Spending days outside on the water, taking countless marine samples and camping on a rugged island was not what Chevy Alexander expected when she enrolled in the Applied Coastal Ecology program at Coast Mountain College — it was better.
Growing up in Sooke, B.C., Alexander was always curious about the thousands of species that surrounded her. She wanted to learn more about this other marine universe and when she found out about the field school experience, she knew it was where she needed to be.
“I chose Coast Mountain College because all the courses have a very hands-on
aspect to them that you can’t find anywhere else,” she says, adding she moved to Prince Rupert for school.
“I feel that being so close to the ocean here, you have the opportunity to go out in the boat and learn about these species and everything on the coastline that you wouldn’t get at a different school. It’s a really unique experience.”
For Alexander, her goal is to work for Oceans and Fisheries or Environment Canada once she completes her education. With a few field schools behind her, she feels prepared to take on a job in the industry.
“The college is doing a really good job of building student confidence and giving us the tools necessary to go out and excel in this field of work.
“Everyone here from the instructors to the students have such an open mind and a good attitude, which really helps you grow and gain that confidence.”
Living in Prince Rupert, Alexander says the area itself has really heightened her
interaction with the environment.
After school, she often finds herself going on hikes and exploring the outdoors where she’s able to identify organisms she learned about in class earlier.
“One of my favourite parts here is going up Hayes Mountain where you have a
gorgeous view above the trees and you can see the ocean. It’s just such a welcoming and friendly community too,” Alexander says with a smile.
“For anybody who is thinking of going for an ACE diploma, I say go for it. Everyone here just wants to see you succeed.”