If you ask any Ontario resident what some of their favourite pastimes are, I guarantee many answers would involve being in and around water.
Whether it is boating, fishing or just admiring the beauty of our lakes, water plays an important role in our personal and community lives.
Thanks to Environment Canada’s Science Horizon Youth Internship, Lakehead University intern Anna McClymont is working hard to help keep our water clean.
Anna is a microbiology research assistant working under the supervision of Lakehead Orillia’s Dr. Sreekumari Kurissery, chair of the department of Sustainability Sciences. Her work involves testing seven different sites throughout Lake Simcoe and Lake Couchiching for microbial indicators of water quality. Microbial indicators are microscopic bacteria used to determine the contamination in the water and can indicate whether or not there is a health risk present. Anna’s project is aimed at improving the water quality of the lakes by determining what indicators to monitor in order to ensure public and environmental safety for the long-term.
Always having a passion for environmental conservation, Anna completed the Advanced Environmental Technology Diploma from Georgian College and then received her BSc from Royal Roads University in British Columbia. The Lakehead internship is her first job in the field of sustainability and she says the learning is endless.
“This job not only allows me to use the skills I learned throughout my education, but is teaching me new ones. I am constantly being exposed to a wide range of techniques in environmental monitoring through practical applications that are focused on learning,” says Anna of her time so far at Lakehead.
Being a native of the Lake Simcoe area, she is constantly impressed by the involvement of her community in the research. During her frequent trips out into the field to collect water samples, people are constantly asking questions and wanting to know how they can help. The passion seen in the community has inspired her to work as hard as ever on her research, which in the future could be used to help direct environmental policy, enforce monitoring, and increase the overall condition of our water.