Alumni


 ORTM (RRT) Alumni News
ORTM alumni (formally RRT alumni) are spread throughout the world in a wide variety of interesting positions and circumstances. We're proud of your accomplishments and would like to post them around for others to see.  Read the following updates, follow the links to some of our graduates businesses, and send us other news and updates of what you are up to.


ORTM Alumni Stories Web Profiles ~ What are our graduates up to?

We just started graduating ORTM (formerly RRT) students in 1998, but we want to know what our graduating students are up to. And no doubt you have wondered what old "what's-his/her-name" is doing now. Here are some responses we have had.
Let us know what you are doing! Send information to Pam Wright.

 
Chelsea Brekkaas, BA
 Tourism Coordinator at the Chetwynd Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Centre
 Chelsea's first job after graduating was as the senior counsellor and tourism coordinator for the Chetwynd Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Centre. 
Chelsea Brekkaas
 

Dan Cindric, BA 
Dan graduated from the RRT program in 2006 and got a job as the first Recreation Managerr for the Lil'wat Nation/Mt. Currie band near Pemberton a job he still holds today.
Dan Cindric
 


 
Seth Oldham, BSc 

Seth Oldham came to the RRT program after three terms at the University of Calgary.  Growing disenchanted with the underlying oil and gas extraction mentality of UofC's geology program, he heard about the NREM program at UNBC and specifically, the Parks/Wildlands Management stream of the RRT program.  Having grown up in Jasper National Park with a passion for recreational activities and their management within a park and wilderness context, the values and philosophy of the RRT program meshed well with his own.  As an outdoor enthusiast, Prince George offered a wealth of opportunities for biking, hiking, paddling and skiing so he pulled the plug on Calgary and pointed the wagon at PG.
After graduating from the RRT program with a B.Sc. in 2000, Seth worked for Alberta Environment in the backcountry of the Willmore Wilderness and is now a Park Warden with Parks Canada.  Throughout his career, he has continually drawn on the knowledge and experience that he gained during his time in the RRT program.  He has worked in three national parks (Jasper, Point Pelee, and St. Lawrence Islands) and has just accepted a full-time position in Inuvik, responsible for the monitoring and research portfolio for three national parks (Aulavik, Tuktut Nogait, and Ivvavik) and the Pingo National Landmark.  He is excited about the opportunity to work in a co-management context with the Aboriginal peoples whose culture is both protected and reflected in the management of the parks.  He hopes to learn a great deal from the people whose lives are so intertwined with the parks, and will carry that knowledge with him in his career with Parks Canada.


 
Doug DeMarzo,  BSc
Doug DeMarzo chose the ORTM program for several reasons, including the outdoor recreation opportunities in B.C., the way outdoor recreation and tourism can drive the economy, the environmentally sensitive approach taken in the program and, last but not least, the fun involved in studying this inspiring subject.
After finishing his BSc in ORTM, Doug did some forestry work and is now employed as an Assistant Recreation Planner with BC Hydro in Burnaby B.C. Looking at what he got out of the ORTM program, Doug feels that he acquired the foundation of knowledge that he needed to develop his skills from when he entered the tourism and recreation work field. At the same time he recognizes the value of the writing and research skills that he acquired through ORTM, which are valued in his current position.

Lisa Haglund, BSc
2002
Lisa entered the ORTM program because of her own love for outdoor activities such as mountain biking, hiking, skiing and rock climbing. In addition, she was curious to learn about how to protect recreational resources better though tools such as resource management. After graduating from UNBC with the ORTM Bachelor of Science in 2002, Lisa moved to Edmonton and worked at Fort Edmonton Park and the Valley Zoo where she delivered children’s programs. After about a year she returned to Prince George where worked for 2 Provincial Parks. Today, Lisa lives in Prince George and is employed as a Programming Assistant at the Exploration Place (Fraser Fort George Regional Museum). She assists in developing educational programs for children and youth and the creation and planning of community events.

Alumni Report • Jaime Hilbert (B.Sc. 2004)

Following my last (very busy) semester in RRT in 2003, I was joined by three other
UNBC grads on a four month backpacking trip through Mexico and Central America.
This was an unforgettable and highly recommended experience. Although I probably
could have traveled forever, I decided to return to work at BC Hydro in Vancouver
(where I had been for two of my Co-op Terms) on a contract as an Assistant
Recreation Planner. In this position I assisted senior planners with the management
of BC Hydro reservoir recreation sites.

After a few months back at Hydro, ready for something new, I secured work in
a small town in NW Ontario with the Ministry of Natural Resources as a Park
Planner (as different from Vancouver as you could probably get!). This job
brought an entirely new set of challenges and gave me an opportunity to apply
many skills I had acquired during my time at UNBC. 
My primary project was the development of a park management plan for a new
large wilderness park in Northern Ontario. I also assisted in the development of a combined
land use strategy for the park and a special management area that surrounded the
park. Aboriginal economic interests, recreational conflicts, caribou conservation and
illegal access were the primary issues associated with this project. One of the most
rewarding (and challenging) parts of my job was the opportunity to consult with members
of remote First Nations communities.
After two years in this position, my partner of four years (Kym Thrift, Environmental Planning Grad Dec.2003) and I decided to get married in BC. Following our wedding,
we decided to satisfy a mutual dream to spend time living and working in Australia.
We have been living in Sydney, Australia since June of this year. There I worked for the
Nature Conservation Council of New South Wales as a Biodiversity Conservation Officer.
There are two aspects to my current work. On one hand I worked with politicians,
government staff and stakeholders to improve laws and policies for more effective protection
of threatened species and high conservation value areas. I also conducted community
workshops and developed information materials to create greater public awareness
of biodiversity policy issues. As Australia is suffering greater species loss than almost
anywhere else in the world, this work has proved particularly interesting and exciting.
Today Jaime is back in Canada where she works as Senior Park Planner for BC Parks in Victoria, BC. 

Kinney Lake
ORTM students at Lake Kinney day shelter, Mt Robson, 2004.
Monty Horton, BSc.
1998

Monty Horton came to UNBC with a 2 year credit from Selkirk College which he transferred to the ORTM Program. He liked the idea of earning a science degree by adding 2 years of University; his plans worked out – he graduated with the Bachelor of Science in ORTM in 1998.
During his education at UNBC, Monty worked 5 Co-op terms with agencies such as the Ministry of Forests and in positions such as a Parks Planner in Saskatchewan and Planner for the Okanagan Similkameen Regional District. Monty now works as the Director of Lands and Resources for the Uchucklesaht Tribe Government in Port Alberni, BC. Noting that this is very much a change from his past jobs as planner he credits his 5- co-op terms and education at UNBC for being where he is today.

Kevin McCarty, Bsc.
2002

Kevin McCarty completed his BSc in ORTM in 2002 and started his career with the BC Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management, where he worked for 14 months; first as Tourism Resource Planner and later as a Land and Resource Analyst. Kevin soon found himself looking for a new challenge and his interest in International Rural Development led him to his current position with the non-profit organization The Marquis Project as a Fair Trade Program Officer. Kevin is convinced that the ORTM program provided him with skills essential to all the jobs he has worked with an emphasis on the research and writing skills as well as the public speaking skills he developed while being an ORTM student. In conclusion, Kevin declares:
“RRT graduates potentially have great opportunities to work around the world and to even improve livelihoods of people in disadvantaged countries”
Update from Kevin
I spent six months based in La Paz, Bolivia working as a researcher on Project Fair Trade
with two microfinance organizations. Project Fair Trade identified agro-tourism
development opportunities in the Bolivian coffee, chocolate and quinoa industries. I also
volunteered as a teacher of business planning and development at
the Nuevo Dia Foundation in a social tourism project with street
youth.

Since my return in April from the 6-month Canadian Crossroads
International internship in Bolivia, I have begun working as a Tour
Guide and Tour Developer with Distinctly Kelowna Tours in
Kelowna, BC.

I am learning about agro-tourism development in the BC wine
industry. I plan to develop coffee roasting tours in the Okanagan
Valley coupled with wine tours and related agro-tours in Bolivia. 

Ryan Matheson, BA
1999
Ryan Matheson graduated from the ORTM (BA) program in 1999. Since then he has held several very interesting positions, including working as a UNBC Liaison Officer and the Sales Manager at Rockwood Adventures. Ryan was the UNBC Alumni President 2000-02 and has been an Alumni UNBC Senate member since 2002. Currently, he works as the Sales Manager for the Hyatt Regency Vancouver. On the job, Ryan works with large convention and conference groups to bring their events to Vancouver., Ryan writes about the skills which he gained from the ORTM program:
“The Tourism market has changed dramatically since I graduated in 1999 when BC had a very strong tourism demand. I've seen the effects of Sept. 11/01, SARS, Avian Flu, Travel Advisories, enhanced airline security, Mad Cow and a weak US economy on the Tourism Industry. Therefore, the longevity of my degree is in the research and communication skills that I gained while at UNBC.”

  
"Organising Visitor Surveys, 2003." 

Alumni Stories
We've been compiling some of our alumni's stories for distribution to other students and potential employers. You can download a copy of the Alumni Stories PDF here.

ORTM Newsletter
Download the latest copy of the ORTM newsletter and see the latest ORTM alumni profiles and other program news by following this link. 

ORTM Entrepreneurs
A number of ORTM/RRT grads have started or bought outdoor recreation or tourism businesses. We'd love to share your accomplishments with others and maybe generate a bit of business for you. If you're a business owner send us a photo/description and website (if available) so we can tag you here. Remind us which degree you pursued and what year you graduated!

Alumni Feedback Form
Where the heck are you and what are you doing? Go here to tell us!