By Chantelle Olson
Most students attend university to equip themselves with the skills and the knowledge required to enable them to earn a living doing something they love. For Candice Tremblay, that goal has become a reality.
A recent alum of Augustana, Candice is now working in the Learning & Beyond office as Campus Sustainability Coordinator. In the course of our conversation, I asked her to define sustainability; it seems to be a buzz-word people throw around with a variety of meanings. According to Candice, sustainability means “to conserve in perpetuity all that we have for current use and for future generations.”
Candice is especially passionate about the outdoors. She says, “I wish people were able to take the time to enjoy the outdoors,” adding that she takes any opportunity to head outside.
Even before completing her education, this outdoor enthusiast was heavily involved in community projects. During the summers of 2006 and 2007 Candice was the coordinator for the Camrose Wildlife and Greenspace Project, where she conducted research on municipal greenspace planning and organized environmental education programs in town. One of the highlights of those summers was a research project on purple martins, looking primarily at their population in the Camrose area. During the winter of 2007 she and Augustana Campus professor, Dr. Glen Hvengaard extended the purple martin study and investigated factors motivating people to engage in volunteer conservation.
After graduating in May 2008 with her BSc in Environmental Science, Candice received an NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada) grant to spend the summer as a field technician for a master’s candidate studying the movement and diet of wolves in southwest Alberta. There, Candice had the opportunity to learn how to track, trap and collar wolves. She was also given the chance to help with processing a few grizzly bears on a neighboring study. Life with the wolves appealed to Candice so much that she stayed on as a volunteer with the wolf project into December, well after the NSERC grant was complete.
This last summer was extremely busy for Candice. In addition to her job in Kananaskis as a Seasonal Interpreter with Alberta Provincial Parks, she had the opportunity in July to speak at the 4th National Stewardship and Conservation Conference at the University of Calgary. Her presentation, "Please Don’t Leave Us With Your Mess – a Plea From the Younger Generation", bemoaned the disconnect between nature and today’s youth and challenged her listeners to be deliberate in their environmental action.
After her “fabulous” and “rewarding” experiences educating tourists in the Rockies, Candice returned to Augustana this fall to be the Sustainability Coordinator. She mentioned that the job has been both challenging and extremely rewarding thus far. In addition to serving on several boards and working with CSL students in AUENV 120, Candice is working with Facilities and Operations and an external contractor on conducting a campus wide waste audit and creating a new waste management plan, a project she is very excited about.
When I asked Candice to articulate her vision for Augustana and for sustainability on campus, she was very succinct. “I would like to see Augustana build more sustainably, not only to the standards currently in place, but beyond them. Our students should be leaders in the community,. Active citizenship on campus and more student involvement on all initiatives, would be something I’d like to see a lot more of. To showcase sustainable attributes on our buildings, such as alternate sources of power. And last but not least, to implement a successful waste management and diversion program; these are some of the goals I have for our campus.”