We're thrilled to introduce our largest cohort to date for Year 4 of our Parliamentary Internship for the Environment (PIE) program. Meet the first five below! We look forward to announcing our final two interns in October.
Driven by her passion for climate justice and lived experiences, Soomin has been involved in climate work with a focus on intersectionality, youth engagement, and gender equality. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Environmental Studies at the University of Manitoba, where she also led the Sustainable Development Goals Student Hub. Prior to joining GreenPAC, Soomin worked with various environmental non-profits, community organizations, and advocacy groups, and attended CSW61 (Commission on the Status of Women) and UNFCCC COP25 (UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties) to advocate for climate justice and youth engagement in international policy spaces.
Isabelle holds an MSc in Biology from Dalhousie University with a focus on examining the efficacy of international biodiversity loss policies. In 2019, during her masters, she also co-founded EnviroVote Canada — a nonpartisan platform and initiative that was created to help voters understand where political parties stood on environmental issues. After graduating she worked as a climate change and biodiversity research associate in the Future of Marine Ecosystems Lab, where she researched how to create climate-resilient marine protected areas. Most recently she completed an internship with the policy team of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada.
Dr. Verena Sesin
Dr. Verena Sesin is an environmental toxicologist and recent graduate from Trent University, where she studied the effects of contaminants in wetland plants. Engaged in science discussions on a local to international level, Verena advised in sustainability questions around campus in her role as Environmental Commissioner of the Trent Graduate Students’ Association, and supported the conservation of plant communities as Global Plants Interest Group steering committee member of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC). Moreover, as a passionate science communicator, Verena enjoys blogging about new scientific findings, and co-organizes the Communicating Science Flagship Workshop (ComSciCon) where graduate students across North America come together to build effective communication skills for various audiences. Verena is excited about creating opportunities for the next generation of environmental leaders. With colleagues at Trent, she launched a research symposium connecting graduate students across all disciplines, and hosted an international graduate student online seminar series on environmental topics. Verena is also actively involved in the SETAC Early Career Committee where she co-leads the development of a mentoring program for scientists of all career stages.
Camilla is passionate about finding solutions for a sustainable food system. She holds an Honors Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Toronto and a graduate certificate in Sustainable Business Management from Seneca College. She wants to work as a sustainability consultant in the food industry: assisting companies to successfully transition into a circular economy. Her areas of focus involve work reducing the impacts – both environmental and societal – of the food system, sustainable food production and addressing food waste and food insecurity. She’s driven to help create a society of equality, inclusion and where the gains of one or group are not at the expense of another. Prior to becoming a GreenPAC environmental intern, Camilla dedicated her time to learning the ins and outs of food industry operations while volunteering for various organizations. She has worked as an intern for the small business EarthPup Co., which is dedicated to reducing food waste and practicing sustainability, and hosted a virtual sustainable living workshop to small group of young professionals.
Throughout his childhood, Owen regularly went camping in Ontario's provincial parks with his family, which inspired his lifelong passion for nature and conservation. This passion, combined with his interest in politics, led Owen to Carleton University's Bachelor of Public Affairs and Policy Management program, where he specialized in Environmental and Sustainable Energy Policy. During his degree, Owen also became fascinated by the role of urban and regional planning in conservation and sustainable development, especially after working as a policy assistant with the Canadian Institute of Planners. Outside of his degree, Owen's passion for the environment motivated him to volunteer as a Youth Water Leader with the Ottawa Riverkeeper, and to spend his summers working at Riding Mountain National Park, Manitoba, and Grundy Lake Provincial Park, Ontario, to gain first-hand experience in conservation.
Maia is currently pursuing a degree in Political Science and Law at Carleton University. Maia learned about the climate crisis at a very young age and looked to politics as a means for making change on this issue. In 2017, Maia attended the Climate Reality Leadership Corps training with Al Gore, about how to effectively communicate the climate crisis. Since then, Maia has taken a more active role in the political world, running as a candidate for Ajax in the 2019 Federal Election, as one of the youngest candidates in the country, at 18 years old. During the most recent Federal Election, Maia worked as the Manager of Campaign Operations and Strategy for a campaign in Toronto. Maia is excited to work on the hill and continue her active involvement in the political world.
As a proud Albertan, Mason spent her childhood visiting her grandparent’s grain farm which helped develop her deep-rooted passion for agriculture. Since then, she has routinely worked on her family farm as a combine operator and maintains a strong connection with farming while living in downtown Edmonton. In the city, Mason is a former president and senior member of her local 4H club, a summer student at Northlands’ Urban Farm, and a Youth Agriculture Ambassador. Additionally, her involvement in Edmonton Youth for Climate taught her the importance of sustainable agriculture and the need for fundamental changes to be made in the Canadian Ag sector. Mason has served as a Youth-At-Large on the City of Edmonton Youth Council and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, majoring in Crop Science at the University of Alberta.