New co-op option links students to industry

By Kelly Foss | Nov. 22, 2011

Memorial University’s graduate program in environmental science is offering a new co-operative education work term option to graduate students seeking work experience in the environmental industry.

Students choosing this option would complete a paid, 14-18 week work term relevant to their master of environmental science degree during the spring semester, with the first students starting their placements in May 2012.

Dr. Joe Wroblewski, chair of the program, says students will network with members of the environmental industry during their work term experience and become career-prepared.

In co-ordinating this option, the graduate studies program is working with the Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Industry Association (NEIA), a not-for-profit association of businesses that promotes growth and development of the environmental industry in this province, for a direct link to potential employers.

"Newfoundland and Labrador's economy is thriving and the demand for skilled expertise in various sectors of the environmental industry is increasing," said Linda Bartlett, NEIA's executive director. "NEIA members are industry leaders addressing some of the province's most complex environmental challenges with innovative thinking and state-of-the-art products. These potential employers are anxious to access students with well-developed skill sets."

The School of Graduate Studies offers the interdisciplinary environmental science program and students enter it from a wide range of undergraduate backgrounds including science, engineering and environmental studies. The program gives students the opportunity to learn about the many disciplines relevant to environmental science.

The Faculty of Science, which administers the program, will co-ordinate with Memorial University’s Division of Co-operative Education to place students in the work term positions with industry, the provincial government, the federal government and non-governmental organizations.

Rebecca Newhook, co-operative education co-ordinator for the faculties of arts and science, says that she will begin talking to interested students and matching them with employers as soon as possible.

“I hope to identify candidate students this semester so I can begin contacting employers and co-ordinating interviews and placements in January,” she said. “Hopefully, all interested students will be placed by March.”

Graduate students currently in the program who wish to investigate this new work term option of the master of environmental science degree are encouraged to speak with their supervisor and the program chair. New applicants to the program can find information about the degree program online at


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