South Nation Conservation Welcomed Summer Students to Support Conservation Efforts and Stewardship Initiatives

Provided by South Nation Conservation Authority
South Nation Conservation Welcomed Summer Students to Support Conservation Efforts and Stewardship Initiatives
From left: Arielle Noonan, Hope Boyle, Carley Hutchinson, Natalie Fleece, Spencer Van Putten, Gabriel Giorgi, Kyley McGuinness, and Shannon McRae. Missing from photo, Mariane Scalise. (Photo : SNC)

South Nation Conservation (SNC) welcomed nine students and recent graduates to its team this summer, thanks to funding from the Federal and Provincial Governments.

“We’re proud give students hands on opportunities to work in their fields of study,” says SNC’s Managing Director, Property, Conservation Lands and Community Outreach, John Mesman. “Our talented local youth bring hard work and enthusiasm each summer and we’re grateful for the support that they bring to the Conservation Authority.”

Students hired to fill summer positions can experience the many different facets of SNC. From working in the forest and parks, to supporting natural hazard management or delivering environmental outreach activities, students become familiar with the inner workings of a non-profit organization while getting exposed to a variety of career opportunities and experiences.

“I’ve gained valuable experience working at SNC,” said Kyley McGuinness, who is entering her 4th year in the Environmental Studies and Geography at Carleton University and joined SNC as the Invasive Species Summer Technician through the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters. “My favourite part of working at SNC is going out in the field for the day, connecting with nature and knowing the work I’m doing is making a difference in the watershed,” she added.

Some of this year’s summer students included Shannon McRae, Natalie Fleece, Kyley McGuiness, Gabriel Giorgi, Mariane Scalise and Spencer Van Putten. Collectively, they are from Ottawa, Finch, and Newington.

“Watching youth catch their first fish from the South Nation River was a highlight for me,” added Shannon McRae, a student at Bishop’s University, entering her 4th year in Biology with a concentration in Health Sciences. McRae, who coordinated Fish Camps this summer, was a large part of this year’s program success. “The camps create opportunities for local kids to get outside during the summer, make new friends and learn how to fish responsibly,” she added.

“We always look forward to welcoming summer students each year,” says Mesman, who also worked for a stint at the Conservation Authority as a past summer student “We hope their experiences and their time spent outdoors, stepping into nature, will help foster good environmental stewardship in the next generation of environmental leaders.”

Students interested in applying next year, should follow South Nation Conservation on Facebook for hiring updates in early 2024, or can subscribe to SNC’s newsletter at

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Erin Thorne, Communications Specialist, 1-877-984-2948,

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