Shell, NCC launch conservation internship programShell Canada and the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) last week officially announced the Shell Conservation internship program, a unique partnership created to provide university and college students practical experience in the conservation field.
This summer, 16 Shell Conservation interns are doing stewardship and management work at NCC properties, as well as carrying out other career-related activities that advance NCC's aims. Shell provides the funding and NCC provides the work for this pilot project, which has the potential to be extended and expanded in future years.
"The on-site tasks that the interns carry out this summer will significantly increase the ecological value of the NCC properties, by enhancing natural plant communities and improving habitats for a number of imperiled plant and animal species," said NCC president John Lounds.
Summer field technicians in Ontario and Alberta are working at over 20 NCC sites, recording field data, restoring habitats, marking property boundaries and drafting stewardship plans. In Quebec, a student intern is co-ordinating an aquifer project to protect underground water resources in the Adirondack foothills.
In New Brunswick, shorebird specialists are collecting and analyzing scientific data and acting as interpretive guides at NCC's Johnson's Mills Shorebird Interpretive Centre. A stewardship assistant is also developing simple lesson plans and introducing school teachers to ways in which the ecology of the various habitats found at Shampers Bluff in the Saint John River Valley can be taught to children.
In Manitoba, a field botany intern is conducting prairie plant inventories at tall and mixed grass prairie properties. In British Columbia, student interns are preparing management plans for Swishwash Island in the Fraser Delta and the Campbell River Estuary, describing the properties, identifying opportunities and areas of concern and developing management goals.
Shell and NCC have been collaborating on land conservation projects for over 20 years. Over this time, Shell has donated more than $3 million in financial resources, volunteer support and land and mineral rights, resulting in major achievements for conservation in Canada. In recent years the company and the conservation group have focused on developing innovative partnerships designed to support both NCC's goals and Shell's stated commitment to sustainable development.
Since 1962, NCC and its supporters have conserved more than 1.7 million acres across Canada, an area the size of Prince Edward Island. In the past year, the organization has raised more than $43 million to support this critical work and has succeeded in securing a total of 100 ecologically sensitive properties.
More information is available from Charity Landon at the NCC, 416/932-3202, E-mail email@example.com, or from Janet Rowley, manager of public affairs for Shell Canada, 403/691-3899, E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; Web sites: www.natureconservancy.ca, www.shell.ca.