Heather McCubbin - Attended 2008-2012

I started the RMOT program determined that the only job for me was to be a Fish and Wildlife Officer. I wanted to protect endangered species, work with animals from large carnivores to birds and fish, and educate the public about the amazing creatures that live around us – many times encroaching on their natural habitat.

After the first year of RMOT I worked as a Fish Technician counting Coho Smolts as they left the Millstone River out to the ocean. The over 15000 Coho Smolts that we counted on the smolt fence continued my passion for being outside, working with my hands, educating people looking on  and protecting the riparian areas/ecosystem as a whole.

The summer between third and fourth year I was able to get a practicum that gave me bird experience working with a Species at Risk Biologist with the Ministry of FLNRO.  We travelled up and down Eastern Vancouver Island surveying Pacific Great Blue Heron colonies, counting the birds and the nests. This was a great opportunity for me and I still value all the knowledge I gained that summer.

When I graduated from the BNRP degree program in 2012, I was getting nervous after a couple weeks after I still hadn’t landed a job. I was applying across the country yet focusing around the Rocky Mountians. I acquired a job as a Riparian Restoration Technician in the Crowsnest Pass – my dream location. It may not have been the dream job; pulling weeds and planting native vegetation along the riparian areas of the creeks and rivers but all the stepping stones in our lives I now view as important. From this seasonal position in 2012 to where I’m now I embraced the opportunities to work as a Parks Canada Interpreter  and various office jobs in and out of my field.

Living in the Mountains I value the work I do now as Conservation K-9 Handler for the Government of Alberta, working with my K-9 partner Diesel, to protect our waterways from aquatic invasive species and terrestrial invasive species as well.

Outside of work I volunteer with Crowsnest Pass BearSmart Association (cnpbearsmart.com) – which helps to quench my love for working with large animals down to birds and orphaned wildlife, I get to monitor our resident bears, work with fish and wildlife officers, educate the public on properly living with our natural wildlife, and work with amazing volunteers and officers.

My time in RMOT was amazing and prepared me for the many diverse options I could have to work protecting and monitoring the natural resources I love to recreate in. I continue my education by challenging myself to take a few certificates/courses every year – I’m on this earth to learn and experience life.

-Heather McCubbin

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