Leta Pezderic (Photo courtesy Leta Pezderic)
NCC: What is your position at NCC?
LP: I am the natural area manager for south-central Alberta.
NCC: What is your area of work?
LP: I am responsible for the delivery of conservation programs in the Nature Conservancy of Canada's (NCC’s) natural areas, specifically the Milk River Ridge, Milk River Basin, Pakowki Lake and Cypress Uplands. I have the privilege of working with local landowners, partner organizations, conservation volunteers, funders and other stewards of the land.
NCC: Why did you join the NCC team?
I wanted to make a difference on the ground.
NCC: When did you start with NCC?
LP: I began this journey with NCC at the beginning of April 2015 and look forward to the years to come!
NCC: What is your educational background?
LP: I moved from Claresholm to Lethbridge in 2000 to attend Lethbridge College, where I received my diploma in renewable resource management as well as a certificate in fish and wildlife technology. I transferred to the University of Lethbridge, where I obtained my bachelor of science degree in environmental science.
NCC: What is your previous experience?
LP: I spent four summers (between college and university) working in Waterton Lakes National Park as a non-native plant monitoring technician. After graduating, I accepted a position with Cows and Fish (Alberta Riparian Habitat Management Society) as a riparian (riverbank habitat) resource analyst, and worked with them for three years. Since then, I have worked as a lab technician in the Environmental Sciences Department at Lethbridge College and then a short time with Alberta Environment, working on a community-based social marketing project. I spent six and a half years with the Oldman Watershed Council as their program coordinator before joining the NCC team.
NCC: What are your hobbies, when you’re not working for NCC?
LP: I am a wife, and a mom to three young boys. My husband and I spend our "spare" time working on the seven hectares (18 acres) of native prairie we invested in, north of Coaldale along the Oldman River. I enjoy photography, traveling, hiking, camping, gardening, fly fishing, motor biking and most of all spending time in my yard with my kids and my chickens.
NCC: Do you have a favourite species?
LP: All of them! But twist my arm and I might say...
Native forb: blue-eyed grass and shooting stars
Native grass: blue grama grass, needle and thread and Indian rice grass
Bird: bluebirds and any and all owls
But seriously, there are not very many species that I don’t get excited about...unless they fall under arachnids...or invasives… ;)
NCC: Describe a typical day at work.
LP: That’s the beauty of working with NCC: there is no typical day! One day we could be in the office plucking away at the computer, the next up in an airplane surveying properties and the next sitting at a landowner's kitchen table discussing stewardship...It sure keeps life interesting, always learning something!