Joyce's interest in working in the outdoors was piqued while she was an undergraduate student, where she spent the summer working as a field assistant for a graduate student who was researching nitrogen fixation of blue-green algae in the High Arctic. It was during that northern summer that she made the decision to work in a conservation field, on plants, in the outdoors. It also fueled a passion for working in arctic and alpine environments.
After receiving a PhD in Conservation Biology from the University of Alberta in 2007, Joyce resumed employment with the Parks Division of Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation in a new position as Science Coordinator. Joyce's work there involves promoting research in parks and protected areas, fostering the link between science and management and showcasing Parks as living laboratories. Her main areas of interest are protected areas management and conservation of vascular plants, particularly rare species such as whitebark and limber pine. This type of employment provides Joyce with the opportunity to continue to work outdoors where she focuses on trying to predict where rare species are found on the landscape. This information can be used in park and species management. Joyce finds that it is a challenging but rewarding job which provides much opportunity for learning new things.
Joyce has been fortunate in being able to work in her chosen field of study first as a biologist with the Alberta government and later with Ontario Parks. She returned to Alberta for employment as an ecologist after spending time in Ontario . The majority of her early working career was spent documenting the diversity of plants and animals in sites of conservation interest such as parks and natural areas. This information was used for both species-level conservation initiatives as well as management planning for the particular site. She has worked extensively in the fields of protected areas management and rare plant conservation and currently sits on a number of Recovery Teams, the vascular plant subcommittee of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and the Canadian Council on Ecological Areas (CCEA). She was also an editor of the book entitled, 'Rare Vascular Plants of Alberta.
In addition to her work with the province, Joyce has been fortunate to continue working in the north on both Ellesmere and Baffin Islands where she has been volunteering to monitor vegetation in relation to climate change since the 1990s. She is also currently working on a new flora for Alberta with Dr. J. G. Packer.
Added: 27 May 2009