Parsons is delighted to announce that Joanne Speakman has been awarded the Parsons Giant Mine Remediation Project Scholarship of $10,000 for the 2019/20 academic year.

Joanne is enrolled at the University of Alberta Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Conservation Sciences program.

Joanne Speakman is entering her fourth year at the University of Alberta, in the Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Conservation Sciences program. Joanne’s decision to study Environmental Science stems from her love of Biology and the outdoors, which began in Délįne, NWT, where she grew up fishing and camping. She considers herself fortunate to have been raised with teachings that emphasize gratitude and reverence toward the land, and these lessons have guided her throughout her academic journey in environmental sciences.

Joanne’s academic journey began at Aurora College in Yellowknife. For two years, she worked as an administrative assistant with the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) during the day and studied English, Math, and Biology in the evenings. Joanne achieved a perfect score on the Biology diploma exam. She then attended the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) and completed a diploma in Biological Sciences Technology in 2016 and graduated on the Dean’s Honour Roll. After completing her studies at NAIT Joanne worked with GNWT’s Cumulative Impact Monitoring Program (CIMP) for a year and a half before deciding to continue her education at the University of Alberta (UofA) where she was accepted into the Environmental and Conservation Sciences program.

Her employment has also shaped and informed Joanne’s career objectives. Most recently, she was a summer student with the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board, in conjunction with the Sahtú Secretariat Incorporated. The scientific aspect of this job was enriched by opportunities to engage with her culture, such as the chance to attend the Dene National Assembly in her home town of Délįne, NWT. It was a powerful experience that further motivated her to pursue a career that balances science, traditional knowledge, and industrial needs. In Joanne’s own words, “the transition from college to university was not an easy one, due to an entirely new environment and intensive courses, such as calculus. Additionally, toward the end of my third year, I experienced the loss of several loved ones within the span of three months. These experiences were quite traumatic and completing the semester required enormous strength and the amazing support of family and friends. As difficult as that time was, I believe it has made me a more compassionate and grounded person. In my final year, my grades have been improving dramatically and I am grateful that I persevered. I believe that my academic journey and the challenges I have overcome thus far demonstrates my dedication, work ethic, and deep conviction in the career I am working toward.”

Following university, Joanne wants to return to the North and find work related to environmental monitoring, especially pertaining to fish health and water quality. Joanne is also passionate about the inclusion of communities in the process through education and consultation.