Meet NCC’s 2023 summer interns: Sabrina Hasselfelt

Laced up and ready for what the field day may bring (Photo by Sabrina Hasselfelt/NCC staff)

Laced up and ready for what the field day may bring (Photo by Sabrina Hasselfelt/NCC staff)

August 28, 2023 | by Kyla Cortez

As I stepped into this internship at the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), connecting with fellow interns and sharing their stories and passions has been something I’ve been looking forward to.

I gladly introduce to you our next intern in this blog series: Sabrina Hasselfelt, conservation technician intern for the large landscapes team in Ontario. Sabrina graduated with a bachelor’s degree in environmental and resource science from Trent University and has a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to conservation, as she has worked across Ontario with organizations such as The Land Between and Toronto and Region Conservation Authority as a contract full-time staff member. She also did an internship as a research assistant at the Latin American Sea Turtles in Costa Rica.

“What really intrigued me about NCC — and what made me want to work for the organization — was its values and goals to restore all these natural areas back to their original state, or near their original state, and how it wants to conserve these areas for generations to come.”

Hugging a tree during a field day (Photo by Sabrina Hasselfelt/NCC staff)

Hugging a tree during a field day (Photo by Sabrina Hasselfelt/NCC staff)

As an NCC intern, Sabrina has learned more about species identification from those around her and their diverse perspectives on different kinds of species. “I think [NCC] has shaped my experiences as an ecologist and a conservationist, as they’ve given me more experiences such as preparing treatments for invasive species removal, which was something I'd never done before by myself,” she said.

Sabrina also said that she has a supportive team who help each other in the field. “We all make sure that we’re taking breaks during really hot days when we’re working together, and we make sure we’re all drinking water.”

Outside of her conservation work, Sabrina enjoys outdoor activities, such as hiking, camping and gardening. She occasionally plays softball and hockey, too.

Sabrina shares some insightful advice for future NCC interns: “Be open to the experiences you will have in the field. Every day is different, so the tasks vary a lot. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions.”

Smooth greensnake (Photo by Jonathan Gagnon)

Smooth greensnake (Photo by Jonathan Gagnon)

She also detailed some of the interesting work she has done. “Sometimes, a day in the field requires me to bushwhack through raspberry bushes and get bitten by bugs so I can look for wetlands and old trails that are slowly overgrowing. Looking back on it, the work was all worth it because [future interns] will see so much of Ontario’s amazing, conserved areas and the goal that NCC is headed toward.”

We commend Sabrina for her unwavering commitment to land conservation and restoration. Stay tuned each week for more insightful stories from the field!

The 2023 Conservation Intern Program in Ontario is proudly supported by 407 ETR.

Kyla Cortez (Photo courtesy of Kyla Cortez)

About the Author

Kyla Cortez is the Nature Conservancy of Canada's internal communications & culture intern for the summer of 2023. She is currently doing a double major in English and book and media studies at the University of Toronto. Aside from journalism and academics, she loves birds, going to parks and travelling to different places.

Read more about Kyla Cortez.

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