My job description as an environmental associate at first and then an assistant program manager introduced me to teamwork and accountability for work. As an environmental associate, it was part of my duties to ensure conformance to occupational health and safety standards on the project sites. I was also privileged to work with environmental consultants and engineers in developing environmental assessment statements especially at the construction phase of a project. As the assistant program manager, I worked with our environmental consultants, waste managers and the state environment ministry to ensure proper waste management during site clean-ups.
I worked with a team of people in the review and re-design of the company’s environmental, health and safety standards for the effective management of our construction projects. I also designed the Environmental Risk Assessment & Control document in use currently. The job also introduced me to the relevance of environmental management in ensuring business continuity; I was introduced to concepts such as loss-based time and its effects. The position was also a supervisory one; it afforded me the chance to develop better people and communication skills. I am confident that I am well prepared for this Masc. and graduate school; my undergraduate courses have provided me with the adequate introductory knowledge necessary for this degree.
Also my small but extensive professional experience illustrated me the application of the theoretical knowledge I have gained and revealed the need to acquire specialized knowledge. The curriculum for the Masters in Environmental Applied Science and Management is one of the most impressive I have seen. There are certain courses such as GIS for environmental management, Environmental Biotechnology and Environmental Economics that make this program different from others I have seen and convinced me that obtaining this degree at Ryerson is the best decision for me.
The presentation of research opportunities and your esteemed faculty are also reasons I’m drawn to the program and to Ryerson. Within the Masters program, I have a particular interest in environmental pollution and mitigation. I hope to base my research on bioremediation, especially in the area of environmental modification for effective bioremediation. After reading about the ‘Inipol’ situation during the Exxon Valdez oil spill clean-up, I have become interested in research into safer environmental modification techniques.
Another research area I’m fascinated with is contaminant transport and fate; I am particularly interested in investigating the transport of hydrocarbons in groundwater in order to develop better remediation plans for site clean-ups. Also, I hope to be able to incorporate GIS into my research; GIS is useful at all stages of pollution management. I am learning how to use ArcGIS 10 software currently and I plan to become a certified associate by June 2012. The environmental applications of GIS are numerous; it provides a means for assessing combinations of data and identifying potential risks. It is also useful for remediation plans as it offers a medium for monitoring.
After completing my masters program, I would like to build my career in environmental science and natural resource management. My end-goal is to become an environmental and geotechnical consultant with an organization first and then on my own after gaining sufficient experience. I want to be able to advise my clients on the best practices with respect to environmental issues so as to ensure the development and implementation of sustainable environmental management systems. I am sure that the knowledge obtained through this degree will be solid groundwork for my intended career.
Antoine de Saint Exupery once said “A single event can change a person and bring forth a stranger unknown to us”. That single event happened to me in the summer of 2007 when i took a short trip to Delta, Nigeria. I visited a small settlement near the Ekpan creek, a short drive from industrious Warri. The scene there is forever seared in my memory. What used to be a fishing area was completely covered with oil slick, there were bodies of animals floating, the trees close by were covered halfway with oil, there were hungry children playing with the debris around. It was at that moment I decided I was going to dedicate my life to the protection and preservation of the environment.
Right from secondary school, two subjects have always fascinated me, Biology and Geography. My bachelors’ degree in Marine Biology encompassed both subjects, making it very fulfilling for me. During my Bachelors, several courses piqued my interests especially those relating to toxicology and aquatic pollution. My course in Planktology was particularly fascinating; we studied about the use of the absence or presence of plankton species as indicators of pollution and general waterbody health.
I became so interested in the course that I based my final project on it. I sampled water from several sampling sites at the Five Cowrie creek in Lagos for six months in order to determine the abundance and diversity of phytoplankton species, the result of which I used to report on the pollution situation of the creek. I interned at the Nigerian Institute for Marine Research and Oceanography for six months in 2009.
Working in the institute gave me a strong research base. I worked with experts in the laboratories and on the field, collecting samples and performing experiments. An experience that stood out was our work on the Victoria beach; we were monitoring storm tides and ocean currents to determine storm surges and gauge shore erosion. The results were analyzed and collated for the state government in order to prepare mitigation procedures.
It was a very interesting and fulfilling experience. After my graduation, I worked with District Investments and Properties in the Properties Projects Unit. Unlike university, the corporate environment is very different but very exciting. I learnt a lot about myself and I learnt more about the rigors of my intended career as an environmental