Duckling Blog: An Intern’s Perspective
My name is Faizah, and I have been an intern with Ducks Unlimited Canada’s National Boreal Program for the past 8-months! I am a fourth-year student in the Environmental and Conservation Sciences program at the University of Alberta, majoring in the Human Dimensions of Environmental Management. When I’m not studying on campus or working from my home office, you can find me exploring Edmonton’s River Valley or taking my cats on walks.
I applied for this position with the hope of further exploring my interest in environmental conservation in a professional setting and gaining first-hand industry experience while working with like-minded individuals.
Throughout my internship, I have worked on a number of exciting projects, including environmental conservation, science communications, and policy. From playing a leading role in the Wetland Knowledge Exchange, participating in meetings with external partners, and helping support projects like the Yukon Wetland Field Guide, there has been no shortage of amazing opportunities when working with this Team.
One of my main roles was to help develop content for the Wetland Knowledge Exchange’s monthly newsletter and social media. The Wetland Knowledge Exchange, the official voice of the Canadian Conservation and Land Management (CCLM) Wetland Knowledge Portal, aims to increase information sharing and encourage collaboration amongst industry professionals, students, and anyone interested in wetland management, research, conservation, and reclamation practices. The monthly newsletter provides a venue to share knowledge and communicate emerging research on all things wetland, while also sharing current events and information on upcoming webinars, meetings, and conferences.
Through this project, I explored different forms of science communication, such as threads and infographics communicating valuable information related to topics such as the role of fire in Indigenous communities and the role of wetlands in maintaining water quality and quantity. Seeking out and planning the content for the monthly newsletter and summarizing current research has helped develop my research synthesis, detail orientation, and written communication skills in a professional setting while also helping me gain valuable knowledge on wetland-related research and findings.
I expanded my knowledge of several topics while attending wetland and water-related events, including the North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance Wetland Educational Forum, the 2023 Mount Royal University World Wetlands Day Symposium, and a field tour as part of the Forest Management and Wetland Stewardship Initiative (FMWSI). During the field tour, I got in the field with DUC’s forest industry partners to learn about their operations, best management practices, and experiences while exploring the relationships between forestry and wetlands. A highlight of my internship! Meanwhile, at the World Wetlands Day Symposium, I learned about wetland restoration, tropical peatlands, and wetland mapping and monitoring techniques. Check out my World Wetlands Day Twitter takeover to learn more about my day at the symposium!
Working with DUC, I saw firsthand how their work impacts communities across the boreal forest. Through supporting the development and implementation of protected areas, sustainable land use, and policy, DUC can help to achieve the long-term environmental, social, and economic goals of those working and living in the boreal.
As a human dimensions major, the projects I worked on have allowed me to explore the importance of effective science communications when interacting with a broad demographic of stakeholders and how effective natural resource management, collective action, and collaboration with Indigenous communities can influence the environmental issues we face today. This unique opportunity has helped shape my perspectives and career path as an environmentalist, student, and individual. Working with the conservation programs team has led me to discover a newfound passion for the importance of effective science literacy and wetland conservation in the boreal forest.
For more information about DUC’s boreal program internship opportunities, contact us.