Harbour Monitoring

My Summer at ACAP

Having worked in the environmental and conservation field for a few years now and seeing and hearing about all the various project that ACAP Saint John had worked on in the past and were presently working on, sparked my interest in wanting to work there. When I was offered the amazing opportunity to work for them for the summer, I jumped on it. There were many projects that I had the pleasure to work on, too many to talk about them all, but I will mention a few of the ones I enjoyed the most.

One of my favorite projects to work on was the harbour baseline monitoring program. Part of this project involved fishing using fyke nets and a beech seine. This was especially fun for me having never worked in the marine environment before let alone in the largest tides in the world. Our fishing occurred at six different sites. Each with its own interesting obstacle, from ankle deep mud to large waves soaking you in saltwater, and I loved every bit of it. Having been able to see and work with the many different species of fish was a great opportunity.

Another one of my favorite projects was seal spotting. Through out the summer we conducted seal counts using spotting scopes observing haul out sites often frequented by seals. We also canoed and kayaked out into a known seal location one evening. The seals swam around our boats for just under two hours, its was quite an experience. Working with seals allowed me the opportunity to work with mammals which is a career goal of mine, and I look forward to seeing where the project goes in the future.

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The final project that I really enjoyed was working on the street tree inventory of the North End. Urban forestry provided some unique identification challenges that allowed me to expand my knowledge of non-native and rare trees in New Brunswick. The survey also allowed me to explore Saint John and visit places I would have never seen otherwise.

Overall, I really enjoyed working at ACAP Saint John for the summer. There was always something new and interesting happening in the office. The ACAP team were all nice and fun to work with, they were always teaching me new things and allowing me to get hands on and learn more about the environment and their own expertise. Many of the projects had partnerships outside of ACAP from around the province which allowed me to make new connections and learn about what other work is going on around New Brunswick. Thank you for the great summer it was an experience I will never forget.

Aiden Isbill

Our Summer at ACAP

As Chemical Technology students from NBCC, a co-op work term is a mandatory credit for us. We first heard about ACAP through a presentation at our college from a previous summer student. We have to say that the ACAP team has left a big impression on us all. We were inspired by their work in environmental studies, water quality monitoring, restoring watersheds, tree planting, and seal monitoring. We looked forward to working with the ACAP team every day.

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Our work was divided into two sections, which we always referred to as fieldwork and lab work. Every day we visited multiple sites where we collected data and water samples. The samples were brought back to the lab, where we performed experiments to measure the chemical and biological composition of the water.

Fieldwork was a very important task that we performed daily while working at ACAP. Although we started around the end of May while the weather was still cold and rainy, we had amazing experiences and made unforgettable memories on those first days. Roxanne MacKinnon, an environmental technologist at ACAP, drove us to the sites and demonstrated how to collect the water samples. She also trained us on safety, and encouraged us to remain safe at all times while working.

This was the first time any of us had worked in a lab. Our experiments involved measuring the total phosphate and ammonia concentrations, total dissolved solids, and fecal coliform. From getting into a daily routine, improving our techniques, compiling and organizing data, and even troubleshooting. We learned a lot, and enjoyed our lab experienced thoroughly.

In the end, we really enjoyed our summer working for ACAP. We got to experience a lot of new things, met a lot of people, and learned more about Saint John and its vibrant aquatic ecosystem. It truly felt like an awesome adventure.

Luke Gaudet, Jessy Tran, and Minh Truong

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