Welcome to Conservation Champions, a new series, introducing you to the staff of Kawartha Conservation who work to protect the people, property and environment within the Kawartha watershed.
Kawartha Conservation balances environmental capacity and human need, while managing natural resource features that are essential for sustaining water quality and quantity, through watershed planning, stewardship, environmental monitoring and research, and management of conservation and natural areas.
Our programs and services are focused within the natural boundaries of the Kawartha watershed, which extend from Lake Scugog in the southwest and Pigeon Lake in the east, to Balsam Lake in the northwest and Crystal Lake in the northeast – a total of 2,563 square kilometres.
Today, we introduce you to Environmental Education Technician, Lori Swider.
Name: Lori Swider
Title: Environmental Education Technician
Q: What is your education background?
A: I previously spent 5 years in Halifax, Nova Scotia where I completed my Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology at Dalhousie University. This degree was unbelievably beneficial for my theoretical understanding of the natural world, but I realized afterwards that I wanted more experience applying this knowledge. As such, I am currently completing the 2-year Fish and Wildlife Technician Diploma at Fleming College in hopes that the hands-on experience this diploma provides will compliment my academic understanding nicely.
Q: What do you love most about your job?
A: The best part about my job is seeing the inspiration and interest I can instill in youth, simply by sharing my passion about the environment with them. I absolutely love teaching others about the natural world, especially considering there is always something new to learn.
Q: Why does what you do matter?
A: My job matters because enlightening others (especially youth) about the environment is really important if we are to continue to see a positive trend towards its conservation and restoration.
Children are very curious and impressionable, so it's important they absorb the correct information that will influence and support their future endeavors, regardless of whether or not those may be in the environmental sector!
Q: What advice would you give others who are interested in a similar position as yours?
A: My advice would be to pursue studies in environmental sciences to build upon your theoretical knowledge of the environment. Also, gain experience working/volunteering with children and the public. Most importantly, keep working! All experience is worthwhile. It'll get you to where you want to be eventually, with some persistence.