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.
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