Geography Conference and King’s ENVS students
There were a number of Environmental Studies (ENVS) students (including myself) who drove west to Prince George, B.C. last weekend to participate in the WDCAG (Western Division, Canadian Association of Geographers ). For those who have never been on an ENVS field trip, you are missing out on what I consider to be ‘the memorable events of my degree’. Therefore, let me take a moment to inform you what actually happens on these ENVS trips!
Day one: Thursday morning, we pulled out of King’s parking lot just after 8 am to begin our trip to Prince George. As a group of 10, we stopped in almost every town on the way, which was an obvious necessity. However, there were a few unexpected stops, the first being at a beautiful river off the side of the road. Our group of 10 marveled at the river and continued on. After a few more food stops, we pulled off once again for a hike, about an hour East of Prince George at a place called the Ancient Forest. We hiked into the woods for about 20 minutes then found a gorgeous stand of trees, mostly old growth cedars, some older than 1000 years. Once there, it began to pour, making the return to the bus (without slipping or falling) challenging since the rain resulted in icy snow. I fell at least 20 times (and have the bruises to prove it) but the most memorable tumble was Dr. Spaling as he gracefully fought to keep his balance on the path, much to amusement of the group (check out the King’s ENVS page to see a video!) later reflected on how comical the afternoon trek was when we arrived in Prince George for dinner.
Day Two: We had a relaxing day where a number of people went on field trips exploring the area, then in the evening everyone reconvened to listen to the guest speaker, Dr. Charles Helm. After the lecture we made our way to a pub night to finish off the evening at UNBC’s (University of Northern British Columbia) very own campus pub called ‘The Thirsty Moose’ (You know you’re in PG when…)
Day Three: Presentation day! 6 students including: Alexandra, Waurner, Justin, Sean, Kathryn, and myself presented academic posters on Saturday. The titles included: Cougar Creek. Oh Dam!" "Hare today ... gone tomorrow: a method for mapping white-tailed Jackrabbit distribution in Edmonton” and ‘Foiled Lessons from the Northern Gateway Pipelines’. We had an excellent day of representing the various topics of our posters to the public, but we were exhausted. The following evening banquet was amazing. They served us a delicious meal and we had time to visit with the other participating schools from BC, AB and Northern USA. The best part of the evening was when we found out that Alexandra and Waurner won first for the BSc category, and Justin and Sean placed first in the BA category! Everyone was pumped that King’s had finished strong at the conference once again!
Day Four: With a successful conference behind us we headed east to Edmonton in the morning. A few individuals celebrated their wins the night before, with only 2 hours of sleep, making the trip home a mixture of naps and food. Again, we stopped at almost every town (for Dr. Spaling, the driver, to get his caffeine fix), adding one quick snowball fight at Mount Robson. The van was filled with singing and story telling making me feel more and more connected to the people in my field of study.
I have felt that these off-campus overnight field trips have greatly enhanced my experience as a King’s student.