[ Meredith Pind: ]
I think I got to where I am just by saying yes to opportunities as they presented themselves and trying things out that sounded interesting. My name is Meredith Pind and I am the Planning and Logistics Officer with the Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Division at Transport Canada. We are in charge of the National Aerial Surveillance Program, the main mandate of the NASP is to protect marine environment from pollution.
When I was growing up, I wanted to be a meteorologist. I had the plans set out. I went to university saying, Here's the courses I need ready to go. So one day I was in my second year of university. I was in the intro to Hydrology class and my professor showed us a video of Arctic researchers diving under the ice and seals swimming around with them.
So after class that day, I asked him what sort of jobs were available for second year students, and he said, “hey, if you want to come to the Arctic with me as a research assistant, I'll take you on”. And I was like “sure, that sounds cool”. And it's beautiful. So that was probably where the love of Arctic first picked up.
I never even thought about aviation or never had any inkling to be a pilot or any real crazy draw to aircraft. When I was working as a surveillance officer, I spent, I think, over 600 hours flying. The majority of my work was done up north, doing ice patrols, flying over all the various communities, looking at the sunken vessels.
So it just it just brought me back to that love of the Arctic. So I still had that connection to that. And just being able to, to look out the window and see beautiful fjords, glaciers, icebergs, polar bears, walrus is very cool. In my current position, I've been doing a lot with the operations dashboards and making our data visually useful and just have that sort of stuff really available at the tip of your fingers.
So we have one for the critically endangered North Atlantic Right Whales, ensuring that they aren't in the shipping zones so they don't get hit by commercial vessels. You can really see like those tangible effects of the work that you do and knowing that you're having an effect helping to protect the environment and helping to protect the endangered whales is a nice feeling that you're actually having some sort of impact.