NCC's Hillary Page conducting monitoring on the Kootenay River Ranch, BC (Photo by NCC)

NCC's Hillary Page conducting monitoring on the Kootenay River Ranch, BC (Photo by NCC)

2015 Conservation Interns

This summer, two enthusiastic interns are helping the Nature Conservancy of Canada oversee many of its properties in British Columbia. They'll spend approximately two weeks in each NCC region, helping to conduct baseline inventories, working on restoring wetlands, and even surveying screech owls. Jon Kelly and Mike Bagnall are both Ontario residents, and this summer is their first time in BC, so they're both excited to be exploring the wilds of Canada's west.

This summer's NCC interns are generously sponsored by Imperial.

Meet the interns

Jon Kelly, 2015 Conservation Intern (Photo courtesy Jon Kelly)

Jon Kelly, 2015 Conservation Intern (Photo courtesy Jon Kelly)

Jon Kelly

What are you studying and where?

I earned an Honours Bachelor of Science from the University of Toronto where I studied Conservation Biology and Forest Conservation Science. Currently, I'm wrapping up an online postgraduate Certificate in Environmental Management at the University of Toronto.

Where will you be working for NCC this summer?

While I'm based out of the Canadian Rockies (which has been awesome), I'll be spending some time working in other regions throughout the province, including the Southern Interior and the Coast. 

What are you most looking forward to as an NCC summer intern?

I'm really looking forward to getting on the ground conservation experience, working alongside and learning from an extremely enthusiastic and knowledgeable group of conservation professionals.

What is your favourite place in nature and why?

Having only briefly experienced the mountains in BC prior to this summer, I am absolutely mesmerized by the Rocky and Purcell Mountains. That said, I love spending time in and around the water. There is no one place in particular that is my favourite, though. I really like to explore places I haven't been.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

At one point I wanted to be a lawyer and at another point, an artist. Really, though, I think I mostly wished I was a fish so I could breathe underwater and explore unexplored places.

What is your favourite BC species, and why?

I am not sure whether I have a single favourite, but Wolf Lichen (Letharia vulpina) is super cool. It's widespread, common, and adds a bright yellow-green colour and interesting texture to the coniferous forests throughout the region. Beyond its bright appearance (lending to its use to make paints and dyes), it is also toxic, which gives it a certain mystique.


Mike Bagnall, 2015 Conservation Intern (Photo courtesy Mike Bagnall)

Mike Bagnall, 2015 Conservation Intern (Photo courtesy Mike Bagnall)

Mike Bagnall

What are you studying and where?

I studied Ecosystem Management Technology at Fleming College in Lindsay, Ontario.

Where will you be working for the NCC this summer?

We have some work planned in the Okanagan, on the coast and various other locations, but our home base is in the East Kootenays.

What are you most looking forward to as an NCC intern?

I am looking forward to exploring the province of British Columbia, learning more about the ecology of Western Canada, and hopefully getting to see some wildlife that is not so common or even absent from Ontario.

What is your favourite place in nature and why?

That's a tough one. Growing up, I always loved visiting my grandparents' cottage in the Muskoka region of Ontario. There are a few contenders for favourite though. I was blown away when I visited the Amazon and I've always had a soft spot for the rocky shores in Georgian Bay. I do prefer places with waterfalls, forest and moss, so I am really looking forward to seeing some of the old temperate rainforests on the coast.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

My mother still reminds me about a piece of school work I did when I was a child, where I drew myself sweeping next to a zebra saying I want to be a zookeeper when I grow up. I've always been interested in wildlife, but now I'm more interested in seeing animals in the wild over those kept in enclosures.

What is your favourite BC species and why?

Being a reptile enthusiast, I have to pick a species of snake. I'm going to choose the Great Basin gopher snake, but I would be equally thrilled to encounter a rattlesnake this summer. Close competitors for favourite BC species are the cougar, coastal Douglas-fir and golden eagle.

Supporter Spotlight

http://www.natureconservancy.ca/en/what-you-can-do/donate/Monthly_gift.html