Monday, January 21, 2013

ESST Summer Achievements

So, I'll bet you've been wondering just what our ESST community members were up to in the summer months of 2012...Well, you're about to find out!  ESST students don't reserve their awesome accomplishments just for the academic year; they work hard to inspire others, promote sustainability, and initiate positive change all year round!

We are very proud of Jenna Koury-Hanna, our ESST Society Co-President, for being the recipient of the 2012 Youth Environmental Leadership Award!  This award is one of the Nova Scotia Environmental Network's Eco-Hero Annual Awards, and was given to Jenna in recognition of her enthusiastic environmental leadership in Nova Scotia.  Want to find out more about NSEN's Eco-Hero Annual Awards?  Check out this link:

From left to right: Professor Alan Warner, Jenna Koury-Hanna, Professor John Colton, and Professor Glyn Bissix
We are also extremely proud of ESST student, Mira Dietz Chiasson, who worked for the New Brunswick Environmental Network (NBEN) over the summer.  This summer job allowed Mira to become involved in some pretty amazing sustainability initiatives.  Read on to find out first-hand, from Mira, what her summer experience at NBEN was like!

Summer Work Experience:
The headquarters of the New Brunswick Environmental Network (NBEN)
by Mira Dietz Chiasson

The New Brunswick Environmental Network (NBEN) is one of the strongest provincial environmental networks in the country.  It operates at a provincial level to bring together all kinds of environmental groups from different backgrounds, to work together on issues of common interest. Serving first and foremost as a communication network, the NBEN and its other provincial equivalents ensure that environmental groups can have a strong, unified voice, and opens the possibility of dialogue between ENGOs, community groups, businesses, industry and government. Caucuses, established around current issues such as shale gas, mining, and crown lands, allow groups to work together on coordinated efforts across the province, and ensures that the members are informed regarding the latest news and campaigns. Collaboratives, such as the Sustainable Education Alliance or the Biodiversity collaborative serve as broader forums including a wide range of stakeholders.
I had the opportunity to work for the NBEN this summer, in the Moncton NB office. NBEN staff work hard to keep up to date on everything that’s happening on the environmental scene in the province, and elsewhere in Canada. This means that oftentimes work is interrupted by something urgent, a message that needs to get out to the members, or something new that has to be dealt with right away. There is rarely an idle moment.
            The other summer student and I were put in charge of things like maintaining the NBEN’s blog, posting about relevant environmental news throughout the summer, as well as writing up and sending out a newsletter to all members on a bi-weekly basis. Adding to the challenge of writing a comprehensive and captivating summary of recent, local environmental news was the fact that everything that gets sent out to the public needs to be sent in both languages. As a result, translating and proofreading texts, e-mails and website posts in French was a big part of my job this summer.
            Working for the NBEN offered tremendous opportunity for improving communication skills and learning to be consistent and concise in writing, as well as in learning to filter out important information. In addition to writing and website work, my to do list was also filled with things such as organizing teleconference calls- much more challenging than you would think because you have to sort out everybody’s schedules and to do that, you have to get a hold of them in the first place. I also conducted a survey of the schools in the province regarding their sustainability practices and environmental programming, which included phoning hundreds of principals to remind them to fill out the survey. Needless to say, my summer was busy.
All in all, this work experience was challenging, demanding a lot of work and time, but it was my most useful summer jobs so far. It was an opportunity for me to use my strengths, test my weaknesses and learn how to improve and work efficiently. Above all, I learnt the importance of following through with things even if sometimes, doing so is difficult.
I’d recommend this summer job to anyone who is ready to take on a challenge, to improve networking skills, to learn about the extensive behind-the-scenes work that happens in the environmental movement, and to work with a great supportive team of devoted co-workers.

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