Meet Kirby England

Kirby England

SALMTEC is excited to welcome Kirby as one of its contract instructors, who will be participating in SALMTEC's Biophysical Bootcamp Training Course in July 2021, which will feature four field stations: plant identification (instructed by Kirby), Grassland Vegetation Inventory, Alberta Wetland Rapid Evaluation Tool-Actual, and soils. Kirby brings with him subject matter expertise in a variety of areas, as well as education experience.

In the aspen parkland and boreal forest Kirby began learning plants at a young age alongside his father (a NAIT Forestry grad and Fish and Wildlife Officer) with a special focus on woody plant ID. As a riparian analyst with Cows and Fish for nearly five years, Kirby conducted vegetation identification as part of riparian and range health assessments and inventories for a mix of producers, municipalities, environmental NGOs and others on over 300 wetland, riparian area, and range sites throughout all but one of Alberta's Natural Subregions.

Kirby began teaching vegetation identification at Lethbridge College with Plant Systematics labs in Winter 2016 semester then again in Winter 2018 and 2019. He continues to teach plant identification as part of lectures, labs, and field trips in Ecology, Grassland and Forest Resources, and Stream Reclamation courses. Kirby has taught plant identification in the lab and in the field to hundreds of burgeoning plant-lovers.

His graduate studies on beaver herbivory in riverine forests along the South Saskatchewan River near Saskatoon returned to his original love of identifying woody plants, but in this case, many of them were nothing more than a gnawed off stump and a thorough understanding of a variety of identifying characteristics was important! Ongoing beaver coexistence work through You Betula Environmental Inc. involves additional vegetation identification and aquatic ecology data collection to prepare project review submissions for Fisheries and Oceans Canada approval. Kirby has worked with several municipalities on multiple type of sites, but his hope is to do much more as beaver coexistence efforts grow in Alberta.

As a self-declared plant nerd, Kirby loves teaching plant identification to the most tyro of naturalists right through to botanizing with the most devoted plant enthusiasts out there.