Where are they now? Intern Alumni Spotlight: Eve Desmarais
This blog is the second in a series of stories highlighting some of the individuals who have interned with the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC).
Follow along as I interview NCC Conservation Intern alumni from across the country, and learn more about the paths they have taken to get to where they are today, and how their internships contributed to their personal conservation journeys.
Where she started: Eve attended the University of Ottawa and completed a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies, with a minor in biology.
As an intern: Eve interned not once but twice with NCC; first in 2010 and again in 2011. As a science and stewardship intern in the Ottawa Valley, she monitored NCC properties, participated in research projects and surveyed the plants and animals of Quebec.
Where she is now: Eve’s current job title is head of real estate transaction services at Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC). She runs the national team that ensures legal property agreements are in place for every ECCC scientific installation. These scientific installations include weather stations, which can be anything from radars, to reference climate stations, to lightning detection stations. This requires the negotiation of real estate deals and drafting agreements with landowners. Eve and her team also assist the Canadian Wildlife Service to acquire new land parcels, which are then added to national wildlife areas.
Where she is going: Eve is open to wherever her future takes her, but she is certain she will remain in the environmental field. She doesn’t have a definite career goal at this time, but says that as long as she is challenged and happy at her job, she will know that she is following her dreams.
Brielle (BR): How did your internship with NCC contribute to your professional journey?
Eve Desmarais (ED): My internship with NCC has largely contributed to where I am now. It really was the basic building block to my career.
BR: What skills do you think are the most important for someone working in the environmental sector?
ED: I think there is one thing that is at the base of it all, and that is the ability to think objectively and be driven by facts. As people who work in the environmental field, we are not here to judge. We are here to observe an issue that will have a concrete impact on human life and find objective ways to solve that issue. To me, that’s one thing we really need to be able to do.
BR: Did your internship with NCC provide you with the opportunity to develop this skill?
ED: Definitely. My internship helped me to be driven by facts. By contributing to research projects, researching facts and making scientific observations, I learned to not just rely on my own thoughts or convictions. My experience as an intern forced me to constantly look at sources of information that I was given to ensure the source was reliable and verified. So today I am extremely fact-driven. I wait to understand every aspect of the situation and make a decision from there in order to achieve the best result possible.
BR: Why do you think it is important for young professionals to be interested/employed in the environmental sector?
ED: I think it is important because the environment is at the base of human health and well-being. If we don’t have a healthy environment and ecosystem, there is no way we can be healthy ourselves. The environment provides us with food, it’s our source of water and it’s the base of life. I think if we don’t encourage youth to look after the environment, and particularly have youth as ambassadors for the environment, I’m not sure how we can go on. It just seems mandatory.
Are you interested in becoming one of the next generation of conservation leaders while building a career in conservation? Check out NCC’s Conservation Internship Program. Keep checking our website for a list of current opportunities, as new positions will be available outside of the summer months.
The Conservation Internship Program is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Summer Work Experience program.