from heading up the training program for the Canadian Rivers Institute for the past 10 years.

Gray has called Fredericton home since moving here to attend school in 1999, but she is originally from Nova Scotia.

“I first became involved with ASCF in 2012 when my good friend and colleague Darla Saunders (ASCF Conservation Program Coordinator)contacted me with a fantastic idea to partner with the Canadian Rivers Institute to run a monthly webinar series,” said Gray. “At the exact same time I had some funding to start a seminar series, but the idea of a webinar series was far more appealing since you can reach so many more people, and give people all over the map access to interesting speakers and subject experts that they perhaps would not have been able to travel to see and hear.”

“I am an environmental scientist and researcher that focusses on environmental monitoring using fish and bugs as our indicators. The funds that ASCF provide across the region do a tremendous amount to put the management plans and projects in place that improve our aquatic systems. Conserving and protecting habitat for Atlantic salmon improves the system for all other biota present as well.”

Gray said she stays involved with ASCF because of its people and the mission.

“The ASCF team of Stephen, Darla, and Krystal are each successful and genuine people that I believe and support, as well as the mission and the goals of the ASCF. I will continue to support them while I pursue my research and teaching goals as a new professor in Environmental Management, especially since they align so well. One of my roles at UNB will be to help teach the next wave of environmental practitioners that could be watershed managers, environmental consultants, researchers, or teachers. My involvement within the ASCF will help enrich that teaching and learning experience since I will be able to use and show real examples of local and regional projects that are serving to improve watersheds.

Gray played a big role in the Salmon Hub project that is scheduled to launch October 15th, 2015by the Canadian Rivers Institute.

“The Salmon Hub is a great project that aims to be the ‘go to’ source for information about Atlantic salmon, methods for habitat improvement, and education and outreach materials,” she said.  “With the amount of information we have available at our fingertips sometimes it is nice to have it all in one convenient location. The content has been carefully collected to ensure that the best current practices are being highlighted as well as regional project successes. No one wants to reinvent any wheels, so being able to see when and where certain techniques and methods were used and how they have improved conditions is very much worth it when there are so many pieces of information to choose from.”

Gray encourages others to get involved with ASCF.

“I would tell anyone that is interested in the future of our watersheds to contact ASCF and find a local project that might be looking for volunteers, or help with the regional fundraising. Each province’s fundraising efforts help add to the pot of funds available for distribution, so it is a win-win-win situation.”
Volunteers are crucial to the work ASCF does, and each month we will introduce you to one of our stellar volunteers to say thank you for all the work they do in Atlantic salmon conservation.