ABOUT ME: Resumé page

White tern logo

Nature Victoria

Programs that connect with nature

four leaves

James Clowater's Resumé

This resumé is longer than one that would typically be submitted in a employment or contract proposal, but it reflects the wide breadth of experience I have in many fields. I will accept offers of additional work or contracts, please contact me with any proposals.




Degree: Master of Science, 1999
  • Major in Behavioural Ecology
  • Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C.
Degree: Bachelor of Science (First Class) May 1993
  • Major in Biology (Co-Op) & Environmental Studies
  • University of Victoria, Victoria, B.C.
  • Awarded NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship $31,200.00
  • Web Foundations: Certified Web Site designer in XHTLM & CSS
  • Canadian Coast Guard Small Craft Operator’s Training
    Level: Med A3 Certificate #CGSCT 00652
  • Pleasure Craft Operator Card
  • Environment Canada Security Screening Certificate
    Reliability Status # 95389715-0000495185
back to top
Teaching and Presentations
  • I designed and teach Continuing Education courses, the Marine Birds Course (for 12 years), and Birding for Beginners (6 years). They are offered through the University of Victoria and at Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary.
  • I developed a series of natural history programs that I offer to public groups and clubs.
  • I taught the seabird module of the Fisheries Observers Course at Malaspina University-College.
  • Developed a lunch-time lecture series "Brown Bag Birds" for marine researchers at the Institute of Ocean Sciences.
  • Skilled at giving lectures and natural history presentations to both academic and public audiences
  • Management and coordination of projects and crews - Party chief for legal, geodetic, and geophysical surveys on Vancouver Island and in Alberta. Supervised field crews for Pan Canadian and Getty Oil.
  • Management in retail sales - hiring personnel, performance evaluations, payroll, customer service, public relations, marketing, and quality control.
  • Proven proficiency at dealing effectively with the public and in mediating complaints.
Database management and programming
  • I am experienced in database design and queries in MS ACCESS.
  • I am experienced in building geo-spatial databases and map production in ESRI’s ArcGIS.
  • I have experience in processing field research data, proofing, writing programs to reformat and standardize raw data and transforming data to import into storage or analytical applications including ACCESS and ArcGIS.
  • I am a certified Web Site designer using XHTML and CSS.
Marine and Terrestrial Ecology
  • Ecological survey skills - habitat surveys, wildlife species inventories, TEM mapping, plant identification.
  • Environmental Impact studies - Impact of shellfish aquaculture on marine birds.
  • Paleoecology - Experienced in collecting soil samples and stratigraphy in support of a paleoecological study of climate change.
  • I have conducted research in marine foraging ecology.
  • Knowledge of marine ecosystems and skilled in identifying marine algae and intertidal organisms.
Surveying and Engineering
  • I have 14 years experience as an engineering, geophysical, geodetic, and legal survey technologist.
  • I am familiar with land survey instruments, theodolites, EDM’s, and levels and can conduct precise land surveys and layout procedures.
  • Experienced in preliminary location surveys, boundary location, percolation tests, and soil sampling.
  • Experienced in construction layout and structural steel anchor bolt layout for large buildings and mall complexes.
  • Experienced in the layout and installation of waterlines and sanitary sewers.
  • Experienced with aerial photo and topographic interpretation and orienteering.
  • I am an ornithologist specializing in behavioural ecology, and particularly in the foraging behaviour of marine birds.
  • Knowledge of both terrestrial and marine birds. Identification, habitat associations, and behaviour.
  • Experience conducting breeding bird surveys in terrestrial ecosystems.
  • Extensive experience conducting marine bird transect surveys.
  • Experience teaching ornithology and animal behaviour.
  • I have worked on projects with both Federal and Provincial Forestry Ministries.
  • Experienced with forest insect and disease surveys.
  • Experienced in dendrochronology, tree-ring measuring, detrending data and analysis.
Writing and Communication

back to top
  • I have published in peer-reviewed scientific journals as well as articles for the popular press.
  • I can conduct thorough research and produce properly formatted and referenced publications and reports.
  • I am a gifted public speaker and have been invited to speak at two conferences.
  • I am author and presenter of 3 natural history based lecture series: 1) the Marine Birds Course, 2) Birding for Beginners, and 3) Love Among the Feathers.
  • I have experience leading interpretive Eco-tours in both the marine and terrestrial environment.
back to top
Biological Educator & Contractor
2009 to present
  • The Marine Birds Course
    • A popular and successful program since 1998.
    • 5 weekly two-hour presentations and two field trips.
    • Life history and behavioural adaptations of marine birds
    • PowerPoint presentations illustrated with original digital video and photographs, audio, and demonstrations
  • Birding Basics - Birding for Beginners
    • A popular program started in 2004.
    • 4 weekly two-hour presentations and three field trips.
    • Introduction to identification of wild birds
    • Identification of birds by songs and calls
    • PowerPoint presentations with digital video, photographs, and audio.
  • One Hour Programs
    • Programs offered to Retrirement Residences and other groups.
      • Love Among the feathers
      • The Joy of Birdsong
      • Diving Birds Revealed
      • The Convergence of Myth, Morphology & Behaviour
  • Fisheries & Ocean Contracts
    • Converting archival images and film to digital format.
Marine Ecologist
January 2008 to May 2009

back to top
  • Employers: British Columbia Conservation Foundation
    Canadian Wildlife Service
  • Database design in MS Access
  • Responsible for populating a database and converting raw field data to compatible format and writing transcription programs to import data into archival database.
Marine Ecologist
October 2007 to June 2008
  • Clients: Capitol Regional District
    Canadian Wildlife Service
  • Research examining disturbance to migratory birds on Esquimalt Lagoon.
  • Conducted marine bird distribution surveys.
Ecosystem Analyst II
April 2007 to September 2007
  • Employers: British Columbia Conservation Foundation
    Canadian Wildlife Service
  • Design and development of a Geo-Spatial Database in MS Access & ArcGIS.
  • Writing programs to transcribe, correct, and import archival survey data.
  • Collect and incorporate Marine Bird Survey data into a single MS ACCESS database
  • Design and develop a Seabird Identification Manual.
  • Plot marine bird distribution data in ArcGIS
Ecosystem Analyst II
December 2005 to December 2006
  • Employers: British Columbia Conservation Foundation
    Canadian Wildlife Service
  • Database management for the Birds Oiled At Sea (BOAS) program.
  • Wrote programs to proof raw data from satellite surveillance missions, corrected raw data, and manipulated raw data to conform to a standardized format.
  • Imported standardized data into an MS ACCESS database.
  • Performed analysis of survey data using transformations and overlays in ARCGIS.
Laboratory Researcher
December 2005 to December 2006
  • Employer: Dr. Patrick O'Hara, University of Victoria
  • Conducted laboratory research on the effects of marine oil pollution on the feathers of marine birds.
back to top

Clowater, J.S., 2008. Disturbance to Birds on Esquimalt Lagoon Migratory Bird Sanctuary. Report for the Esquimalt Lagoon Stewardship Initiative (ELSI).

Clowater, J.S. 2008. Esquimalt Lagoon Migratory Bird Sanctuary: Diurnal Distribution Surveys. Unpublished Data Report for the Canadian Wildlife Service.

Clowater, J.S., 2004. Report of Pigeon Guillemots Nesting at Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal. Internal report for British Columbia Ferry Services Inc.

Clowater, J.S. , 2003. Watching Diving Birds - The Pull of Buoyancy. The Victoria Naturalist 59.4: 6-7 Victoria Natural History Society, Victoria, British Columbia.

Alfaro, R.I., Taylor, S.P.,Brown, R.G., and Clowater, J.S. 2001. Susceptibility of Northern British Columbia forests to spruce budworm defoliation. Forest Ecology and Management 145:181-191.

Axys Environmental Consulting, Kingzett Prof. Services Ltd., and James Clowater 2000. Review of the impacts of aquaculture lease operations on marine and shorebird species in Baynes Sound, BC Prepared for BC Ministry of Lands and Parks. 62p.

Clowater, J.S. 1998. Distribution and foraging behaviour of wintering Western Grebes. M.Sc. Thesis Simon Fraser University.

Clowater, J.S., and Burger, A.E., 1994. The Diving Behaviour of Pigeon Guillemots (Cepphus Columba) off southern Vancouver Island. Canadian Journal of Zoology 72: 863-872.

Clowater, J.S., 1993. Forest susceptibility to Spruce Budworm defoliation in the Fort Nelson area of British Columbia. Client Report, Forestry Canada, Pacific Forestry Centre, Victoria, BC

Clowater, J.S., 1991. Urban Wildlife Trends and Management. Chapter 7. Animals. in Sustaining Victoria: Exploring Urban Lifestyle Options. University of Victoria, Victoria, BC

back to top
Articles About my Research

Sarah Blunt, 2001. Night Time is the Right Time, BBC Radio, BBC Bristol, England.

Fingerlakes International Radio Series, Jan. 2001. Ocean Report. New York, U.S.A.

Linda A. Colbeck. 1999. Night Feeding by Bioluminescence, Times Colonist, Victoria, B.C.

Bob McDonald. 1998. Quirks and Quark, CBC Radio Interview, October 3, 1998.

Tom Hince. 1998. Television Interview for the Discovery Channel, March 29, 7:00pm EST.

Whelan, Peter. 1997. Western Grebes feed on glow-in-the-dark fish. The Globe & Mail, March 29,D8.

Zuehlke, Mark. 1997. Fishing Lights. New Scientist No. 2097, 30 August 1997, p. 21.

McLennan, Marty. 1997. A Stab In The Dark. Canadian Wildlife August: 34-36.

Backhouse, F. 1997. Dining by the glow of plankton. Equinox No. 95 November: 14.