Ecosystem Management is an international adventure for Celeste Thompson

Celeste Thompson’s Fleming College experience has been an international adventure. From field work in Lindsay, Ont., to conservation initiatives in Costa Rica and a conference in Washington, D.C., Celeste is busy building her resume while making memories to last a lifetime.

“My experience at Fleming so far has been more than I could have dreamed,” said Celeste, who was born and raised in Orangeville, Ont. “The Ecosystem Management professors have made a world of difference in making the three years the best school experience of my life.”

Celeste chose the Ecosystem Management program because she loves being in the natural environment and wanted an environmental career. “The Ecosystem Management programs tie in all ends from wildlife to trees and soil and protocols. It allows for graduates to branch off to many different career paths,” she explains.

After accepting her offer to Fleming College, Celeste attended the Fleming College Open House to explore the Frost Campus before starting classes. She said it helped prepare her for college and recommends the event to future students.

“This gave me a perspective on what I was going to be getting into. I feel attending the Open House motivated me and got me more excited to attend college,” she said. “I recommend these events to students thinking about coming to Fleming.”

Celeste is happy with her program choice and loves the close-knit Frost Campus community, which she describes as supportive and feels like family. Her favourite place at Frost Campus is the back forty, the main location for class field work, which Celeste credits as the perfect space for environmental students. 

“With full confidence I would recommend the Ecosystem Management program to others. This program has made me the person I am today, and I am positive all students will leave with a special place in their hearts for EM,” said Celeste. “I am convinced the work I have done in this program will ensure my success in future endeavours as we cover a wide variety of topics to a professional and high standard.”

One of Celeste’s favourite Fleming experiences is the two-week field placement in Parismina, Costa Rica during her second year. Students who participate in this organized placement experience are selected based on a rigorous screening process. 

“That experience is something that I will always be appreciative of and drives me to follow my goals,” said Celeste, who volunteered to support Leatherback sea turtle conservation initiatives.

The Ecosystem Management adventures continued in 2020, kicking off the new year with a trip to Washington, D.C. for the National Council for Science and the Environment Conference.

This conference is organized by the National Council for Science and the Environment and features presentations on new research, innovation, and shows the power of collaboration. It engages more than 800 leaders from the sciences, education, government, policy, business and civil society to foster dialogue on environmental policy.

This experience was a nice way to start our final semester in this program,” said the third-year Ecosystem Management Technology student. “We gained lots of experience communicating with experts in the environmental field. It allowed us to grow into young professionals who are confident in our work and background.”

In addition to the conference experience, Celeste also enjoyed site-seeing in Washington. She and her peers visited the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, National Air and Space Museum and the Lincoln Memorial.

Celeste plans to graduate from the Ecosystem Management Technology program in June 2020. After graduation, she would love to travel and do contract work in her field. Since Celeste believes in lifelong learning, she may return to Fleming College to continue her education journey and earn other diplomas in relevant fields.