Signing of historic deal n education: Algonquin College and Canadian Wildlife Federation
RYAN PAULSEN / DAILY OBSERVER Algonquin College president Kent MacDonald, front left, and Canadian Wildlife Federation director of education Luba Mycio-Mommers sign a memorandum of understanding linking the two institutions at the Shaw Woods Pine Pavilion on Friday afternoon while Algonquin College in the Ottawa Valley dean Karen Davies and CWF manager of habitat programs Ken Beattie look on.
Less than a week after college president Kent MacDonald paid a visit to Algonquin College campuses in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, he found himself helping to make an announcement in quite a different setting: nestled in the wintry surroundings of the Shaw Woods.
Against the old-growth forest backdrop, representatives from the college and from the Canadian Wildlife Federation came together to sign a historic memorandum of understanding between the two institutions, the first of its kind between a publicly funded college and the CWF in Canada.
For MacDonald, the partnership is a natural progression of the work that the Pembroke campus has done in setting itself up as a leading choice for outdoor programming at a post-secondary level.
"This campus has established itself as the place to come, not just in Ontario but in the country," he says. "If you want to be involved in the outdoor adventure industry, the Algonquin College campus in Pembroke is where you want to be. By establishing this relationship with the Canadian Wildlife Federation, I think it's going to extend that reputation even beyond Canada, even internationally. I think it's just one more step in the evolving and improving relationship that we have with industries and I expect there will be more demand for young people and others hoping to get in to this type of career to come to Pembroke and study with us."
Pembroke campus community and student affairs manager Jamie Bramburger sees several potential benefits to the partnership, including added co-op opportunities, industry certifications and, perhaps most excitingly, the opportunity to collaborate on research projects.
"CWF is doing research all around the world," he explains, "in different fields: forests, birds, insects, animals. Now our students will actually have the opportunity to be part of that research. So if we start sharing curriculum and resources and turn that into a college classroom project, and our students get to go and work with subject matter experts that are working with the CWF, the collaboration is real again."
Ryan Paulsen is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist