Wild Northerner Magazine 2015/16 Winter Issue - Page 31

Isabel Chicoine has many moments on the job that leave her thinking of one thing.

“Wow,” she said.

It might be a five-foot long sturgeon swimming by her legs while she is engaged in a survey on a river, or seeing a moose charging through the forest. It could even just be standing in the middle of vast wilderness surrounded by the power of nature. The wow moments are nearly endless.

Chicoine is a Forestry Technician Specialist with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry in Wawa.

It has been nothing short of a wild journey for Chicoine to get where she is in life and her career.

She worked part-time and then full-time at a sawmill while attending College Boreal for the fish and wildlife technician program, which she graduated from in 1996. With little job prospects, Chicoine graduated from a hairdressing school in 1998 and opened her own business in Wawa. In 2011, Chicoine started with the MNRF as a contract Resource Management Technician. It got her foot in the door and she eventually burst her way into a full-time job with the MNRF through determination. In time, Chicoine landed work as a land technician and then did a six-moth assignment in the Timmins area as a project biologist. In July 2014, Chicoine realized a big life goal when she earned full-time employment with the ministry as a Forestry Technician Specialist.

“It is important to me to live my life in northern Ontario,” the 41-year-old said. “I love the outdoors and what small northern communities have to offer. I enjoy living with wildlife and all nature’s treasures. It is awesome to be able to access all it has to offer right from your backyard. It is such a friendly environment, and even though I only have my brother living close by, every day I feel like my kids and I are part of a big family. I like to get involve and contribute to making our little town a great place to live. The best feeling is seeing the outcome and being able to watch the neighbours, my friends or my own kids enjoying what we, as a community, work together like family to provide. It is the childhood I grew up in and I want to provide to my kids the same experience. I want to teach my kids to be grateful and respect what small communities can offer.”

BY SCOTT HADDOW

Wild Northerner staff

Wild living in Wawa

and loving it