Company: Jacques Whitford
“I get to work with people I enjoy working with on a daily basis and I get to work on a variety of interesting and challenging projects around Newfoundland & Labrador and sometimes on projects in other countries.”
Matt has a Bachelor of Environmental Studies degree from Cape Breton University. He says his high school courses in all sciences, especially biology, were most applicable to his post-secondary studies. The opportunity to work outside is one of the things which drew Matt to his career in the Environmental field.
Matt usually works a 40-60 hour week, Monday to Friday. Matt lives close to his place of work and has just a 5 km commute. Matt’s work requires frequent travel. He has been all over Newfoundland & Labrador, to Halifax, several northern British Columbia towns and cities, Calgary, Scotland, England and the Middle East.
Matt’s work in the oil and gas industry encompasses a number of areas: geotechnical; environmental and geophysical engineering; environmental and socio-economic planning; assessment and permitting; biophysical and ecological sciences; air quality management; GIS mapping; petroleum engineering; risk assessment and management; public consultation; learning services; and asset and integrity management. Most of Matt’s work falls under the biophysical ecological category and includes marine and aquatic services; terrestrial, wetlands and wildlife services; agriculture and soil services, Toxicity and Microbial Laboratory Services and Environmental Effects Monitoring (EEM). EEM is the process of characterizing the degree of environmental degradation associated with development related activities. He works with proponents to ensure that they consistently meet regulatory requirements while addressing all environmental and human health concerns through services such as water quality, sediment quality, fish, plant and animal surveys.
Matt’s duties vary from week to week and could involve anything from office work (report writing, billing and proposals) to field work. The field work aspect of the job can be very intense and tiring at times. Motion sickness, insect bites and stings, animal encounters, etc. are all part of life in the field. He adds that workplace hazards are identified in advance of any work commencing. Matt began his career as a Fisherperson before becoming an Environmental Technologist and now Environmental Consultant/Scientist. In the future he might work as a Project Manager.
Compensation and Benefits
In addition to his salary and benefits package, Matt is entitled to additional bonuses from his employer. His employer also provides all training that is regulated by applicable government agencies and training that is needed to perform daily activities. Examples include Basic Survival Training, Wilderness First Aid and Anaphylactic Shock, Standard First Aid with Heartsmart and Global Positioning Systems (GPS Training).