For the second year in a row, a Lethbridge College student has been awarded a prestigious scholarship by Canada’s Parliamentary Outdoor Caucus. Monica Bartha, who is completing the Ecosystem Management – Bachelor of Applied Science degree program with a specialization in Fish and Wildlife Management, was one of just 10 students from across Canada selected for the honour.
Sponsored by Shimano Canada and the all-party Parliamentary Outdoor Caucus of Canada, the $3,000 award is designed for students who have shown tremendous dedication to advancing their education in fish and wildlife management. As part of the award, Bartha received a trip to Ottawa to visit Parliament Hill and meet members of the Parliamentary Outdoor Caucus.
Bartha received the good news through email on her way into work after class one morning.
“I walked into the office and my senior project advisor, my supervisor and the research scientists were all asking ‘what is that look on your face?’” says Bartha. “I told them the news and it felt great. I feel really grateful to be recognized for the work I do. Sometimes you don’t realize how much you do until someone else recognizes it.”
Originally from Sparwood, B.C., Bartha completed a Renewable Resource Management diploma from the college in 2012. Her career path took her to a variety of jobs in the environmental conservation field, including working on wolf and grizzly bear conservation strategies in Golden, B.C.; working as a vegetation and wildlife technician in Medicine Hat, where she learned about native prairie vegetation and species at risk such as sharp-tailed grouse and Ord’s kangaroo rats within the native grasslands; and working on a variety of government contracts that included studying Chronic Wasting Disease in southern Alberta and native plant communities in the Castle Park as well as re-establishing stream banks for aquatic species including native trout. She returned to the college in 2018 to pursue her Ecosystem Management – Bachelor of Applied Science degree.
Bartha is also an avid angler and has taken up hunting. All of her real-life environmental experiences factored into her receiving the scholarship.
“It's great to see this national recognition for one of our students for the second year in a row,” says Brad Taylor, chair of the School of Environmental Sciences. “Monica possesses a strong drive to excel and contribute to fish and wildlife conservation wherever she can. Through her active involvement in classes, student clubs and Ducks Unlimited, Monica has demonstrated her passion for learning and volunteering. She will be another talented alumna of the School of Environmental Sciences at Lethbridge College.”
While in Ottawa, Bartha received a medal from the Parliamentary Outdoor Caucus and met with a variety of members of Parliament from across Canada.
Apart from her studies, Bartha also works as a research assistant in the college’s Aquaculture Centre of Excellence and volunteers for the college student chapter of Ducks Unlimited Canada. After graduation, she is looking forward to resuming her career as a professional in fish and wildlife management.
“I want to continue with public outreach, continuous conservation and teaching others,” says Bartha. “I want to volunteer my time to learn from others and I will continue to work with others in conserving and restoring habitat for fish and wildlife.”
Of this year’s 10 winners of the Parliamentary Outdoor Caucus award, Bartha was the only recipient from Alberta and one of just two college students. Renewable Resource Management student Kelly Riehl won the same award last year in the inaugural year of the program.