Co-op student profiles

There are more than 135 geography students registered in the Social Sciences Co-op Program. Some are in graduate programs (MA, MSc, PhD), but most are in undergraduate programs (BA, BSc).

A few geography students also study other disciplines, such as political science, anthropology, environmental studies, or biology.

Geography co-op students excel in the classroom and in the workplace because they are competent in:

  • Qualitative and quantitative research (i.e., field skills, interviewing, literature reviews, surveying)
  • Analysis (i.e., spatial analysis using GIS, statistics, remote sensing, comparative analysis)
  • Communication (i.e., writing, presenting, stakeholder consultation, public outreach)
  • Team building and conflict management
  • Issues such as urban planning, resource management, geomatics, physical sciences
    (i.e., geomorphology, hydrology)

Student profiles

Geography co-op students have worked in many fields—from urban planning to resource management, and from geomatics to community development in private companies, non-profit organizations, and various levels of government.

Here are a few examples:

Emma Caron - Geography Co-op Student of the Year (BSc) 2016

Emma Caron

Emma Caron (BSc): Emma's enthusiasm is infectious - whether talking about her co-op experiences to help current students, or making sure other students know the value of co-op.  She has spoken in workshops for co-op students, and in Geography classes to promote co-op.  Emma also makes herself available by email to students through She is now working on hydro-climate data analysis with Environment & Climate Change Canada, but has also done co-ops in Brazil doing hydrological research, and onboard the BC Ferries as a Coastal Naturalist.

Katrina Annett - Geography Co-op Student of the Year (BA) 2016

Katrina Annett

Katrina Annett (BA): Katrina has completed three
co-op terms: one with the BC government's Water Management Branch and two with Indigenous and Northern Affairs, Treaties and Aboriginal Government - Negotiations West. Katrina supported her co-op employers in very important work in a thoughtful and effective way. Her deep interest in learning and great success at it (excellent GPA) are inspiring.  Katrina’s involvement in extra-curricular activities such as the Golden Key Society and the UVic Ballroom Dancing Club round out her academic and workplace achievements.

Claudia Gasparovic - BSc program

Claudia Gasparovic

Claudia Gasparovic (BSc): Claudia worked with Parks Canada as a dune restoration technician at the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.  This photo shows a sunset at the beginning of a night of moth monitoring.  Claudia used ATVs to travel the dunes and look for two rare and endangered moth species.  She loved exploring the wild landscape that the Park encloses - from ancient forests, to sandy beaches, and rugged coastline that goes on seemingly forever.  She was able to learn about the different ecosystems inside the Park, as well as what the landscape and area means to the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations who have lived there for thousands of years.

Kyle Nelson - BSc program

Kyle Nelson

Kyle Nelson(BSc): Kyle was an ecological monitoring technician in Waterton Lakes National Park.  Here he is setting up recording microphones in the prairie as part of bird monitoring activities just as the sun is starting to hit the mountains.  The incredibly diverse nature of the work was really interesting to Kyle: one day he'd be recording bird calls, another he'd be looking for amphibians, or servicing remote wildlife cameras, or hiking into the backcountry to set up a bat monitoring station.  He learned that when doing field work it's important to be ready for anything as something unexpected can come up; being flexible and adaptable is really important!

Jennifer Getz - BA program

Jennifer Getz

Jennifer Getz (BA):  Jennifer spent a co-op term in Ghana (Africa) as a Communications Intern with African Institute of Mathematical Sciences (AIMS).  Being a Communications Intern involved outreach initiatives in the community, like this where young adults participate in a discussion about entrepreneurship. She says that she learned so much about how to work with community and how to help Ghanaians access high quality education.

Alexandra Laussane - MSc program

Alexandra Laussane

Alexandra Laussane (MSc):  As a Soil Scientist Research Assistant, Alex spent a term based in Prince George, BC working with the BC Ministry of Forest, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations.  This was a soil scientist’s dream, according to Alex. Only 1 hr from Quesnel, BC lies an ancient volcano. The Nazko cone last erupted around 7 000 years ago. Alex was part of a team that investigated the soils beneath. Interesting fieldwork during this co-op was definitely a highlight. They remotely identified relic lake shorelines and headed to the field to document the sediments. The comradery, constant science puns and group admiration of sediments was fantastic!   During this co-op term, she learned a lot - from identifying sediment structures and landforms, to learning new 3D computer software. She developed invaluable skills that are highly applicable to both her current Master's work and her career ahead.

Greg Tonkin - BSc Program

Greg Tonkin

Greg Tonkin (BSc):  Greg worked as a Junior Emergency Management Geo-Technician with Global Affairs Canada in Ottawa.  He helped manage spatial information about Canada's network of missions and offices abroad, learning how to better stylize and symbolize his maps, and integrate many layers into one product.  The term was such a success that Greg returned to the organization upon graduation!