Hillary Page doing field work, Kootenay River Ranch, BC (Photo by NCC)

Hillary Page doing field work, Kootenay River Ranch, BC (Photo by NCC)

The best summer job in the world!

Hikers at Darkwoods, BC (Photo by NCC)

Hikers at Darkwoods, BC (Photo by NCC)

Each summer the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) welcomes conservation interns to our team to help steward our conservation lands. The interns are without exception an enthusiastic group.

This year we are pleased to have the help of eight interns who will spread throughout the province. They'll be tackling everything from monitoring covenants (conservation agreements), to deactivating logging roads, to surveying for species-at-risk.

Before they headed out into the field, we caught up with them to learn a bit about their background and what they will be doing as part of the NCC team for the summer.

The 2014 BC conservation intern program is generously supported by Shell Canada.

Meet the interns

Karenn Bailey

Karenn Bailey, BC Conservation Intern, 2014 (Photo by NCC)

Karenn Bailey, BC Conservation Intern, 2014 (Photo by NCC)

What are you studying and where?
BCIT Natural Resource Management: Bachelor in Ecological Restoration

What area of BC will you be working in for NCC this summer?
West Coast Program

What are you most looking forward to as an NCC summer intern?
Experiencing BEC zones that are new to me, and seeing more of this great province.

What is your favourite place in nature and why?
Kayaking in Indian Arm (near Vancouver) with friends. Just 20 minutes from a city with 2.5 million people, you can be in wilderness in a beautiful fjord surrounded by snow-capped mountains with seals and jellyfish floating about you.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A lumberjack or park ranger.


Evanne Barrett

Evanne Barrett, BC Conservation Intern, 2014 (Photo courtesy E. Barrett)

Evanne Barrett, BC Conservation Intern, 2014 (Photo courtesy E. Barrett)

What are you studying and where?
I  am doing a nature resource science degree at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops.

What area of BC will you be working in for NCC this summer?
I will be splitting up my time this summer, spending the first two months of summer in the southern interior (mainly Penticton/Kamloops), and then for July and August I will be heading up to the Chilcotin region at Tatlayoko Lake.

What are you most looking forward to as an NCC summer intern?
I am looking forward to having a diverse learning experience on some really beautiful properties of NCC, and having the opportunity to see some parts of BC that I have never been to, like Tatlayoko Lake.

What is your favourite place in nature and why?
I would say that my favourite place in nature is canoeing in a wetland, especially early in the morning. I am never bored in a wetland because there are so many different plants, animals and birds to look at — there is something for everyone.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I am pretty sure I wanted to be a dancer — a ballerina in fact. I don't know why a ballerina because I never took ballet. Regardless, I definitely didn't think I would be doing what I am doing now!


Kate Bezooyen

Kate Bezooyen, BC Conservation Intern, 2014 (Photo courtesy K. Bezooyen)

Kate Bezooyen, BC Conservation Intern, 2014 (Photo courtesy K. Bezooyen)

What are you studying and where?
I have just finished a Bachelors degree in natural resource science at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops.

What area of BC will you be working in for NCC this summer?
Central and Southern Interior.

What are you most looking forward to as an NCC summer intern?
I'm really looking forward to the whole summer, but in particular, I am excited at the opportunity to work in the Tatlayoko area after hearing all about it from other NCC staff and seeing pictures. It is an area I have never been to, and it sounds amazing!  

What is your favourite place in nature and why?
I love challenging hikes with scenic viewpoints at the end (and along the way). It is such a rewarding feeling when you finally reach the top and get to spend time surrounded by stunning views in every direction.

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


Aaron Bose

Aaron Bose, BC Conservation Intern, 2014 (Photo courtesy A. Bose)

Aaron Bose, BC Conservation Intern, 2014 (Photo courtesy A. Bose)

What are you studying and where?
I am currently working towards an environmental planning diploma at Selkirk College School of Environment and Geomatics in Castlegar.

What area of BC will you be working in for NCC this summer?
The Canadian Rockies (and South Selkirks) program out of beautiful Invermere!

What are you most looking forward to as an NCC summer intern?
Deactivating roads at the Darkwoods, the inventory of Mt. Broadwood and all field work in general.

What is your favourite place in nature and why?
The mountains. Nothing beats the feeling of hiking, touring or climbing up a big piece of rock and enjoying the crisp air and panoramic views.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I remember really wanting to be a pilot when I was young, perhaps because I was always grounded!


Julia Daly

Julia Daly, BC Conservation Intern, 2014 (Photo by NCC)

Julia Daly, BC Conservation Intern, 2014 (Photo by NCC)

What are you studying and where?
I hold a diploma in applied coastal ecology from Northwest Community College, Prince Rupert, BC and a B.Sc. in geography from University of Victoria. Presently, I'm getting involved in studying the role of fire in the restoration and maintenance Garry oak and other fire-dependent ecosystems as a member of the Garry Oak Ecosystem Recovery Team's Fire and Stand Dynamics Steering Committee.

What area of BC will you be working in for NCC this summer?
I'll be doing a lot of work on the Gulf Islands and Sunshine Coast this summer, as well as at least one excursion to Rivers Inlet on the Central Coast. Life is good!

What are you most looking forward to as an NCC summer intern?
Exploring the islands, inlets, mountains and valleys of coastal British Columbia, and having  the opportunity to utilize my training to monitor coastal terrestrial ecosystems in the field. I'm also looking forward to doing some birding and meeting new people along the way.

What is your favourite place in nature and why?
The temperate rainforests of the Pacific Northwest are very special to me; they bring me peace.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A marine biologist! I believe this was a reaction a trip my family took to Cortez Island, BC (from my hometown province of Saskatchewan) when I was three years old. As fate would have it, my family ended up moving to the West Coast (Victoria) by the time I was six and I got to explore many other coastal areas. The smell of driftwood drying on the beach brings me back to this time.


Samantha Hammond

Samantha Hammond, BC Conservation Intern, 2014 (Photo courtesy S. Hammond)

Samantha Hammond, BC Conservation Intern, 2014 (Photo courtesy S. Hammond)

What are you studying and where?
I am studying for my Bachelors of science with a double major in biology and environmental studies at the University of Victoria.

What area of BC will you be working in for NCC this summer?
I will be working on the beautiful West Coast of BC for the summer.

What are you most looking forward to as an NCC summer intern?
During my time as an NCC intern I am looking forward to experiencing different natural areas found on the West Coast and learning as much as I can from the talented staff working here. Working for an environmental organization like NCC has always been a dream of mine as I have an innate passion for the intrinsic value of the environment and its protection for future generations.

What is your favourite place in nature and why?
It is so hard to choose just one place in nature to be my favourite. I suppose if I had to choose it would be some of the old-growth forests found on Vancouver Island. Moss has always been fascinating to me and I find it comforting to be surrounded by it, especially when accompanied by the trickle of a nearby creek or river, like those found in Avatar Grove or in the forest found along Nanaimo Lakes Road near the river

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was little I always wanted to become some sort of scientist like a vet or biologist. When I was just five and learned that “bugs are people too,” I remember crying when a little boy my age squished a dragonfly — it broke my heart! So it is of no surprise that I have ended up here in the environmental sciences.


Roslyn Johnson

Roslyn Johnson, Stewardship and Admin Assistant, Canadian Rocky Mountains Program (Photo courtesy R. Johnson)

Roslyn Johnson, Stewardship and Admin Assistant, Canadian Rocky Mountains Program (Photo courtesy R. Johnson)

What are you studying and where?
I did my undergrad at UBC Vancouver in Natural Resource Conservation.

What area of BC will you be working in for NCC this summer?
The Canadian Rockies!

What are you most looking forward to as an NCC summer intern?
Contributing to "on the ground" conservation and spending time in the field

What is your favourite place in nature and why?
Anywhere in the mountains.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I used to be pretty set on being a veterinarian.


Monika Pakstas

Monika Pakstas, BC Conservation, 2014 (Photo courtesy M. Pakstas)

Monika Pakstas, BC Conservation, 2014 (Photo courtesy M. Pakstas)

What are you studying and where?
I studied environmental Science at UBC and then did a diploma in environmental technology at Seneca College in Toronto.

What area of BC will you be working in for NCC this summer?
I will be working in the West Coast region, and traveling to sites in Victoria and the Gulf Islands. 

What are you most looking forward to as an NCC summer intern?
I am looking forward to exploring the south coast of BC and working alongside the three other fantastic interns!

What is your favourite place in nature and why?
My favourite place in nature is being in the water in Georgian Bay on at hot summer's day.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was little I wanted to be an orchard owner.   

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