Next Generation of Environmental Professionals: Trent University & Fleming College Partnerships

Next Generation of Environmental Professionals:  Trent University & Fleming College Partnerships

As an organization that is deeply rooted in the local community, Kawartha Land Trust jumped at the opportunity to develop partnerships with Trent University and Fleming College. The outstanding results of the hard work of the students have exceeded our highest expectations.

Trent has experience with our organization as we worked closely with their CREATE Enviro program students in 2016 to develop what Trent has called a ” robust system for quantifying the environmental value of natural land parcels in the region, and developing rigorous standards for securing lands for conservation that could someday be applied provincially and even nationally.” The CREATE (Collaborative Research and Training Experience) program is unique because it provides students with placement options which will give them the tools and professional experience to prepare them for employment upon graduation. KLT volunteers such as Dr Bill Crins mentored our very own Lindsay Bargelt, a Trent masters student specializing in GIS mapping that is working with us an intern through the CREATE Enviro program partnership.

Not only have Trent students been a tremendous influence in the work of Kawartha Land Trust, but two groups of students from Fleming College have developed the Case for Conservation of an area of great interest to KLT: the Cation property, and have also made a compelling threat analysis report and presentation of the Kawartha Area. This report has provided the KLT team with a lot of new information and has been very useful as we move forward with the strategic plan, in our work protecting current properties and when looking at prospective new properties.

Emma Griff, Alexandre Walsh & Colin Johnson are the Fleming Students behind the Case for Conservation outlining the Cation Property. Colin Johnson described his experience as follows:

“Having the chance to work with Kawartha Land Trust has given me insight of the industry from a specialized prospective. I learned about the intricacies of the geological formations and its effects on both the plant and wildlife of the area. This has added an enriching aspect to my studies with the mentors at KLT. A great jumping off point for my career in the environmental field to come.”

Taren Koeth, Tessa Strickland and Jeff Norris are the Fleming students that produced the “Threats Affecting Natural Systems in the Kawarthas”. They analysed how population density, roads, aggregate extraction, and invasive species present threats to the ecosystem spatially on the entire landscape. Through a mapping exercise, they were able to identify hot spots of threats to the landscape. KLT will use this information to identify areas that are biologically diverse and also threatened, and focus work to protect that area.

The enthusiasm these students have shown has had a positive effect on the entire KLT team and we hope that they have also benefited from their experience with us. These partnerships with both Trent and Fleming have been very useful and provided us with a lot of excellent information that we will rely on for many years to come. We will continue to partner with these schools and others to help enhance the learning outcomes of their programs and that of the next generation of environmental professionals.