Canadian College and University Environmental Network Réseau Canadien des Collèges et des Universités en Environnement

COVID and Environmental Career Readiness: Are pandemic graduates ready to make the leap?

COVID and Environmental Career Readiness: Are pandemic graduates ready to make the leap?
March 24th, 2021 at 1:00pm-4:00pm EST

Canada's post-secondary environmental programs want to graduate students that are job ready and employable but what does this mean in a time where hands-on training has been limited or has ceased altogether?  Although universities and colleges have continued to meet the competencies required for a solid environmental education throughout the pandemic, are these competent students workforce ready? 

During this, the second of two symposia in the Resilience in Environmental Education During COVID, we'll explore the preparedness of students as they bridge the gap from studies to the workforce and examine how industry trends and the needs of current employers may have shifted in light of modifications to training and workforce readiness. Join a representative from Eco Canada, as well as other college and university environmental educators for this online presentation and panel discussion where you can learn, share experiences, and ask questions about the future of environmental employability.

This event is free for faculty and staff at CCUEN-member institutions. Please refer to the members link (above) to find out if your university or college is a member. Non-members can register for $25.00 per person.

If you have any questions please contact    

Biographies of the 4 Panelist Speakers

Christie Whelan, MSc

National Manager for Species at Risk Recovery Planning with the Canadian Wildlife Service (part of Environment and Climate Change Canada). Christie’s background is focused on conservation biology and population ecology, she has worked for the federal government on conservation issues for over 15 years with a focus on providing strong science advice to support the conservation of species at risk.

Kevin Nilsen

Kevin Nilsen rejoined ECO Canada in September 2016 to commence the role of President & CEO of the organization. Kevin started his career in leadership as an officer in the Norwegian Army before moving to Canada in 2000. After graduating from University of Calgary, Kevin worked 7 years for ECO Canada, most recently as Director of Professional Services.

During his absence from ECO Canada, Kevin managed large global offshore oil and gas projects for Aker owned companies. The experience in the energy sector gave him great exposure to clients and stakeholders in Europe, Asia, and USA. During this time, he was first based in Norway and subsequently in Houston, TX. As a key highlight, Kevin led the development of a cutting edge Riser Gas Handling tool that ensures a safer and more environment friendly drilling process.

At ECO Canada, Kevin was responsible for the establishment of the Canadian Centre for Environmental Education (CCEE). He was also instrumental in the launch of regional networking events across the country, the growth of EP certification, and academic partnerships.

Throughout his career, Kevin has always had an unprecedented commitment to clients. In his role as CEO, Kevin’s key focus is to ensure that ECO Canada’s products and services align well with industry, government, and academic stakeholders.

Erin C. McCance

Erin holds a Bachelor of Science Degree, Master of Environment Degree, and Doctor of Philosophy Degree from the University of Manitoba. Erin is a Professional Biologist with the Alberta Society of Professional Biologists, an Environmental Professional with EcoCanada, and a Fellow with The Wildlife Society. Erin currently co-owns and operates an Environmental consulting company, EcoLogic Environmental Inc., where she works as a Project Manager and Wildlife Biologist/Ecologist with a specific interest and focus on terrestrial mammals, namely boreal woodland caribou, moose, bears, and wolves. Her work includes baseline and effects assessment on various landscape change/development projects. She is involved in formulation of various research initiatives and monitoring activities, and conducting fieldwork such as the aerial tracking and telemetry and distribution surveys. In addition to working as a wildlife biologist, Erin is a Sessional Instructor at the University of Manitoba, teaching a wide range of courses from 1st year to graduate level courses such as Environmental Issues, Ecosystem Management, Wildlife Management, Sustainable Manitoba, Green Buildings and Planning, and Biogeography, among others.  Erin is also currently the Executive Director for the Canadian Section of The Wildlife Society.

G.D. (Doug) Gallant

Doug Gallant is the Director of the Science, Information Technology, Engineering Co-operative Education (SITE Co-op) program at Dalhousie University working to support students in obtaining over 1600 work terms annually across 23 disciplines from the Faculties of Science, Computer Science and Engineering and now the College of Sustainability.  He came to the field of Co-operative Education from industry in 2006 serving 11 years as Employer Development Manager before becoming the Director in 2015. Doug is also a member of the Army Reserves where he presently serves as Commanding Officer of 1st (Halifax-Dartmouth) Field Artillery Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery. Doug is active in the Co-op and WIL community regionally and nationally having served as chair of CAFCE Atlantic (2016 – 2017) and Atlantic Regional Representative on the board of Co-operative Education and Work-integrated Learning (CEWIL) Canada (2017 – 2019).  He presently represents Dalhousie University on Nova Scotia’s Entrepreneurial and Experiential Learning Working Group.  Doug holds a Bachelor of Science (1992) and Masters in Business Administration (1996) both from the University of New Brunswick. In May 2017 he completed a Masters in Information Management from Dalhousie University having become interested in viewing Co-operative Education through the lens of Information and Knowledge Management.