Sam Smith
Biologist

Sam joined Hemmera in the spring of 2019 with a focus on Marine Science & Natural Resource Management. A typical week for Sam may involve 1-2 field days and a mixture of office tasks. The field days are typically environmental monitoring for construction projects or field assessments to inform various reports and permitting of projects. Office days are a mixture of technical research and writing, data entry and analysis, and internal meetings or training opportunities. “I’m not sure if there is such a thing as a typical work day,” says Sam, “more like a typical week. This changes throughout the year depending on what projects are up and running and our field season. That’s something I really value.”

What do you enjoy most about working at Hemmera?

I really enjoy the varied experiences and opportunities I have been given while working at Hemmera. The work, by nature, is dynamic and this allows for growth and development across a broad range of subject matter. I also really enjoy the people and culture at Hemmera. The office is very social and everyone I have worked with have been super approachable and generous with their time.

How did you find the onboarding and support received as a new employee entering the workforce?

Starting at Hemmera as a new university graduate I feel though I was given all the tools to succeed. The support structures are well established and readily available.

Have you participated in any of Hemmera’s Open Houses?

I participated in a Hemmera open house at the beginning of 2020. I could only stop in briefly due to fieldwork commitments but the brief chance I had to mingle was very valuable. There was a great representation of staff there from many seniority levels and lines of business.

Tell us about Hemmera’s Consulting School:

Hemmera’s consulting school is our in-house training program which helps young professionals learn the basic tools and knowledge required to be an effective consultant. The 2-hour sessions cover a wide range of topics across all lines of business and are a great way supporting junior staff and sharing knowledge.

Do you have a mentor at Hemmera?

Not officially, however I feel this is supplemented by the people on my team and those I work with directly taking a direct interest in my career. The people I work with seem to genuinely want to help me to develop and grow and will work to support that.

How would you describe your journey at Hemmera so far?

Learning and growth. As a new graduate from Australia starting out in Canada I felt as though I had to seize every opportunity given to get up to speed. The support Hemmera and its staff offered during this time was exceptional and really assisted in my transition. I feel like I’ve built a really good foundation this early in my career and look forward to continuing to develop and being able to apply this knowledge to assist Hemmera and its clients.

Hemmera’s culture is amazingly down to earth. For a company with some of the most highly regarded professionals in the industry everyone has been consistently approachable, open, and willing to provide guidance and support. Regular social events mean that you really get to know people from all over the business and this helps to foster a great team culture.

What makes Hemmera a great place to work for young professionals?

The people and the culture. The people you work with are leaders in their respective fields and learning from and working with the best cannot be overstated in value. Hemmera is also a company which prides itself on its values and living those values. This is reflected in the culture. Hemmera culture focuses on supporting growth of its people, being innovative and creative wherever possible and being flexible and adaptable to change. 

Describe your memorable “Hemmera moment”?

At the end of summer 2020 we were just wrapping a particularly long field program and there was a moment of reflection where I was able to appreciate the opportunity which had been given to me. Over the spring and summer the team had really bonded, I had gained an incredible amount of knowledge and experience, we had collected high quality data, and delivered on a challenging and important scope of work. It was a good summer!

What is your favorite project and why?

My current favourite project is the water bird survey for Environment and Climate Change Canada we are doing in the Widgeon Valley National Wildlife Area, just off Pitt River. The project involves canoeing across Pitt River and up Widgeon Creek where we then fly a drone and survey for waterbirds. The project team are amazing, the views are spectacular, and I’m learning a lot while performing really cool tasks. It’s genuinely one of those projects where I can’t believe I get paid to do this.