Why Conservation Leadership at Guelph?
After years of browsing masters programs at various institutions across Canada, nothing felt quite right until I saw the Masters of Conservation Leadership program. Being in the inaugural class of this one-of-a-kind program is exciting as I learn and grow along with the program itself. The program is perfect for those like me who are on their career path already, but are looking to expand their knowledge base, skillsets and gain practical skills for working in the conservation sector.
How did you get here?
After graduating from Trent University with an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Environmental Resource Sciences, I fell into the magical world of nature interpretation thanks to my eagerness to work with people and my love of nature. Working at a botanical garden for the past six years has grown my love of plants, both naturally occurring and within the world of horticulture. Watching people of all ages connect with our natural world through experiencing the magic of nature has been the most inspiring thing, encouraging me to pursue further education in the realm of conservation leadership.
A bit about the work you are doing here...
In today’s world so disconnected from our planet, there is no better time than now to step up and make a change for future generations. Through the practical learning of strategic planning, conflict resolution, evidence-based decision making, partnership development, and more – the Masters of Conservation Leadership program is building us, the students, into strong, impactful, capable leaders.
How do you think what you are learning in Conservation Leadership can potentially improve life?
With the sense of urgency surrounding all conservation matters, there is so much work that needs to be done. Having our own projects to pursue within this program is exciting because we as students really get to dictate what direction the program leads us in. Pairing the learning within current conservation affairs with a Leadership Coach and Individualized Development Plan (IDP) really allows us to choose how we grow as leaders within the program. The opportunities are endless.
A bit about life outside of grad school...
I am an environmental educator and interpreter with a passion to connect people to the natural world through engaging, dynamic, experiential programs. I consider myself creative, innovative, and enthusiastic. I have also been a unit leader with Girl Guides of Canada here in Guelph for the past 6 years. This has helped me feel connected to the community within Guelph, and the youth that are our future.
Advice for a prospective grad student considering grad school...
I have always followed my gut and trusted my instincts. I truly believe I wouldn’t have had the opportunities I have had if I didn’t trust that what was meant to happen, would happen at the right time for me. From the short internship that has become a career, to waiting for this program to exist to pursue my masters – timing is everything.