From Small Town Roots to Environmental Education: Master of Environmental Science Student Joseph Langlois' Career Journey | Ontario Agricultural College

From Small Town Roots to Environmental Education: Master of Environmental Science Student Joseph Langlois' Career Journey

Posted on Thursday, March 14th, 2024

joseph langlois standing outside, wearing binoculars

Raised in a small town in Quebec, Joseph Langlois (MES student) gained an understanding of agriculture’s reliance on a healthy and diverse eco-system. An aspiring environmental educator, Joseph gained hands-on training and advanced skills through the program’s experiential learning opportunities - like working alongside the naturalist team at the U of G’s Arboretum.

Read more about Joseph’s experience in the Master of Environmental Sciences program in this Q&A.

Name: Joseph Langlois
Program: Master of Environmental Sciences (MES)
Expected graduation year: 2024
Hometown: Hemmingford, Quebec

Where did you work before coming to U of G?

Prior to moving to Guelph, I was working at the Comparative Medicine and Animal Resources Centre at McGill University. While my employment there was enriching, I wanted to pursue further education to align my professional life with my passion for environmental outreach.

Why did you choose the MES program?

I chose the University of Guelph’s Master in Environmental Science program primarily due to the diverse range of courses it offers. This variety, combined with the flexible course scheduling, has allowed me to complete my studies at a pace that suits me best. Additionally, I was looking for a program that would open career opportunities, which is supported by this personalized program curriculum.

As part of the program, I chose to complete a Major Research Project (MRP) that explores the ecotoxicological effects of lampricides, which are chemical products used to manage the populations of invasive sea lamprey in the Great Lakes. This project looks to improve our understanding of the effect of lampricides on organisms, like mussels. This experience has offered me a hands-on learning and allowed me to apply my training on a novel topic that has not been researched to this extent before.

joseph langlois standing outside holding a snake

What have you enjoyed most about studying at U of G?

The Arboretum has been an incredible resource for both my academic and personal life. Having read about its rich biodiversity and tranquil environment, my expectations were quite high—but it lived up to them! I have spent many days walking around The Arboretum, admiring its extensive plant collection and engaging in my favourite pastime—birding.

I had the opportunity to work with The Arboretum's Naturalist team as part of my Flexible Environmental Internship course. It has been an incredible experience thus far and I have learned more than I thought I could about nature interpretation and environmental outreach. The Arboretum community is very welcoming and has amazing energy, especially when it comes to the environment.

Taking part in workshops hosted by The Arboretum has allowed me to become a better interpreter and naturalist.

What has been the most impactful learning moment of your program at U of G?

The MES program offers plenty of experiential learning opportunities. Many of my courses involve field trips to apply techniques and concepts learned in class, such as the trip we took to the credit river as part of Stressors in the Great Lakes course.

Where do you hope your career takes you?

I aspire to find employment in environmental education. I am open to exploring the many different options and opportunities of this field, whether it entails working for a conservation authority that runs environmental awareness and outreach programs or contributing to the initiatives of a provincial/national park. If it involves connecting people to nature, I am eager to be a part of it!

What’s the best thing about studying at U of G and OAC?

The amount of support and resources available to students is incredible. Whether it's assistance with coursework, navigating my job search and application process, or simply finding a relaxing place to unwind, such as The Arboretum, there are so many people willing to help. Thanks to this abundance of support, I have seen so much positive development in myself, both academically and personally.

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