Boutin, Dr. Stan

2001 Winner: Al-Pac Integrated Landscaping Management

Research Concludes Caribou Mortality Rate Affected By Linear Features Created By Industry

Dr. Stan Boutin of the University of Alberta has made outstanding contributions to landscape management and environmental impact assessment. His long record of scientific achievements has contributed to finding ways to integrate industrial activity with the needs of woodland caribou, a threatened species in Alberta.

A Startling Discovery

Over the years, cumulative impacts of forestry and oil and gas activities have affected woodland caribou. Linear features such as seismic lines, pipelines and roads change caribou habitat use and population dynamics. Dr. Boutin and his research team’s findings demonstrate that wolves, a common predator of the caribou, use linear features such as seismic lines to hunt for the animals in a more efficient manner. The lines even help wolves travel faster; thereby, increasing their hunting efficiency. The net result is increased mortality rates for caribou.

Encouraging Change

Dr. Boutin’s findings have provided a strong incentive for the energy sector to consider new methods of exploration, set new guidelines and develop new ways to conduct integrated landscape management. Aside from his involvement with the Boreal Caribou Committee, Dr. Boutin has been a key player in the Sustainable Forest Management Network at the University of Alberta and a member of numerous industry related associations. Dr. Boutin has authored 80 papers in peer-reviewed publications, co-edited a book and written 13 published chapters. His relentless enthusiasm for his work has brought him recognition and respect from his academic and industrial colleagues alike.