Rooha Imran is a fourth year honours student in the Sustainable Environmental Management program. Her interests are in wildlife conservation, climate change, and sustainability. She decided to pursue her Senior Honours Work (SHW) as it offered an opportunity to conduct practical research that could solve real-world problems.
Rooha is completing a thesis-based SHW project focusing on the spatial and temporal interactions of cormorants and black-crowned night herons at Tommy Thompson Park. Her SHW involves working with data collected by park naturalists at the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) using functions of ArcGIS and Excel. Rooha was inspired to pursue this topic out of a love for birds and her studies in EUC. In a second year course, she learned that double-crested cormorants are often management through methods of culling, which Rooha found to be incredibly upsetting, inspiring an understanding of how cormorants impact other species and whether they negatively impacted their surroundings in general, as to provide substantial background on avoiding extreme management strategies in the future.
Rooha’s SHW is supervised by Professor Gail Fraser, the Undergraduate Program Director and Sustainable Environmental Management Coordinator at EUC, with notable research in waterbird ecology, wildlife management, protected area management, and environmental management of offshore oil and gas. Rooha has enjoyed courses with Professor Fraser since her first year of study, being particularly fond of her research, which served as an inspiration for her SHW.
Despite the limitations of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rooha feels that her SHW project has kept her connected to her purpose. Rooha’s SHW has allowed her to apply the tools and knowledge she has gained throughout her studies. “It has allowed me to understand what I am passionate about and what I enjoy doing the most…SHW gave me a clear vision of what I wanted to do and how my degree had equipped me with the knowledge,” she explained.
Rooha looks forward to applying the skills she has acquired through her SHW into a policy or environmental management related job. Her advice for students looking to pursue SHW is to enjoy the opportunity and find a project that serves a purpose in both your career and life in general.