Danielle Cross, Southern Interior stewardship coordinator (Photo by Danielle Cross/NCC staff)
Stewardship Coordinator, Southern Interior
How did you come to join the Nature Conservancy of Canda (NCC)?
Patience. I have been waiting for this opportunity since returning to BC over five years ago, and by "this opportunity" I mean the chance to get out from behind the administration desk and back out on the landscape working with landholders and stewards of the land to conserve grasslands. I have worked on conservation teams conducting similar work in the past in southern Alberta, and to this day have found no other work as challenging or fulfilling as this. I have worked alongside NCC staff in the past on conservation initiatives in Alberta and am happy to now be a part of this amazing conservation team.
What are your educational background and previous experience?
I have a bachelor’s of environmental science from the University of Lethbridge. Prior to that, I completed both the renewable resource management diploma and fish and wildlife technology specialization certificate from Lethbridge College, which gave me strong field skills to help kickstart my career.
I have worked in both the public and private sectors, for not-for-profits and industry with close to 15 years of environmental-based experience. These experiences have ranged from and included things such as conducting riparian health inventories, wildlife inventory surveys, habitat restoration projects, species at risk surveys (both wildlife and plant), creating conservation plans on private land and administering large volumes of environmental contracts from an administrative role to name a few. At the end of it all, I can say is my favourite and most rewarding work to this day has been work on private lands — especially in the grasslands — working alongside landholders and conservation groups to conserve sensitive habitats and species at risk.
What are you hoping to achieve through your work at NCC?
Ideally, it would be what I believe any environmental or biological professional hopes to achieve: change. Change in the form of tangible results that conserve our natural resources, promote land stewardship and teach future generations how to sustainably manage our landscapes for the species that make them their homes and for generations to come.
Describe a typical day at work.
There are not really "typical days," but rather seasonal cycles. Spring, summer and fall field work focusses on onsite visits and monitoring, fall and winter bring grant proposals and report writing, and early spring is the time for contract set up and work plans so the process can start all over again. But of course, there are exceptions to even that general cycle, and ever-changing challenges, priorities, stakeholders and even weather keep this position exciting and give it one of its many strengths, which is that there are no typical days.
What are your hobbies/interests outside work?
I consider myself a dabbler when it comes to hobbies, sort of a Jack (Jane) of all trades and master of none approach. Currently, I am enamoured with traditional archery. The rest of my hobbies are more your usual suspects, including hiking, DIY home projects, reading, trips to the lake and camping.