Did you know that students who study at the Institute of the Environment (IE) have the chance to apply to our successful CO-OP Program? These paid CO-OP work terms will help you gain practical experience within an environmental organization and apply the skills and knowledge you learned in your Master’s of Environmental Sustainability (MES) program. In some instances, the CO-OP project can be incorporated into your Thesis or Reseach Paper!
Our alumni have been placed at the following organizations: Environmental and Climate Change Canada; Fisheries and Oceans Canada (Species at Risk Program); Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada; Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada; National Defence; Natural Resources Canada (Energy sector); Sustainable Development Technology Canada; and the World Wildlife Fund! Our students often report a very positive experience, and many of them have found employment with their CO-OP hosts after graduation. Read the Masters of Environmental Sustainability placement report (2016-2019). How impressive!
CO-OP Student Testimonials
"During my 8-month CO-OP term I have been working with Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) in their Environmental Assessment Division. I have had the opportunity to work on both the operations and policy side of the division. During my first four months I was with the operations team where I was engaged in the Trans Mountain Expansion Project file and was assigned tasks which included writing briefing notes for the Minister and memos to Cabinet. The second half of my CO-OP term has been spent on the policy side of the division where I have been engaged with Canada’s new Impact Assessment Act, Bill C-69. I have had a front row seat to some of the first projects that are going through under the Act and have been able to contribute to the development of policy guidance for ECCC environmental assessment practitioners."
"This past summer and fall, I was fortunate to complete my two consecutive CO-OP work terms with SLR Consulting (Canada) Ltd. (SLR) . I was their first CO-OP student because the Ottawa office was created only 2.5 years ago! SLR is a global environmental and advisory consulting firm involved in various sectors. I was hired as the Staff Scientist for the Land & Water Quality Team. It was a very interdisciplinary and collaborative atmosphere as I got to work with various professionals and clients throughout Canada. We had many ongoing projects, so each day provided its own unique challenges! Some projects I worked on include:
- Executing a groundwater monitoring program in Thunder Bay, ON;
- Analysing data for Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) from two remote sites in Nunavut; and
- Contributing to environmental investigations at Former Camp Ipperwash, a Department of National Defence (DND)site, as SLR was contracted by Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) to aid in the efforts to return the land to the Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point First Nation.
The courses from the MES program provided me with ability to tackle these projects pragmatically, by developing my communication, researching, and technical writing skills. My CO-OP experiences have refined these skills further.
Solving complex environmental problems requires an interdisciplinary approach. At SLR, I collaborated in small teams and worked with clients from throughout the country! My CO-OP was a fulfilling experience and environmental consulting is now a career that I want to pursue. I had no idea about where my CO-OP would take me, but I have embraced this experience fully. It would not have been possible without the skills and network provided by the MES program. Take advantage of these opportunities because they’re a priceless aspect of the MES program!"
"For almost 8 months, I had the opportunity to work as a CO-OP student at the Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS) at Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC). I will always remember this really exciting and enriching experience. I learned about the importance of CWS when it comes to implementing the Species at Risk Act (SARA) and conserving our valuable wildlife. I want my future career to involve conserving biodiversity and I am glad that I gained this experience within the public sector! I worked on a variety of projects, two of them were on incorporating Conservation Measures Partnership (CMP) - actions classifications into recovery documents and incorporating climate change better in recovery documents. In addition to these exciting tasks, I also learned more about the process of posting a recovery document on the Species at Risk Registry. I helped review documents to ensure they meet SARA guidelines and policies, and to ensure the quality of the documents that were converted to HTML. The courses I took in the MES program relating to policy and climate change helped prepare me for this position. I am glad I decided to do CO-OP while a part of this program because it let me apply the skills that I learned in class and do something that I love."
Hear about success stories from CO-OP partner organizations:
“Hiring a CO-OP student from the Masters in Environmental Sustainability program has been a great opportunity for both our student, as well as for the department. We valued our student’s new approaches and innovative ideas, and encouraged them to apply their knowledge to improve current and new programming. The CO-OP placement allowed our student to develop knowledge in federal fisheries management, and exposure to what steps are required in developing a new operational program.”
- Marina Petrovic - Senior Fisheries Management Officer
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
"I am a federal government department employer with the Canada Border Services Agency and before that with the Department of National Defence. Both these departments conduct important work on environmental management, compliance, energy and sustainable development. I have been working with the Master’s of Environmental Sustainability students from uOttawa for about 4 years and without exception, all the students formed under this program are top achievers. You can literally task them anything and with a little guidance, they serve as regular staff members. They use technology and innovation to help drive their products and outputs and do so in sometimes very tight deadlines. Their work is always excellent! They often help fill in positions and work gaps that we are often challenged with in government departments.”
- Stephane Girardin - Director of Environmental Operations
Canada Border Services Agency
”Hiring a CO-OP student from the Master’s in Environmental Sustainability program is something we look forward to every semester. Students we hire are eager and motivated to apply their knowledge to solve complex, multi-disciplinary issues to improve the way we deliver programming. The CO-OP placement allowed our students to learn more about Canada’ First Nations, and the role the federal governments plays in supporting communities in responding to climate change impacts.”
- Nicholas Girard - Environmental Policy Analyst
Natural Resources and Environment Branch
Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
Apply for our Master’s of Environmental Sustainability and benefit from our CO-OP program that will allow you to gain practical knowledge and experience that will equip you for your future!
Deadline to apply:
- Canadian citizens and permanent residents: February 1 (to begin in September of the same year)
- International students: December 1 (to begin in September of the following year)