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CCWHC Education

Education is a key activity of the CCWHC. Education supports disease surveillance through instruction and engagement of wildlife field personnel and the public, and creates wildlife health specialists through university programs

The Education Dividend

The veterinary colleges and universities which are hosts to, and partners in, the CCWHC expect and receive significant returns on their investments in the CCWHC in the form of enhancements to their academic programs: externally-supported research, a steady flow of valuable teaching material, and learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, all derived directly from the CCWHC. However, these same benefits accrue to government agencies and other supporters and partners in the CCWHC as a substantial extra dividend for their investment. Each dollar invested in disease surveillance and targeted disease management programs also contributes to the education of highly qualified personnel, many of whom will be sought as employees by the CCWHC's partner agencies themselves.

Agency partners benefit from the CCWHC education program in another way as well. Each year, graduate and undergraduate students carry out projects and address management and policy issues of direct interest to CCWHC partner agencies. For example, in 2008-09, graduate students working with CCWHC faculty and professional staff have addressed the population decline of muskrats in Prince Edward Island, avian cholera in eiders and Besnoitiosis in caribou in Nunavut and Quebec, Lyme Disease and zoonotic parasites of raccoons in Quebec, Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia and the immune systems of fish in Ontario, four different aspects of Chronic Wasting Disease in wild deer in Saskatchewan, community-based monitoring of animal health and food safety and integration of traditional and scientific knowledge in the Northwest Territories, the role of Brucellosis in the population decline of caribou on Southampton Island (NU), human hydatid disease in an aboriginal community, the impact of tar sands extraction tailings on wildlife health and the measurement of long-term stress in wildlife populations in Alberta, and development of a wildlife disease decision support tool for use by national park staff in British Columbia. Undergraduate veterinary students also have regularly carried out health risk assessments and disease management policy analysis as part of courses offered by CCWHC faculty and staff, and their reports have been highly valued by several of the CCWHC's agency partners.

These education dividends - creation of the next generation of wildlife health professionals and continuous research attention given to partner agency issues - are delivered to the CCWHC's partners at no extra cost, and constitute a key advantage and cost-efficiency of the government-veterinary college partnership that is the CCWHC.

CCWHC Graduate Student Programs

A sample of graduate students affiliated with the Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre

Guylaine Séguin (DES M.Sc, University of Montreal) Residency program in wildlife health management / Pasteurella in eider ducks

Julie Ducrocq (M.Sc, University of Montreal) Besnoitia in caribou Maëlle Gouix (M.Sc, University of Montreal) Verminous pneumonia in beluga whales

Sylvain Larrat (DES Residency program, University of Montreal) in wildlife health management

Pauline Delnatte (Internship, University of Montreal) Growth of feathers in raptors

Catherine Bouchard (PhD, University of Montreal) Lyme disease in Québec

Andrée Lafaille (M.Sc, University of Montreal) Baylisascaris procyonis in raccoons in Quebec

Catherine Dubé (M.Sc, University of Montreal) Anemia in raptorial birds

Lowia Al-Hussinee (PhD, University of Guelph) Pathogenesis of VHSV in Ontario fish

Alex Reid (DVSc, University of Guelph) Innate immunity of walleye

Joanne Tataryn (M.Sc, University of Saskatchewan) Demonstrating freedom from CWD using multiple data sources and scenario trees

Erin Silbernagel (M.Sc, University of Saskatchewan) Factors affecting movement patterns of mule deer and white-tailed deer in southern Saskatchewan

Nicole Skelton (M.Sc, University of Saskatchewan) Factors affecting dispersal of yearling deer

Champika Fernanda (M.Sc, University of Saskatchewan) Factors affecting disease prevalence in deer: CWD, gastrointestinal parasites, BVD, IBR, Neospora sp.

Bryanne Hoar (PhD, University of Calgary) Conceptual and Predictive Models for the Bionomics of Ostertagia gruehneri (Nematoda: Trichostrongylidae) in Barrenground Caribou, with Respect to Northern Climate Change

Pat Curry (PhD, University of Calgary) A New Community-based Technique for Monitoring Disease in Caribou: Assessing and Implementing the Use of Blood-on-filter-paper Collected by Hunters

Nathan deBruyn (M.Sc, University of Calgary) Development and Application of a Rapid, Non-Invasive Diagnostic Tool for the Identification of Gastrointestinal Nematodes in Northern Ungulates

Ryan Brook (Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Calgary) The Rangifer Anatomy Project: Integrating Traditional and Scientific Knowledge

Danna Schock (Postdoctoral Fellow, University Calgary) Detection of pathogen DNA from caribou blood on filter paper

Jane Harms (MVetSc, University of Saskatchewan) "Wildlife Diseases" (Health of tree swallows on oil sands reclaimed wetlands)

Chelsea Himsworth (MVetSc, University of Saskatchewan) "Wildlife Diseases" (Epidemiology of Bovine Tuberculosis in the Hook Lake Bison Recovery Project)

Johan Lindsjo (M.Sc - University of Saskatchewan) Development and application of a health function score system for grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) in western Alberta

Scott Nielsen (Postdoctoral fellow, University of Saskatchewan) Wildlife Health Research

Amanda Salb (M.Sc, University of Calgary) Using population and environment to inform surveillance decisions for anthrax in free ranging bison

Sarah Boyle (MEM, Royal Roads University) Development of a decision support tool for national parks staff regarding wildlife disease events

Kate Sawford (PhD, University of Calgary) Use of front-line veterinarians for surveillance for early warning of emerging diseases

Michele Anholt (PhD, University of Calgary) Pets as sentinels for emerging environmental hazards

Colin Robertson (PhD, University of Victoria) Space-time surveillance of emerging infectious diseases risk

Garry Gregory (M.Sc, University of Prince Edward Island) Investigation into the decline of muskrat populations on PEI

Soraya Sayi (MVetSc, University of Prince Edward Island) Wildlife Diagnostic Pathology