Environmental Studies Success: Meet CBU Student Hannah Kosick

Cape Breton University student and environmentalist Hannah Kosick is making waves across Canada after finding her place in the Bachelor of Arts and Science in Environment (BASE) program at CBU. BASE is a unique interdisciplinary undergraduate degree, where students tackle one of the most important topics of our world today.

After studying Marine Navigation at the Canadian Coast Guard College (CCGC), Hannah transferred to CBU to focus her studies on her greatest passion; the environment. Hannah discovered the BASE program through a friend and felt that it aligned perfectly with her academic interests. She was eager to dive into a degree that allowed her to study biology, nature, culture and communication together, rather than limiting herself to a single field. “All of the classes I am currently enrolled in fit perfectly together,” says Hannah. “I was able to transfer most of my courses from the CCGC and CBU made my transition from college to university effortless.”

The BASE program introduces students to environmental studies through both the arts and sciences. Students can choose to focus their scientific scholarship on biology, psychology, chemistry or math while supplementing their studies with arts courses on citizen science, nature, culture, communication and environmental humanities. The flexibility within the program allows students to customize their education to their interests, developing a harmonious education across both fields. Hannah says the program has allowed her to develop a unique perspective on both environmental issues and the world as a whole.

When she’s not soaking up new information in the classroom, Hannah keeps her plate full with numerous Co-Op and volunteer experiences. This past summer, Hannah worked as a co-op student for the Parks Canada Cape Breton Field Unit as part of their Outreach Team. Her responsibilities included running informative pop-up booths at local events, developing educational programming for youth at libraries and day camps and handling media interviews about Parks Canada’s various activities. “Co-op is one of the best experiences you can have as a CBU student,” says Hannah. “This incredible opportunity really added to my education, and I’m looking forward to more co-op placements in the future.”

Hannah also started CBU’s Environmental Society this summer, with help from BASE faculty and students. “Our goal is to engage students in environmental conservation through volunteering in the community and across the island,” says Hannah. The society will be attending the Science Atlantic Environment Conference this March, where they will present their environmental research.

As if that wasn’t keeping her busy enough, Hannah also completed a program called Ocean Bridge, to which she has dedicated over 600 hours of service alongside other Canadian youth, with the goal of engaging youth in ocean health and literacy. The program is funded by Canada Service Corps and run by Ocean Wise. Hannah and her colleagues attended a wilderness expedition to Haida Gwaii, an urban expedition to Vancouver and completed local service within their home communities. A blog post written by Hannah about Ocean Bridge was picked up by Canadian Geographic and a photo from her Haida Gwaii trip was even featured in the December issue of Canadian Geographic Magazine!

Hannah’s hard work and dedication is not going unnoticed. She was recently selected from more than 1,000 applicants to participate in the Daughters of the Vote program. Hannah will be travelling to Ottawa later this year to represent the federal riding of Cape Breton-Canso, where she will meet with other emerging leaders and share her vision for Canada.

Hannah is also the first recipient of the Stewards of St. Ann’s Harbour Association Scholarship, recognizing her as an exemplary young woman, both in her academics and extracurricular activities. The award, valued at $1,000, is given to a student in the BASE program whose values align with the St. Ann’s Harbour Association’s vision for a sustainable future. “I feel so honoured to have been selected for this award,” says Hannah. “My work and volunteerism in environmental conservation and education is something I am very proud of, and hope to continue for many years to come.”

After graduating from CBU, Hannah plans to further her studies with a focus on ecology, and says the BASE program is providing her with the foundation she needs to excel. We’re certainly proud to have Hannah as a student, and are confident that she will continue to make a direct impact on the world as a member of our CBU Alumni family.