BCIT, 1998, Diploma, Fish, Wildlife, and Recreation
University of British Columbia, 1996, BSc, Agriculture (Animal Science)
“I originally entered the Faculty of Science in order to become the world’s greatest Architect… then physics happened. I transferred to the less formidable Faculty of Agriculture in my second year and started my studies in the Animal Science department. My second thought was to become the world’s greatest Veterinarian. That lasted a few years until I discovered that I would leave my options a bit more open if I became the world’s greatest Wildlife Biologist. I focused my studies on wildlife and range resources, taking various ecology courses along the way.
I had a very active social life at UBC. I was a member of the Aggie Undergraduate Society for at least 3 years and helped to organize many events. Aggie week was always a blast! Other good memories include watching the faces of fellow lab students (agricultural economics students) when a whole cow stomach was rolled out of the back of a truck for us to dissect, sending an AI glove to my mom with no return address, the ‘Booze Cruise’ (a.k.a. the AgSc 300 field trip), watching a calf being born (my Valentine’s Day present), the Women in Agriculture event on Vancouver Island, ski trips to Mount Washington, and all of the wonderful friends I made.
I eventually obtained a BSc (Agr) degree in 1996. Although I graduated without a student loan to pay off (I had worked in Golden as a lifeguard every summer), I was finding that all the jobs that looked good to me required someone with ‘experience’. I decided that the best way to get further education as well as some experience was to go to BCIT. I entered the Fish, Wildlife, and Recreation program at BCIT in 1996.
Not only did I get job-ready skills at BCIT but I also was able to be in a Co-op program which enabled me to work in my field of study. I also changed what I was to become – the world’s greatest Fisheries Technician. While at BCIT I worked with the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program (nestbox monitoring, deer scat and lichen surveys, monitoring noxious weeds), Dillon Consulting (restoring salmon habitat, mapping ditches, collecting fish and water samples), and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (database research, intertidal mapping). I received my technical diploma in 1998, just before the “Bank of Mom and Dad” closed.
I had been working as a contractor since finishing at BCIT, as most of what I do is dependent on government funding. I have worked at many jobs in the field including mapping streams for the City of Abbotsford . I have also been involved in mapping streams, collecting fish and water samples, as well as educating youth about environmental issues and concerns for MCC Ecoworks, a non-profit organization. I have even moonlighted as ‘Chucky the Chum’ at a Canada Day celebration. As a contractor for the City of Abbotsford I had two different roles. As a Stream Stewardship Coordinator I was involved in managing various environmental programs, interpreting applicable legislation and technical reports, responding to various public complaints and inquiries, securing and managing research programs and grant funding, and coordinating community group/volunteer activities. I also acted as a liaison between senior government agency staff, municipal staff, stakeholders and the public. As an Environmental Coordinator for the City’s Dyking, Drainage and Irrigation Department, I was involved in this exciting new role set up and approved by municipal and senior government agency staff. This position allowed the City to have an internal environmental monitor who provides direction to municipal staff, ensures that ministry-authorized work conditions are adhered to, compiles data and reports to municipal and senior government agency staff, and acts as a liaison between the agencies. I also helped develop planting plans for the City’s Parks Department.
Subsequently I took up the position of biologist with Golder Associates Ltd., in the Abbotsford office. Job duties include: aquatic resource assessment, environmental permitting, environmental impact assessment, research, environmental monitoring, water quality assessment, data analysis and reporting, database management, and proposal writing. Professional memberships include the BC Institute of Agrologists and the Association of Professional Biologists of BC
While at BCIT I managed to have enough time to fall in love. Iain works his summers as a naturalist and deckhand on a 70 ft sailboat for an eco-tourism company. He also has worked for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans as a fish enumeration technician. We live in New Westminster but hope to move into the BC interior and open up our own Environmental Consulting company when he is finished his biology studies at SFU.”