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Lakeland to host inaugural environmental management conference

Lakeland College’s School of Environmental Sciences will be getting a new platform for applied degree students to show off their work. The first annual Conference on Environmental Management will be hosted by BAS environmental management degree program students on February 26. Program Head and Practicum Coordinator, Nicole Nadorozny, PhD, says the conference a new way for students to show off their hard work.

“What we want to do is raise the profile of the amazing work these students have been doing while on practicum, and they’ve got some pretty innovative kind of projects that they’re doing. This conference is an opportunity for the students to showcase the work that they’ve done, and so host agencies that have hired the students are in attendance,” says Nadorozny.

Capstone presentations are a chance for students to demonstrate the knowledge they’ve learned while in the field or on a practicum. In previous years, the school has tried different ways to fit the students’ capstone presentations in one day, over multiple days evenings. Nadorozny says that this year’s event will also see new plenary sessions to raise the conference’s scientific profile.

“This year we have a reclamation scientist from Syncrude, and we do have another individual from the Nature Conservancy of Canada. We’re trying to represent the diploma streams that are available in the environmental sciences, to target different types of audiences.”

She adds that Alberta Institute of Agrologists (AIA) members can attend the conference and receive continuing competence program (CCP) hours. These count towards a student’s professional designation. The broad full-day event will cover topics like erosion control, invasive aquatic species, land reclamation and wildlife monitoring in the North Saskatchewan River.

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Nadorozny says that the success of this conference will influence how future years will go. The benefits don’t just stop at showcasing practicum student’s work; the School of Environmental Science will shut down for the day to show diploma students what kind of projects they can work on. She adds that it’s also a networking opportunity for some of the students.

“All of the host agency supervisors that currently have practicum students will be there to support their students. But they also recruit practicum students and graduate students for job opportunities, so this is a great way to meet some of these people.”

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