Alia Snively (Photo courtesy Alia Snively/NCC staff)
NCC: What is your position at NCC?
AS: I am the natural area manager for central Alberta.
NCC: What is your area of work?
AS: I do most of my work within the Red Deer River Natural Area, which is located east of Red Deer and extends just north of Buffalo Lake and as far south as Rumsey. This area lies within the central parkland and northern fescue sub-regions of Alberta and is also part of the prairie pothole region, due to its high density of wetlands. I also manage Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) properties in the Drumheller area.
NCC: Why did you join the NCC team?
AS: I have always been passionate about nature and conservation, so when I first learned about NCC I knew it would be a good fit for me. Originally, I had envisioned myself travelling the world and doing conservation work, such as saving sea turtles in Costa Rica. However, throughout my undergraduate degree I started developing more of an appreciation for the vegetation, wildlife and landscapes of Alberta and realized that there is a lot of conservation work needed in my own country as well.
It is inspiring to be surrounded by such dedicated people within NCC, but also within the communities where we work.
NCC: When did you start with NCC?
AS: I started with NCC in April 2015.
NCC: What is your educational background?
AS: I have a BSc in environmental and conservation sciences and an MSc in land reclamation, for which I studied initial vegetation development on reclaimed mine sites.
NCC: What is your previous experience?
AS: My previous experience includes working as a weed inspector for Sturgeon County and as a summer field assistant for wetland and upland reclamation projects, and teaching an undergraduate lab on plant identification in the boreal forest.
NCC: What are your hobbies, when you’re not working for NCC?
AS: My main hobbies are anything that gets me outdoors. This includes playing soccer and softball, hiking, camping, biking, gardening, cross-country skiing, snowboarding and travelling. On rainy days, I enjoy knitting, making crafts and reading.
NCC: Do you have a favourite species?
AS: That is a tough one because I like them all, but I would have to say balsam fir is my favourite because of its soft needles, upright cones and amazing smell!
NCC: Describe a typical day at work.
AS: I am not sure that there is such thing as a typical day because every day is different. I spend most of my summer days walking around monitoring different properties and performing stewardship activities, such as weed control, fencing and hanging signage. When I am in the office, I spend my time documenting my field visits, writing reports, planning future stewardship activities, setting up leases and talking to neighbouring landowners. There are also days were I get to help host Conservation Volunteers events, network with partner organizations and engage community groups. I really enjoy the variety of tasks and endless opportunities to learn something new.