Spotlight on Young Nature Leaders: Cheyenne Currie
Cheyenne Currie began falling in love with nature as a child growing up in Southern Ontario. She remembers special moments each summer at her family cottage in Haliburton, especially exploring for frogs with her brothers and cousins. She continued growing her interest through biology and natural science classes in high school; her passion was fueled by her enthusiastic and passionate high school science teachers who introduced her to the world of ecology and biodiversity.
Cheyenne pursued a Bachelor of Science degree, specializing in Biology, from the University of Western Ontario and achieved a postgraduate certificate in Ecosystem Restoration from Niagara College. After graduation, Cheyenne found a summer job as the Stewardship Assistant at the Nature Trust of New Brunswick and said she fell deeper in love with the work of ecosystem restoration and environmental stewardship during that summer. She especially enjoys the diversity of ecosystems found within the land trust’s preserves as it is a great opportunity to put her knowledge to practice.
When Nature Canada first reached out to her about the Women for Nature mentorships, she was intrigued by the potential benefits. Cheyenne said she remembered all the other people who had supported her work in the sciences to date and thought a mentor would give her a fresh perspective on her career and her goals, so she jumped at the opportunity. She shared her experience with the Women for Nature mentorship program has been an uplifting experience, and a testament once again to the power women in STEM can have towards shaping and making a difference in another person’s life journey.
Cheyenne’s mentor was Elizabeth Kilvert, (an entrepreneur with career experience in conservation) who encouraged her to think bigger and broader and not to confine her thoughts based on geographic scope. Elizabeth encouraged Cheyenne to be mindful and to look for opportunities all around her. Cheyenne enjoyed their discussions and felt many confidence building moments, with discussions about asserting yourself and how to have your voice heard in the world of STEM. She especially enjoyed the leadership webinars, feeling it was helpful to see that although the various women leader speakers had different career paths, there was similarity in their advice, and strategies for success. One of her takeaways from the webinars was the advice that as a leader, you must own the failures of the team but always let your team own the wins to build trust and a positive working environment.
When Cheyenne summarized her mentoring experience, she realized, it was the best, and most valuable experience she didn’t realize she needed. Through her current role as Engagement Coordinator, Cheyenne hopes to share her learnings with other staff and volunteers to help them be more effective and successful in their work to protect ecosystems and species. She also looks forward to mentoring others in her future. Looking outward, she strongly believes strengthening the power of young women working in conservation and natural science will make a significant impact on the biodiversity crisis we are facing and strengthen restoration efforts across Canada.
Thanks to Nature Canada’s Women for Nature and our funders for investing in the people powering nature protection nationwide.