Dana McIntosh, a graduating student at David Thompson Secondary School (DTSS), is the first recipient of Wildsight Invermere’s Environmental Pursuits Award. The annual $500 prize was set up in 2021 to encourage local high school grads to pursue knowledge in environmental fields of study.
Why initiate a student environmental award? As our planet faces monumental environmental challenges, Wildsight Invermere wants to play its part in supporting young people to engage in creative thinking and solutions. The better care and conservation of the natural world will solve many of our current global problems.
Cam Gillies, Vice-President of Wildsight Invermere’s Board of Directors, knows well the trajectory from a DTSS student growing up in Windermere to earning an undergraduate degree in Ecology, then a PhD in Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta, and eventually, recognition as a renowned ornithologist. He is now owner, together with his wife Renee Franken, of Eagle-Eye Tours, Canada’s largest birding tour company.
“It’s imperative that we nurture a love of wild places, wildlife, and healthy ecosystems in the younger generation. I was fortunate enough to have mentors who got me out looking at birds when I was young, and I’ll always be thankful for that. That shaped my life,” says Cam.
Dana is still at the beginning of her life’s journey. “I am so grateful to have received the Wildsight Environment Award, as I know that the Invermere branch of Wildsight has helped the environment immensely. Nature and the environment is what has inspired me all of my life, and I will continue being inspired from it for the rest of my life. For my post-secondary education, I plan on attending the University of Victoria for an undergraduate degree in biology. I have always enjoyed being in the presence of nature and being around animals, and that’s why it is my goal to become a veterinarian on the west coast of British Columbia. With becoming a veterinarian on the west coast, I will be able to work with marine life, as well as seeing all of the lush nature British Columbia has to offer.”
Congratulations to Dana MacIntosh!
If you would like to donate to Wildsight Invermere’s annual award fund to support future students on their path to further environmental education, please contact Karen at Invermere@wildsight.ca.