Meet Riley, Environment and Resource Management Co-op Student | Ontario Agricultural College

Meet Riley, Environment and Resource Management Co-op Student

Posted on Thursday, October 21st, 2021

Head shot of Riley McConachie

About Riley McConachie

Riley is a 4th year student in the Environment and Resource Management Co-op program. He was drawn to the University of Guelph (U of G) during a campus tour, and by its unique environmental and resource management program. In his spare time, he enjoys playing sports, hanging out on campus, and exploring local restaurants in downtown Guelph.

Program: Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences - Environmental Resource and Management.
Hometown: Dunville, Ontario
Year of Study: Fourth year

Why did you decide to come to the University of Guelph?

I took a tour of the campus during Grade 12 and absolutely fell in love with it. Everything seemed like home!

What do you like best about your program?

The program exposes you to so many different aspects in the field, such as more geographical or economic based knowledge and experiences, and gives you the opportunity to pursue whichever path you find most interesting. The co-op option also allows you to receive ample hands-on experience. 

In what ways were/are you involved on campus? 

I played for the OAC intermural hockey team during first and second year. I also attended first year orientation meetings, providing some of my school highlights and tips for success. 

Do you have a favourite class or professor? 

My favourite class was Introduction to Environmental Sciences (ENVS*1030), where we had to design and carry out our own experiment on how laundry detergent affects barley growth. Dr. Thomas Graham and Dr. Mike Dixon are two of my favourite professors, I took Intro to Controlled Environmental System (ENVS*3300), an extremely interesting course about indoor growth facilities.

What residence did you live in during the first year? 

I lived in South Prairie Hall, in an academic cluster with other environmental science students. It was very nice being able to easily study and meet friends within the program. 

Where is your favourite spot to hang out on campus?

I love hanging out at Brass Taps in the University Centre (UC), to grab some delicious food with friends in between classes. 

What is an unforgettable university experience you’ve had?

The most memorable experience I had was during orientation week in first year. There were so many events made to welcome all incoming students, I made friends this week that have lasted for years!

Do you have favourite spots in Guelph?

I love heading downtown to explore the local restaurants, the food is always amazing, and everybody is warm and inviting. 

What is a hobby that makes you happy, or relieves stress?

Playing hockey is my go-to stress reliever, with the added benefit of getting in some great exercise!

What are your plans or goals after graduation?

I plan on pursing a master’s degree in some form of plant agriculture, with the possibility of continuing for a doctorate. 

Knowing what you know now, what piece of advice would you give to your high school self?

I would advise myself to become more active in the student community in first year. There are many great opportunities that are not only fun, but are also very important to have on a resume for co-op or future career opportunities. 

What methods have you found to adjust to remote learning during the period of online class delivery? 

I found that engaging during class, whether it be through video or just the chat function, is vital to maintaining a connection to professors and classmates. It also helps make friends and increase potential learning!

What's one fun fact about yourself?

I have a crazy addiction to popcorn!

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