Environmental student earns award for researching reclaimed land at Syncrude

Learning in a classroom and applying that knowledge in the workplace can be a daunting task for some students, but Stephanie Over proved it was a seamless transition.

Stephanie was the recent recipient of the Trace Associates Lakeland College Capstone Award, which she received for work completed during her co-op placement at Syncrude.

The Trace Associates Lakeland College Capstone Award is presented to a student based on both the technical quality of the student’s work and the presentation of their project. Stephanie’s Capstone Project focused on assessing native plant species diversity within Syncrude’s terrestrial reclamation areas. With the help of her Syncrude team members, Stephanie conducted vegetation assessments in a variety of reclaimed forest types and reclamation ages.

“It was a very gratifying experience to receive this award,” says Stephanie, a recent Applied Science- Environmental Management graduate from Lakeland College in Vermilion, Alberta.

I really enjoyed learning about environmental reclamation that is being conducted at such a large scale. My fellow co-workers made the experience really enjoyable and were all very supportive in the completion of my Capstone Project.

Stephanie Over

Through Stephanie’s Capstone Project she was able to determine two things. First, a majority of Syncrude’s reclaimed areas are meeting current expectations for plant species diversity. Second, she demonstrated that Syncrude’s reclamation practices have changed over time to achieve better results.
“The outcomes from Stephanie’s project provided Syncrude with a realistic perspective on how well our existing reclaimed areas are performing relative to proposed regulatory standards,” says Craig Farnden, Senior Associate – Reclamation, Research and Development. “Through consultations with our reclamation planner, Eric Girard, she was also able to show early evidence suggesting that the evolution of reclamation practices over time is resulting in plant species diversity outcomes that now far exceed the recommended thresholds.”
Congratulations to Stephanie on her amazing achievement!
Syncrude brings students from all over Canada to Fort McMurray for work opportunities, such as summer students and co-op student terms. To learn more, visit https://www.syncrude.ca/careers/students-and-new-grads/.

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