Fleming Forestry Technician graduate receives Skills Award for Indigenous Youth

Congratulations to Forestry Technician graduate Hunter Corbiere, who received a Skills Award for Indigenous Youth from the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) in partnership with the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers (CCFM).

This award recognizes individuals with a strong academic standing who demonstrate a commitment to sustainable forest management and forest products sector and the opportunities that it provides for Indigenous communities.

“I feel very grateful to be one of the few talented youth who were chosen for this award. FPAC (Forest Products Association of Canada) has provided many opportunities for other Indigenous youth in the past, and I am so grateful that my work has gotten recognized,” said Hunter, who is of the M’Chigeeng First Nation on Manitoulin Island. “From this award, I have made more connections with other talented people in the industry. I am so thankful for this opportunity, in such unprecedented times!”

Hunter decided to pursue a career in forestry because she wanted to work outdoors while making a positive difference with forests. She also wanted to learn how forests are managed for wildlife and how Indigenous values could be impacted.

To explore the industry and gain knowledge and hands-on experience, Hunter decided to attend Fleming’s Forestry Technician program. “I knew someone who went to Fleming a few years before I attended and said that the hands-on skills you are taught are what make Fleming such a great place to learn,” Hunter explains.

The graduate describes her Fleming College experience as amazing thanks to incredible faculty, new friendships, and hands-on experience to prepare for her career.

“The professors are passionate about what they are teaching, which makes learning exciting. I was excited to go to class every day!” said Hunter. “I loved the fact that I was learning hands-on skills I will be using for the rest of my life, such as forest navigation, and I got to be outside while doing so. Where else and what other programs do you get to say you had your exam or test outside in the middle of the forest?”

Now that Hunter has completed her Fleming College studies, she plans to earn her Bachelor of Science in Forestry, specializing in Forest Management, at Lakehead University. Her ultimate career goal is to be a Registered Professional Forester/Indigenous Forest Liaison.

“Becoming an Indigenous Liaison in the forest industry is very important to me. As Indigenous peoples, we were once the guardians of these forests and it’s important that we continue to do so and continue to teach,” explains Hunter. “I have always had the interest and passion to teach others, and one day I hope to teach those about Indigenous Values within forestry and other environmental aspects.”

Ecosystem Management graduate stands up against plastic pollution

Rochelle Byrne, Fleming Ecosystem Management Technology graduate (Class of 2012), is proud to stand up for what she believes in. To raise awareness of plastic pollution, Rochelle stand-up paddleboarded 430km across Lake Ontario.

“I wanted to do this stand-up paddle to raise awareness of plastic pollution because, after doing hundreds of litter clean-ups along the shores of Lake Ontario, I found that plastic was the most common thing being found,” said Rochelle. “Some of it is coming from unexpected sources and a lot of it is completely preventable.”

Rochelle is the founder of A Greener Future, a non-profit organization that promotes environmental preservation through organized litter cleanups, educational programs and events. This includes the Love Your Lake series, comprising 100 organized litter cleanups along Lake Ontario. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, A Greener Future was not able to host this event series in 2020.

Still committed to raising awareness about pollution in Lake Ontario, Rochelle decided to use her stand-up paddleboard and document her journey on social media to help educate others.

“I saw raw sewage in the lake, there were some smelly areas and dead fish,” said Rochelle, who spent 92 hours stand-up paddleboarding. “I’ll be sharing the full paddling journey through my personal Instagram (@rochellebyrneagf) over the coming months.”

While Rochelle always cared about nature and animals, it wasn’t until her experience at Fleming’s School of Environmental & Natural Resource Sciences that she developed a passion for the environment.

“I took Fleming’s Ecosystem Management program and that’s where I became aware of the impact I have on the environment. Before attending classes at Frost (Fleming’s Lindsay campus), I really didn’t know the impact I had,” Rochelle explains. “That was really a starting point for me on protecting the environment. It also gave me the opportunity to network and meet like-minded people.”

Rochelle is a proud Fleming College graduate and welcomes any like-minded people to volunteer at A Greener Future. To apply to volunteer, please visit A Greener Future’s website.

From diploma to PhD, Kelly McLean shares her Fleming education pathways experience

A passion for research and asking questions is what drove Kelly McLean on her education journey, earning diplomas, a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and now working towards a PhD. But achieving this level of education was not what Kelly had in mind when she started her post-secondary studies at Fleming College.

“I had never planned on doing a master’s, let alone a PhD,” said Kelly. “I struggled academically in high school, and it wasn’t until I started at Fleming and began studying something I was interested in that I began to achieve good grades and consider university as an option.”

Kelly graduated from Fleming College’s Fish and Wildlife Technician program in 2012, followed by Ecosystem Management Technology in 2013, and Fish and Wildlife Technology in 2014.

“My interest in doing a PhD has been a cascading effect from my Fleming co-op, as this project is in partnership with my co-op organization,” said Kelly on her PhD research which is a collaboration between the University of Waterloo and the Canadian Wildlife Service.

After her co-op placement, Kelly worked two summers as a Federal Student Work Experience student with the Canadian Wildlife Service as well as various contract positions, which included conducting crane surveys.

For her PhD in Social and Ecological Sustainability at the University of Waterloo, Kelly is researching the spatial ecology and habitat selection of sandhill cranes in Ontario and Quebec under the supervision of Dr. Brad Fedy. Sandhill cranes have grown in population and geographic range in the past decade, after being nearly extirpated from their historical range in Ontario in the early 1900s. Since this species forages in agricultural fields, this increase in population raises concerns of potential crop damage.

Kelly is working with the Canadian Wildlife Service to equip 80 cranes with transmitters to determine fine scale habitat use, migration timing and strategies, and help answer ecology questions. This research will help determine which agricultural fields are more prone to crop depredation, and potentially determine methods to prevent or mitigate crop damage.

“Science is all about asking questions, and I think that asking and answering relevant questions is very important in wildlife management,” said Kelly. “I was once told that in college, you learn what sort of things you can ask questions about; in your undergrad, you learn what sort of questions you can ask; in your master’s, you learn how to ask those questions; and during your PhD, you actually answer the questions.”

After graduating from Fleming College, Kelly used Fleming’s education pathway to Trent University and earned her Honours Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology in 2016. She then spent four months working as a Student Migratory Game Bird Technician for the Aquatic Assessment Unit of Environment Canada’s Canadian Wildlife Service, followed by another eight months working as a Wildlife Biologist.

This experience working for the federal government inspired Kelly to earn a master’s degree, wanting to open doors for herself in policy and decision-making positions.

For her Master of Science and Forestry at the University of New Brunswick, Kelly studied wetland buffer width and the persistence of black ducks in New Brunswick under the supervision of Dr. Joe Nocera. Kelly worked with the Canadian Wildlife Service Atlantic Region and Ducks Unlimited Canada Atlantic Region to determine the effects of commercial forest harvesting on the distribution of breeding black ducks.

“The field and logistical planning skills that I learned at Fleming were vital to this component of my masters. I had to navigate in dense forest and identify waterfowl daily, just like a typical day at Fleming field camp. It was the kind of position that Fleming excels at preparing students for, except this time I was the one in charge,” said Kelly, who had the help of a Fleming Fish and Wildlife student on co-op placement and a Fleming graduate working as a technician.

“The knowledge I gained at Fleming is a great foundation that I continually build on,” she said.

For those considering an education pathway from Fleming College, Kelly recommends taking the opportunity.

“You do not have to be the smartest person in the class to continue your education. Hard work and a good attitude are just as important as your GPA,” said Kelly. “The pathways program is a great way to effectively and economically get the best of both worlds and be very employable.”

Fleming Environmental Technology graduate Joseph Gentile performs essential environmental services for City of Toronto

Joseph Gentile is putting his Environmental Technology skills to use by delivering essential environmental services amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

As one of six summer student technicians in the Environmental Monitoring & Protection Unit of Toronto Water, Joseph is responsible for environmental water quality monitoring of surface waters in the City of Toronto.

“I think seeing the piece of the puzzle my co-workers and I contribute to the larger picture, on a daily basis, has made me aware of just how important it is to continue environmental monitoring, even during a global pandemic,” said Joseph, who monitors stormwater outfall and public beach surface water.

“Continuing these efforts is crucial in providing the public, specifically Toronto’s three million residents, the information they need to make informed decisions about where to safely swim,” he said. “Consistent environmental monitoring also allows councils and other decision-making authorities to access concrete, reliable data for making informed decisions about the fate of projects and how to best re-evaluate them in the future.”

Performing environmental service duties amidst the pandemic requires Joseph to be adaptable and to follow media sources closely for information, as the situation is evolving daily. “My team and I had to be aware of the timely decisions made by politicians,” he explains. “In the month of June, we received confirmation that beaches would re-open, hence the kickstart of the 2020 beaches water quality monitoring program. We continue to work and communicate with public health officials, city council and leaders from other departments to ensure this program is being fulfilled while adhering to new protocols and procedures.”

Working as a summer student technician has been a fantastic experience for Joseph, who enjoys trekking through dense vegetation and exciting terrain to access waterways, managing datasets, and assisting with data entry and technical reports.

His favourite experience thus far is working in a watershed within East York, sampling stormwater discharge from remote stormwater outfalls. On route, Joseph and his colleagues spotted a family of deer, a Blue Heron, and several rare wildflower species. For an ecosystem within the Toronto area, Joseph is amazed at the diversity it offers.

He is grateful for this career experience and feels confident performing duties thanks to his Fleming College education. “From sampling effluent water exiting stormwater outfalls to collecting beach water samples and analyzing them in the lab, the Environmental Technology program has prepared me to work in this dynamic workplace environment quite well,” said Joseph, who has been passionate about protecting the environment since childhood.

Joseph chose Fleming College’s Environmental Technology advanced diploma program for its mix of field and laboratory learning experiences, and the variety of careers he could pursue. He highly recommends this program to anyone interested in learning about the natural environment and monitoring and protecting it for future generations.

“My experience at Frost has been nothing short of amazing!” said Joseph, who graduated in 2020. “The people on campus – professors, faculty, and peers – are all friendly and will know you on a first-name basis. This program is really dynamic and has supplied me with some amazing certifications and interactive learning opportunities, which allow me to feel confident in my ability applying my acquired knowledge in a real-work setting.”

Joseph will be continuing his education this September in Trent University’s Water Sciences degree program, which he applied to at Fleming College’s annual Education Pathways event. “The Environmental Technology program has exposed me to so many fascinating components of our natural environment and is allowing me, as a graduate, to specialize in a component that I find intriguing,” said Joseph.

“My time at Fleming has certainly played a role in preparing me for my next chapter at Trent University,” he said. “While I am sure some parts will be new, I know that the experience – not only through academics, but practical experience also – I have gained will help me make a seamless transition to university.”

Fleming GIS graduate Matt Pietryszyn launches COVID-19 Alerts System to share data with the public

When the shift to essential services began in Canada, Qwhery founder Matt Pietryszyn noticed the struggle many people faced with finding localized COVID-19-related information. The Fleming College graduate decided to put his Geographic Information Systems (GIS) skills to use and launched a platform to help keep the public informed.

“While working on another project (ProjectPandemic), I met Sabrina Tang, owner of SaFuture Inc. We discussed how there was so much information about COVID-19 cases on the Internet, yet many people still didn’t know where to get it, in terms of their own communities,” said Matt. “We decided to collaborate on a solution that would send that localized information directly to anyone who registered for the daily or weekly notifications.”

The platform, which is a collaboration between Qwhery and SaFuture Inc., enables people to receive local COVID-19-related data directly to their phone for free. Subscribers receive alerts or daily and weekly summary notifications for confirmed cases, recoveries, tests and deaths within their health region in Canada or county in the United States. The COVID-19 Alerts System utilizes data curated by Esri Canada provided by Health Regions across Canada and Johns Hopkins University for American data.

“We felt it important to keep this a free service because we wanted to be able to help get this information out to everyone who wanted it, with no restrictions or barriers,” said Matt. “We were able to secure a grant from Twilio, a leader in SMS technology, and have been able to support and sustain the COVID-19 Alerts System at a very low cost.”

The response to the platform has been positive, with people subscribing from all over North America. “As subscribers to our service continue to receive their daily notifications, they get a better understanding of the pandemic and what’s happening in their own communities,” said Matt.

The GIS graduate said he entered the industry in 2003 with confidence and a head-start thanks to his Fleming College education, which trained him on industry-standard tools and software and encouraged him to be creative with projects and assignments.

“I believe that my experience at Fleming gave me the confidence to enter the workforce and provided me with a strong network of peers and mentors that helped me since I graduated,” said Matt. “The faculty was very knowledgeable of the industry and having that insight shared with me at the beginning of my career really helped me be confident in my decisions to pursue various roles in GIS.”

After working for the City of Brampton, Esri Canada and the City of Hamilton, Matt founded Qwhery in August 2019 as a creative outlet to experiment with ideas and develop solutions to benefit a wide audience. Qwhery is a leader in implementing voice technology and geographic information systems. Their flagship product, Q11, connects smart home devices and voice assistants to local government open data portals, and the Qwhery cloud helps cities connect their services to residents through smart home technology, open data and community engagement.

Matt is currently focused on connecting Amazon Alexa and Google Home with Municipal Open Data, location-based information and services to efficiently provide citizens with information from their municipality– without needing to search on a website or call 311.

After working in GIS for 17 years and founding Qwhery, Matt continues to use his Fleming College skills and knowledge and highly recommends the program to those interested in this career path.

“I enjoyed my time at Fleming College very much. I got involved through a job at the computer lab and really immersed myself in the program,” he said. “I would absolutely recommend the GIS program to others, and I do every chance I get.”

For information about Qwhery, Location Intelligence and Voice Tech, please contact Matt Pietryszyn at matt@qwhery.com.

Kim Magee makes a difference as Front Porch Project photographer

As Kim Magee approaches homes in Lindsay, Ont., individuals, couples, families and sometimes even pets emerge from their front doors with a bright smile to greet her. Kim is a Front Porch Project photographer, snapping family portraits from a distance in exchange of a donation. The Fleming College graduate has raised $2,775 in the past four weeks for Kawartha Lakes Food Source.

“It’s fun, people loved it! They get to smile and there’s not a worry on their face in that moment. They’re happy and stress-free for a minute amidst it all,” said Kim, who has photographed 48 families, Caressant Care Long Term Care staff, Queen’s Square Pharmacy, South Pond Farms, Action Car and Truck Accessories, and Kawartha Lakes Paramedics, among others.

Kim is one of many photographers participating in the Front Porch Project, where photographers fundraise to help support their communities amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Kim chose to fundraise for Kawartha Lakes Food Source to help those in need, encouraging financial donations as Kawartha Lakes Food Source can turn every dollar into six dollars worth of food.

She said the experience has been a pleasure for her and has been keeping her busy. In February 2020, all of Kim’s upcoming photography bookings were cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns. When a friend told Kim about the Front Porch Project, she jumped at the opportunity to pick up her camera again and make a difference in her community.

“It felt good to be out there shooting because I hadn’t been in a while, and it’s that connection with people,” Kim shared. “Knowing we’re all in the same boat right now, it just makes you appreciate the little things more. I’m capturing this moment in time, and I’m feeling the love out there because we all need it right now.”

Kim is happy to call Lindsay, Ont. her home after moving from Emo, Ont., near the Minnesota boarder, to take the Fish and Wildlife Technician program at Fleming College’s Frost Campus.

“I grew up watching Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, which was like a National Geographic Channel-type show. They’d capture and tag wildlife on the show and my favourite was when they went to Africa,” said Kim, who dreamed of being a wildlife photographer in Africa after learning photography in high school. “I found the Fish and Wildlife program perfect for me, because I like to explore fish and wildlife, and it would help towards my dream of being a National Geographic photographer.”

Kim developed many relationships at Frost Campus, including amazing friendships, getting married and starting a family, which is why she decided to stay in Lindsay after graduating in 1992.

“The friendships I made at Frost Campus, including my friendship with the former manager of the Mary Street Residence, they became my family. They are my family and my son views them as aunts and uncles. I got such a great foundation in Lindsay,” said Kim. “It takes a long time in a new community to set roots and make friends. If I hadn’t had those people around me, I probably wouldn’t have stayed. These people are wonderful and it’s all why I’m still here. Plus, the Lindsay area is also very similar to my hometown. It’s a great place to be!”

After graduating from Fleming College, Kim worked at a mall photo lab and would display her nature photography in the frames to help sell frames. It wasn’t long until shoppers started asking Kim to photograph their weddings, which she denied for a long time (“why would I take pictures of people?” she laughs) until she finally agreed to photograph a wedding for $50. She was hooked and has been in the business for 26 years.

“My Fleming College education has stayed with me my whole life. I know how to work with nature in both my personal life and my career,” said Kim. “And my dream of Africa has never left my head. I’ll save for the big lenses and one day I’ll be photographing big cats in South Africa. That’s the retirement goal!”

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.

Fleming graduate explores coastal habitats aboard Leeway Odyssey science vessel

Ecosystem Management graduate Paul McCarney had an adventurous August on the Leeway Odyssey science vessel with Oceana Canada and the Nunatsiavut Government.

Paul, who is the Research Manager at the Nunatsiavut Government, went on a 10-day expedition to explore the coastal habitats of Nunatsiavut in Northern Labrador.

“This is an area that is important to Inuit communities in this area, and the marine environment is so important,” said Paul on the culturally and ecologically significant habitats. “We do a lot of science work, but there’s not a lot of science work at the bottom of the ocean—there’s not much exploration done there and that’s the base of the whole habitat. Through this expedition, we’ll get a better sense of this area, monitor changes, see the species, and get a better understanding of the ecosystem and what’s going on in these areas.”

The team collected data and used cameras to record the habitats in coastal bays and fjords, including kelp forests, rocky reefs and open water areas surrounded by seasonal sea ice. Watch this video filmed by Fleming Environmental Visual Communication graduate Caitlin McManus for a glimpse of what they discovered.

“Being able to see the foundational part of the habitats and the ocean and the world is extremely productive. We were able to see coral sponges, sea stars, kelp habitats… there’s so much diversity and we’re able to see it right from the bottom of the ocean,” said Paul on the expedition.

The Fleming College graduate says he uses his education every day in his role as Research Manager, describing it as key to his career. His understanding of identification and looking at images in quadrants, assessments, social and political impacts, and more, are just some of the skills Paul uses daily that he gained at Fleming.

“What I love about Fleming is that the programs are inter-disciplinary. There’s a focus on science, and then you apply it to the social and political issues,” said Paul. “At the Nunatsiavut Government, we’re not just focused on science, we also protect the Inuit communities, the people and the environment. So that understanding from Fleming is useful.”

Paul believes in the Ecosystem Management program so much that he came back to teach in the program for two years after graduating. “I loved it!” said Paul. “I recommend it to everyone I’ve spoken to. Everyone loves it there.”

Photo credit: Oceana Canada/Evermaven

Fleming student Mitchell Maracle named one of Canada’s top geoscience students

Earth Resources Technician Co-op student Mitchell Maracle isn’t afraid of getting his hands dirty, which is why the second-year student is excited to participate in the Student-Industry Mineral Exploration Workshop this May.

Each year, 26 of the top geoscience students from post-secondary institutions across Canada are nominated to attend this intense two-week workshop in Sudbury, Ont. This workshop, which is hosted by the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, aims to develop future leaders of the mineral exploration and development industry.

“The Student-Industry Mineral Exploration Workshop is a highly competitive application process targeted towards university students, so Mitchell’s acceptance is a big deal,” said Joanna Hodge, Earth Resources Technician Co-op program coordinator. “I am very proud of Mitchell for his well-deserved acceptance and I know he will make Fleming College proud when he goes to Sudbury this May.”

Mitchell is looking forward to the networking opportunity, as well as learning more about the mineral exploration field.

I did my program co-op in the Yukon, helping to find economically viable mineral deposits, and I want to learn more about the industry,” said Mitchell, referring to his co-op placement at Big River Mineral Exploration. At his co-op placement, Mitchell sampled soil, staked claims, worked as a drill hand and at the sluice box, and panned for gold, among other responsibilities.

“I like this career because I like history, and this is the earth’s history, but you can find work in it. I also like that it’s science, so it’s great!” said the Fleming student.

Mitchell decided to take Fleming’s Earth Resources Technician Co-op program after earning his degree in Geography and Environmental Studies at Carleton University and travelling Australia. When he returned to Canada for a friend’s wedding, Mitchell decided he wanted to gain more hands-on skills and train towards a career.

“When I came back to Canada, I decided I should get my career going and the ERT program was right up my alley. I’m glad I chose it, it’s been perfect,” said Mitchell. “I like how hands-on and informative the program is, and I like that the class sizes are smaller—I know all of the professors and students, and the professors care if you’re struggling with anything.”

After he graduates from Fleming College, Mitchell plans to continue his studies at Acadia University, using Fleming’s education pathway to earn his Bachelor of Science in Geology with two additional years of study after Fleming.

“I enjoy learning and feel it’d be better to specialize in the field,” explains Mitchell. “I’m passionate about earth sciences and I want to learn more!”

Meet Social Media Ambassador Hilary Wright

Hilary Wright grew up with a passion for animals and nature, which is why it’s so important to her that future generations get this same opportunity.

“With our current climate crisis, I wanted to do my part to ensure future generations will be able to enjoy the wildlife we’ve all had the chance to enjoy,” she explains.

After earning a certificate in Performance Horse Handling from University of Guelph – Ridgetown Campus, Hilary enrolled in the Ecosystem Management program at Fleming’s School of Environmental & Natural Resource Sciences.

“Ecosystem Management not only educates me on how I can make a difference for the animals I care about, I get hands-on experience every week!” she explains. “I love studying Ecology because the more I learn, the more I can see how everything and every action is connected in some way. It’s both incredibly challenging and beautiful to realize how we’re all linked together.”

The second-year student says she loves the hands-on learning opportunities that Fleming College offers, as well as the amazing faculty.

“I love having the opportunity to be in the field practicing the skills I’ll use in my future career,” she said.  “Paired with having the most passionate and experienced faculty who truly take the time to know you… it’s a unique experience!”

Outside of academics, Hilary loves participating in the fun clubs and activities at Frost Campus. As a member of the Foraging and Bushcraft Club, Hilary explores acres of campus land with her club members searching for plants they can eat or craft into tools. She also loves Auk’s Lodge events, such as karaoke night, pub night, and even a Bob Ross-themed paint night.

“There are so many fun things to do on campus!” said Hilary, whose advice to new Frost Campus students is to get involved and try as many things as you can. “Whether it’s operating a drill rig, climbing a tree or trying your hand at Loggersports, there are so many once-in-a-lifetime events you don’t want to miss out on!”

Next semester, Hilary is excited to have another once-in-a-lifetime experience: she is travelling to South Africa!

Hilary and a group of Ecosystem Management students are spending the winter semester abroad through a partnership with the Askari Wilderness Conservation Programme.

“Every year, up to 10 students from EM get to spend their fourth semester living on a wildlife conservation reserve in South Africa,” said Hilary. “I can’t wait to experience this for myself!”

Hilary is enjoying her Fleming College experience so much that she is now a Social Media Ambassador with Fleming’s Marketing Department. She is creating social media content, such as Instagram Story videos and Facebook photos, that highlights her experience at Frost Campus.

“I can’t wait to show everyone the crazy things we as students get to do everyday!” said Hilary. “Whether we’re in the field planting trees, in the lab analyzing invertebrates or enjoying a pub night down in the Auks Lodge, we’re always up to something new and exciting!”