Paula H., Environmental Sustainability student | Lakehead-Georgian Skip to main content

Paula H., Environmental Sustainability student

Student Paula Hesser

Paula H.

Hometown: Midland, Ont.

Program: Environmental Sustainability

Year: 2

What has your experience been like so far at Lakehead-Georgian?

Lakehead Georgian has been a wonderful experience so far, despite the restrictions and limitations of the pandemic. The ENSU program is a small group, and I have thoroughly enjoyed being able to get to know each of my fellow class mates on a more personal bases. It’s been amazing to be part of a group that is just as enthusiastic and passionate to learn about the environment as I am.

Since there are many different scopes associated with environmental sciences and the intimacy of our class, we have had many intriguing and in depth conversations regarding sustainability, conservation, environmental concerns, the cycling of energy, legitimacy of information sources, natural resource management, evolution, and policy concerning climate change to name a few. This opportunity gave me valuable insights from my peers, which I found to be inspiring and gives me hope for the future, knowing that these bright minds will be leading the way. The lab work gave me hands on experience in understanding the scientific method, as well as tangible examples of the diversity of biotic life. I wrote papers on topics ranging from water filtration to geopolitics, and learned how to source credible information, which opened my eyes to the endless fields of environmental study.

Our smaller class size also means that I do not have to stress about competing with hundreds of other students to ask teachers a question or for clarification regarding an assignment. Typically, I would receive a response in a very timely manner. The ENSU program is multifaceted in its study, and what I have learned in one year alone has had a tremendous impact on how I view the world, and value our natural environment.

Can you describe a special project that you were involved in and why it was important to you?

First year, first semester, I was assigned to do a herbarium of 50 different native and naturalized Canadian species in Natural Resource Management. I collected and submitted all my species, but the project never really ended. This project ignited my passion to understand the natural world, and I am continuing to identify and learn about as many species of flora as possible. I get so excited to travel to new places just to see the different types of trees and plants in the area. By identifying plants, I have become more aware of their presence and purpose in our natural environment, and more drawn into the complexity and brilliance of nature that I am always in awe of. I am sure I will continue to identify plants for the rest of my life.

Why did you choose Lakehead-Georgian?

I bought a house in Southern Georgian Bay in 2016, because I wanted to live among the lakes and trees and parks, and be closer to nature. In 2020 I decided it was time to pursue my dream of working in the environmental field, and searched nearby universities for programs. Lakehead-Georgian’s Environmental Sustainability and Ecosystems Management Program fit perfectly with my lifestyle and what I wanted to obtain in a post-secondary environmental degree program. I could not be happier with my decision.