My name is Robert Brundage and I am doing a three month internship with EALT. I was born and raised in Berlin / Germany, but have Canadian roots. My dad emigrated to Berlin from Canada almost 30 years ago. I still have lots of family here, especially in the Edmonton area. I graduated from high school in 2011, volunteered in a hospital in 2012 (known as a Voluntary Social Year in Germany), served in the German Air-force (Luftwaffe) in 2013 and started my studies at the Freie Universität of Berlin in late 2013. My program is called Geographical Sciences, a combination between Earth / Environmental Sciences and Anthropological Sciences. Geography is the study of spacial relationships, so basically all the interactions that take place between various Earth Systems (earth / environmental aspect) and humans interacting with each other and the environment (anthropological aspect).
At the beginning of my third year I decided to get to know my Canadian heritage and successfully applied for an exchange program between my university in Berlin and the University of Alberta. I took four courses at the U of A in the fall term of 2015. These were: an economics course, a forestry course, a climate change course and a society-environment-agriculture course. In that last one, called The Plate, Planet and Society, EALT presented itself as a CSL (Community Service Learning) partner. The CSL program enables U of A students to get some practical work experience with a local organization, while taking a course. I took advantage of the great opportunity and got to know EALT. In addition to the CSL project I also helped EALT with the Fencing for the Forest project, where we built a wood rail fence at Pipestone Creek.
I was amazed of the beauty of this property and really enjoyed working on the project with the other volunteers. Hopefully the fence will stop snowmobile trespassing and protect the beautiful and significant landscape of the Pipestone Creek property from OHV damage.
These positive experiences with EALT motivated me to apply for an internship and I am very happy and proud to help and learn from this great organization.
I am hoping to learn how not-for-profit organizations operate and get more in touch with the beautiful and significant landscapes of the Edmonton area. Hopefully EALT will also profit from me over the next months and I can contribute my part to their mission. I am especially looking forward to the winter wildlife tracking days, other fieldwork and experiencing winter conditions on EALT properties.
By Robert Brundage, EALT's Volunteer Conservation Intern