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Themis-Marie Laffitte

Employer: Government of Alberta, Parks and Protected Areas
Position Title: Seasonal Conservation Officer
Location: Moonshine Lake and Historic Dunvegan Provincial Parks (1hr North of Grande Prairie, in the Peace Country)
Dates of Employment: May 3 to September 6, 2005

My internship was a direct stepping stone toward my career path. I gained invaluable experience through the various tasks and situations which were presented to me. I learned so much and look forward to continuing this line of work for several years. I worked at two provincial parks and was responsible for both the protection and preservation of the parks through officer presence and enforcement, as well as for the campground and collecting the required fees.

My main duties were administrative in the sense that I had to ensure that every camper paid for their stay. This included intensive public relations and constant communication. Also, all the money had to be counted and balanced weekly. Other duties included education through interpretive programs and Parks Day, as well as general biology knowledge to curious campers, patrolling days and nights, enforcing park laws, dealing with problem wildlife incidents among many others. There was extensive field work involved, although it was limited to these particular parks. Visiting other parks such as Hilliard’s Bay, allowed me to participate in bear control actions and boat patrols, which were not possible at my locations.

This internship has really given me a good glimpse at what a Conservation Officer in this district does and has given me so much experience which I will use for years to come. I met a fantastic group of people this summer with whom I am likely to stay in contact with for life and I look forward to seeing everyone again this summer!