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)

2017 conservation interns

Each year, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) hires summer interns to help out in the office and in the field. This year, we have interns in stewardship, geographic information systems (GIS) and communications. Melanie, Holly and Cindy bring a range of experiences to NCC and are working across British Columbia.

This year's interns are sponsored in part by Imperial Oil and Human Resource Skills Development Canada.

Meet the interns

Melanie Kuzyk - Stewardship

Melanie Kuzyk, 2016 stewardship intern (Photo by Keith Arnstead)

Melanie Kuzyk, 2016 stewardship intern (Photo by Keith Arnstead)

What is your educational background?

I hold a bachelor of science from UBC in natural resources conservation, majoring in science and management.

Where will you be working for NCC this summer?

I am based in Vancouver with the West Coast team, and will be doing work on Vancouver Island, the Central Coast, Haida Gwaii, and maybe even in the West Chilcotin, Okanagan and Canadian Rockies!

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

I'm looking forward to working with and learning from such a great group of like-minded individuals. I'm excited to apply my knowledge of conservation and ecology, and to gain more on-the-ground conservation experience. I'm also very excited to explore areas of BC that I've never been to before.

What is your favourite place in nature and why?

While the prairies will always be close to my heart, every time I go somewhere new in BC, I declare it my new favourite place!

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

I was never really set on anything in particular! Looking back, I think I was very curious about a lot of different things. In high school, I started steering myself towards an environmentally focused career.

What is your favourite BC species and why?

This is so tough! One that stands out is good ol' Douglas-fir. They were the first big tree I saw after I moved to BC, and I continue to be in awe of their size and strength. Sockeye salmon is another favourite. I spent a field season working with them, and I'm totally fascinated by their crazy life cycle and endurance. Having grown up in Saskatchewan, big trees and salmon were two things I never saw before moving here.

 


Holly Lam - Communications

Holly Lam, 2016 communications intern (Photo by Elise Cassidy)

Holly Lam, 2016 communications intern (Photo by Elise Cassidy)

What is your educational background?

I am three-quarters of the way through a writing degree at the University of Victoria. My focus is on journalism, fiction and screenwriting.

Where will you be working for NCC this summer?

I'll be working out of the Victoria office, and hopefully traveling to one or two NCC properties at some point!

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

I'm looking forward to writing for NCC’s website and doing web publishing. It's exciting to bring writing and editing skills to practical use, and I also get to learn about this whole other field — conservation! I don't have a background in biology, geography or environmental studies, so I feel like I have a ways to go. But I enjoy talking to people about the things they love, so this is a great place to find stories to tell.

What is your favourite place in nature and why?

I grew up on the West Coast, so having the ocean nearby has been a constant. I lived in Montreal a few years ago and they have a fake beach — so sad! Swimming in lakes is always a priority for me in the summer.

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

I always wanted to be a writer. As a kid I would invent stories, make up characters, observe people, take notes, eavesdrop and write about my own life. That's pretty much what I do now, too.

What is your favourite BC species and why?

I don't know very much about BC species, so I hope that by the end of the summer I have an answer!

 


Cindy McCallum - Geographic Information Systems

Cindy McCallum, 2016 GIS intern (Photo by Boyd Fischer)

Cindy McCallum, 2016 GIS intern (Photo by Boyd Fischer)

What is your educational background?

I have a BSc in zoology from UBC and recently completed an advanced diploma in GIS from Selkirk College.

Where will you be working for NCC this summer?

I'll be working for both the Alberta and BC regions, mostly from my home office in Kamloops. I'll sometimes be in the Darkwoods office in Nelson as well.

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

I'm hoping to get the chance to continue to build my GIS skills, practising what I've learned so far and meeting new challenges.

What is your favourite place in nature and why?

I love being anywhere in nature! But if I had to choose, right now I would say in the beautiful grasslands of BC. Sunny and warm with long views, you can see the workings of the retreating glaciers written right in the landscape. It looks barren, but it's full of life. I never tire of exploring here.

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

I always wanted to be a zookeeper, and in fact I did have a job as a zookeeper for a short time after I finished university. I soon realized that it wasn't for me and moved into research instead.

What is your favourite BC species and why?

My all-time favourite species is the American redstart (it's not unique to BC though). I studied these birds for many years and still love the chance to hear them sing. So much personality packed into a little eight-gram warbler! The males are handsome with orange and black plumage, and each male has unique breast markings, so you can identify individuals if you take the time. They're scrappy little birds, always fanning their tails in display, fighting with their neighbours or singing their hearts out.

 

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