REM alumnus and COP27 student delegate takes next steps in her career

October 06, 2023

When choosing what to study in university, new alumnus Paige Hunter’s interest in the intersecting fields of climate science, justice, ecology and policy made SFU’s resource and environmental management program a natural fit. She knew that understanding these disciplines is vital to developing solutions to some of the biggest global issues, which is what motivated her throughout her degree.

To further diversify her knowledge, Paige completed a certificate in geographic information science, which “opened up many different and exciting opportunities.”

One of these opportunities was a co-op position as an environmental GIS technician for the Department of National Defense, where she identified areas to protect at-risk species and conducted environmental assessments for army operations. Through this position, she gained hands-on experience in GIS, federal policy and ecology. It was “a great blend of everything I learned in my time at SFU,” she says.

Outside of class, Paige pursued other activities that allowed her to gain experience in climate policy and education. As a member of student climate action club SFU350, she led the Climate Education working group. She was also a research assistant with SFU’s Action on Climate Team (ACT).

Last year, in a turn of events she never expected, Paige was invited to attend COP27, the UN Climate Change Conference, in Egypt as a student delegate on behalf of both groups. It was a chance to gain exposure to different perspectives and worldviews on climate solutions, and Paige was eager to see how youth across the globe were approaching climate education.

As a REM major, she had previously learned all about different levels of decision-making in climate and environmental policy, from local government to the United Nations, and it was exciting to see the process up close.

“Being able to peek behind the curtain and witness international climate negotiations was something I never thought I’d be able to do,” she says.

Paige is graduating with a bachelor of environment with honours this October and is about to start a position as Policy Analyst at Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Youth Engagement Unit.

She also recently helped produce an upcoming documentary called Stories of Change, which shares climate solutions from Bangladesh, and co-founded the Sword Fern Collective, a hope-centred climate education initiative, with fellow alumnus Victor Yin.