Sometimes, it takes two to make a thing go right.
Fleming grad Sara Franchuk is using the knowledge and skills gained from two diplomas to help fulfil her goal of becoming a wildlife biologist.
Sara, a graduate of both the Forestry Technician and Ecosystem Management Technician programs, is currently working as an intern biologist at the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry.
Within that role, she is getting valuable experience in planning, developing and implementing strategies to ensure the sustainability of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. This supports fisheries, wildlife and forest management planning in the province.
“I pursued a career in natural resource management – including forestry and environmental management – to learn more about our landscape’s biodiversity and how to conserve it,” she says. “The thing I enjoy the most about forestry is leading fish and wildlife value collection projects to support forest management planning and the protection of our natural resources.”
Sara was able to take advantage of some unique-to-Fleming pathways that have helped along her career path: the dual diploma option, which allowed her to complete both diplomas in just three years, as well as the opportunity to transfer seamlessly to another institution for further education.
Returning to school, Sara attended Lakehead University. With her Fleming credentials, she was able to enter directly into third year and graduate in just two years with an Honours Bachelor of Environmental Management, specializing in Fish and Wildlife Conservation and Management.
“With a smaller college size and such a positive learning atmosphere it made me excited about going to class each and every day. Both my diplomas prepared me well with a good base of knowledge and technical skills that rounded out my education,” she said. “I transferred to Lakehead with a variety of hands-on experience and field work that most university students had not acquired yet.”
As a woman in the forestry sector, she says she sees both public and private sectors rapidly changing.
“I’ve noticed an increase in representation of women in forestry and there are plenty of opportunities in a wide range of jobs. There are still many challenges that women face, but every day I see more changes being made for the better.”
Most diploma programs in the School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences offer the opportunity to complete a dual diploma. Visit flemingcollege.ca/dual-diplomas to learn more about this unique option.
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