SERS Alumn Q&A — Stephanie Cote

Stephanie Cote is currently the Water Conservation Programs Coordinator, Water Services, Environmental Services in the City of Guelph

Stehanie Cote

What years were you at SERS?

Undergraduate 2007-2012; Masters program 2013-2014

What degree did you complete in SERS?

Undergraduate – Bachelor of Environmental Studies, Honors Environment and Resource Studies, Minor in Geography and Environmental Management, Parks Option, Co-operative Program; Masters – Environment and Resource Studies

What was your favourite thing about your program/time at SERS?

The working environment within the ERS program. The professors are approachable with an open-door policy. I enjoyed the small, close knit community of the department. I knew most other students within my program and we all had a lot of fun while working together through this program!

What was your favourite course and/or learning experience (and why?) in SERS?

Hands down my undergraduate and Master’s thesis projects. I absolutely enjoyed exploring a topic of my choice and it is a very satisfying experience to find the answers to an unexplored question! I learned a great deal through this experience such as how to ask the right questions and find the answers and collect meaningful data, while improving my writing and critical thinking skills. I had an amazing advisor for the completion of these projects that absolutely helped to make my experience with these projects a positive one.

What are you doing now that is meaningful to you?

Driving positive environmental and community efforts at a municipal level. I develop and support programs that further water conservation efforts and promote tap water as a great source of drinking water within the Guelph community. I get to take my masters research, which compared bottled water and anti-bottled water ads, and apply it in a real-life setting. Publishing research on water decision making and emotions.

If applicable, how did what you learned/experienced in SERS assist with what you are doing now?

I knew I wanted to work in the environmental field for most of my life. I enrolled in the SERS program to help me achieve this goal. I focused my studies during my academic career at the University of Waterloo focused on water resources and human behavior. I was very interested in how we, as environmental professionals, can encourage environmentally sustainable behaviours. I am now employed with the City of Guelph as a Water Conservation Program Coordinator, doing what I always wanted to. The SERS program provided with the knowledge and experience I needed to achieve this goal.