Students take charge with S-ECO

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February 15, 2017
Bachelor of applied science: environmental management (BASEM) students are preparing for phase two of their Student-Environmental Consulting Office (S-ECO) projects.
4 female students shown inside S-ECO office through an open door.
The class of 13 was divided into three groups at the start of the year. Each group was tasked with a different environmental project: reclaiming the Emergency Training Centre’s (ETC) remote site, developing a plan for installing and monitoring ground water wells, and improving Lakeland’s ALUS (alternative land use services) land.

Each group has assessed their projects and created proposals that outline reclamation strategies and solutions. “I think what our next step will be is to reach out to first- and second-year environmental sciences students to do some sampling,” says Ashley Mabbott, who’s S-ECO team is working on reclaiming the ETC remote site.

“For the report we built a complete reclamation and remediation plan. This included drainage channels, how to reclaim the soil and what to do so there's no contamination seepage in the future, but if there is, how to contain it.”

As one of Lakeland’s new student-managed learning opportunities, BASEM students consult with their instructors on the projects, but ultimately are in charge of the direction it will take. Throughout their first semester, students met with their S-ECO teams at least once a week, if not more, in addition to completing their regular course work.

“I was surprised to learn we’d get to take on these projects in a leadership role, but also really excited,” says Ashley Butz. Her S-ECO team created a naming system for the college’s ground wells and mapped out the locations of the existing wells.

“We made suggestions for which ones should be re-drilled or capped. We also think there should be a locking system on them,” says Butz, adding they’ve implemented a five-year monitoring program. It involves routine tests and remediation.

For the ALUS project, the S-ECO team assessed Lakeland’s ALUS land, which is located south of the Vermilion campus adjacent to Highway 16. They focused on its wetlands, which have been trampled by cattle in the past, as well as its lack of plant biodiversity and weed problems.

“We proposed strategies including a weed management plan for invasive species and additional seeding to improve biodiversity. We also proposed to improve the wetlands by planting willows and installing snow fences every five years to enhance snow capture,” says Daniel Sopracolle, a BASEM student. “What we are proposing is to really bring it back to its natural state – it’s rangeland restoration.”

As each group works on their project, they’re not only preparing for their eight-month practicums, but building their resumés as well. They develop valuable practical skills as they assess their projects, develop strategies and execute them.

“S-ECO is a really great opportunity because it shows you how to be a project manager, how to write a proper proposal and so much more,” says Mabbott. “It gives us an opportunity to work hands-on and also be in charge. It shows us what we’ll actually be dealing with and working through when we’re out in the field. I think that’s a huge benefit.”

Giving environmental sciences diploma students the opportunity to work on S-ECO projects provides them with valuable experience as well. “They aren’t just practicing in a lab. With S-ECO they’re working on a real project and building their skills,” says Butz. “Next year, when we pass it on to them they’ll have an idea of what to do. It’s a great opportunity for everyone.”

Photos: Top, bachelor of applied science: environmental management students, including Ashley Mabbott (second from the left) and Ashley Butz (second from the right), meet with their teams and work on their projects in the S-ECO office in Academic Link. Bottom, in the fall students completed work at the ETC remote site (pictured) and other locations for their proposals.
What Students Say
With the Student-Managed Farm you learn to be accountable for what you’re doing and the choices you make. You get an understanding of what it’s like to be out in industry or on a farm making decisions that count.

– Anthony Biglieni

Agribusiness Class of 2006

What Alumni Say
Lakeland College has been a integral partner in growing our own through the school of business. As an alumnus of the college, I have first-hand learning experience in the school of business. The professors welcome Servus Credit Union to facilitate classes in the Business Ethics course each year.

– Sandi Unruh

Senior Human Resources Consultant

What Faculty & Staff Say
Vertex has had great experience bringing on students from Lakeland College. We have found the Bachelor of Applied Science (Environmental Management) program to provide students with good academic knowledge of the environmental industry and the criteria that governs the land reclamation

– Sean Fuller B.Sc., P.Ag.

Vice President, Environmental Services, Vertex.

What Alumni Say
There is no way I would be where I am today without Lakeland College. It inspired me to be a better person and to get a job in something I love doing. I am so thankful I had such a great experience at Lakeland and I hope future students do as well.

– Danielle Gaboury

Business studies, Class of 2016.

What Students Say
I recommend the UT program to people all the time. The smaller setting Lakeland offers, is very conducive to learning. It's less intimidating than the larger universities and allows for more class interactions and discussions

– Kelly Mykytuk

2nd year UT student, 2017-18

What Alumni Say
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– Payton Ramstead

Class of 2016, Interior Design student.

What Alumni Say
At Lakeland College you are guaranteed to have time out of the classroom where you can put everything you learned together and actually see that what you’re learning is relevant.

– Alisa Brace

Animal Health Technology, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
The friendships I made, the experiences we were provided with, and the welcoming atmosphere of the Vermilion Campus made my time at Lakeland extremely valuable and memorable

– Grayden Kay

Animal Science & Agribusiness, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
Lakeland College was a learning environment unlike any other school. It allows students to learn beyond the classroom, and staff and faculty genuinely want to see students succeed. It’s a place where you can feel comfortable asking questions and where everyone has a place and fits in.

– Carson Reid

Agribusiness, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
The instructors were the highlight of my time at Lakeland. It made a huge impact on my college experience to have instructors who challenged, encouraged, and believed in me.

– Jessica Cadrain

Child & Youth Care, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
At the beginning of my first year, I was really stressed out as I felt I had no artistic ability. But with the instruction and time put in by the interior design faculty, I was able to develop my artistic abilities. Now I am fully confident in and exceeding well in the artistic side of this career!

– Naomi Mason

Interior Design Technology, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
I just feel like you get the best education at Lakeland, especially from the time that the instructors can actually spend with you. I like the class sizes too – everything’s been great about my Lakeland experience.

– Dean Coulson

Heavy Equipment Technician, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
I do give Lakeland College credit for reigniting my interest and even preparing me for Miss Rodeo Canada. Lakeland helped me to grow enough to have the confidence to think I could take on that role and become that person. I think that I have and I am really grateful for that

– Ali Mullin

Agribusiness, class of 2014, former Miss Rodeo Canada.

What Alumni Say
I feel the professors at Lakeland actually prepared me for the profession. It’s impossible to be just a number here when there are 12 students in all of your classes. When the school advertised small class sizes, they actually meant it.

– Stephen Mark Visser

Real Estate Appraisal and Assessment, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
I was involved in the president’s gala in April where I was an emcee for the evening, it was a great experience, and I had a lot of fun doing it and would recommend it to everyone.”

– Lucas Tetreault

HOPE Power Engineering, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
I would recommend Lakeland College for the simple fact that it's for everybody. As a mature student who went back to school much later than his 18th year, I was immediately accepted, and not ostracized in the least

– Donald James Shaw

Accounting Major, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
All the hands-on learning was great and very helpful once placed into the industry. Having clients leave with a smile after each service assured me that I was in the right field of work. I would recommend Lakeland to anyone.

– Courtnee Coolidge

Esthetician, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
The professors care so much about their students at Lakeland and are able to know each and every one of them by name, so much so that they are able to nominate a ton of students for awards.

– Stephanie Wakefeild

University Transfer, Class of 2016.

What Alumni Say
They really put you in the lead at Lakeland. Lakeland cares about its students, empowers them, and gives them opportunities to achieve their goals. I don’t see Lakeland as a stepping stone or a first step – I see it as a bridge and an integral part of my education.

– Alyssa Wells

University Transfer, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
I wanted to get experience in the field of assessment as it would give me exposure to what it’s like day to day. It was an invaluable experience as I find it hard to imagine what it would be like working in a particular field or area until I’m doing the work.

– Sheldon Farrell

Real estate appraisal and assessment, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
In the campus spa, they give you time to work with each client so nothing is rushed and you’re able to concentrate on providing the best service you can to your client.

– Daphney Couturier

Esthetician, Class of 2017.

What Alumni Say
It’s going to be a lot easier to start our first jobs having this experience and having been able to build our confidence in the campus spa. I love that we get to have this opportunity.

– Darby Watchel

Esthetician, Class of 2017.

What Employers Say
Lakeland is a great place to find employees. The college provides real world training that equips soon-to-be employees with knowledge and people skills that are highly sought after in the agriculture industry these days.

– Dustin Dinwoodie

Key Account Manager – Western Canada Arysta LifeScience