With summer coming to an end, the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust would like to thank our summer staff and interns for their hard work over the past 4 months. We asked them to reflect on their summer and here is what they had to say:
Our Summer Students:
Veronika: Stewardship and Outreach Technician
During my entire placement at the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust, I couldn’t help but think of how lucky I was. How many students are lucky enough to find a job during their summer vacation that they love? My predicament was unique; since I was travelling throughout Alberta and British Columbia for a month after I finished my third year at the University of Waterloo, I wanted to find a job that lasted three months, was related to my program of Studies – Environmental Studies, and allowed me to return to school to finish my fourth year starting in the Fall semester. After searching for months, I found a position being offered from the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust and applied. Long story short – I got the job. If I were able to tell my past self about what to expect, I would say expect to meet inspiring, passionate and talented co-workers, expect to learn about the hard work and heart that goes into keeping a Land Trust alive, and expect to learn more about yourself and what you love to do! This would not have been possible without Canada Summer Jobs, and I only hope that others also have the same wonderful opportunity as I did. It’s been a summer I will never forget!
Michelle: Invasive Species Technician
During my time with the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust this summer, my main responsibilities were early detection and monitoring of invasive species. The Stewardship Coordinator, Brooke, and I would conduct annual monitoring visits at each of our protected properties where I would collect invasive species data using a GPS device called Trimble. These visits are some of the best parts about this job because we were able to go out and get some fresh air in nature, and if we are lucky, we were able to see some wildlife. After I gathered the data in the field, I would use make use of it to visualize it with a map and create a report for each property. This step is critical because these reports will help put together the management plan for each property.
Steven: Land Securement and Outreach Technician
I have learned many things throughout my time working with the staff at the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust. My personal goal this summer was to learn something new and gain valuable experience, and the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust was the right place to do so.
I worked with the Land Securement crew on a system which is meant to prioritize natural lands for potential securement and protection. We used Geographic Information Systems to map and visualize the locations of Species at Risk, valuable and/or sensitive habitats, important natural features, and risks such as development or disturbance, with the ultimate goal of securing and protecting their natural features and the endless benefits they provide.
I’ve been told by my coworkers that there isn’t a course on land securement, and during my first few days at the ORMLT, I realized this was true as I stepped onto completely unfamiliar grounds. Reflecting on my first few weeks here shows me how much I learned and grew this summer as I reached my goals.
Funding provided by Canada Summer Jobs. The Canada Summer Jobs program helps Canadian youth, particularly those facing employment barriers; develop the skills to gain practical experience that they need to join the workforce.
Erica: Land Securement Technician
I would describe the beginning of my internship with the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust as interesting. Previously, the environmental work I did with Trent University, in between school years and the focus of my undergraduate thesis was solely aquatic. So this summer my world had been turned upside down, literally! However, I was excited to try something new, challenge myself and explore new aspects of the environmental field. At the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust, I am a Land Securement and Outreach Technician. I have already learned so much about the process and the hard work that goes into securing land for conservation. For me, this has involved using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to locate environmentally sensitive lands that require protection. I have also learned lots about the terrestrial habitats and species, that I definitely had lost touch with while being in the water all these years, all thanks to my amazing coworkers. So far, I have enjoyed my summer with Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust and am excited to continue to learn and do more great work to protect our natural habitats during the remainder of my internship!
Brooke: Monitoring and Stewardship Coordinator
Having the opportunity to return to the Oak Ridges Moraine Land Trust as an intern after being a part of the organization the previous summer as a student has been incredible. Returning to the Land Trust has allowed me to grow and connect with the organization and build relationships with land owners, volunteers and staff members. Being the Monitoring and Stewardship Coordinator is a rewarding and important commitment to ensuring the ongoing protection of the land and all the species found there. The experience I have gained is truly unique and has been a big first step in my career journey. Every day is a new adventure, whether it’s a day in the office learning bird calls while I work on reports or out in the field trekking through a jungle of golden rods much taller than me. From these adventures I always have great stories to tell about working with the Land Trust and I feel honored to be a part of protecting ecologically significant land for generations to come.
Funding for this initiative is provided by the Government of Canada through Natural Resources Canada’s Green Jobs – Science and Technology Internship Program, as part of the Youth Employment Strategy.