by Stewart Prest, submitted 2012
The Managing Director of Alberta’s Bow Habitat Station in Calgary was given something precious: a budget, with the opportunity to create and implement innovative programs. “The province built a multi-million dollar facility,” laughs Robyn, “and I was charged with making it operational.”
The result is a unique and dynamic centre that provides a valuable experience for visitors of all ages. Bow Habitat Station includes the Discovery Centre, Fish Hatchery, Interpretive Wetland and Trout Pond, each demonstrating the challenges that face a growing province whose prosperity depends on the successful management of its natural resources.
“We inform visitors about Alberta’s water, fish, wildlife, lands and forests. Above all, we try to instil a sense of stewardship to create champions of the province’s environment and natural resources.”
As busy as her work keeps her, Robyn’s day job is just one part of her life. She is married to fellow Augustana alumnus Erik Saude (BSc Biology ’00), who is currently a very busy medical resident. They have two children: three-year-old Mark and one-year-old Clara. About them, Robyn says simply, “My kids are the light of my life.”
Robyn says that she was positively influenced and gained a great deal from her academic, varsity and community activities at Augustana. “My experience helped shape who I am today,” she says. “You’ve probably heard this a million times, but I definitely learned to think critically. I learned to stand up for what I believe in, and defend it diplomatically.”
One memory that stands out for her is the sense of community that Robyn found at Augustana, which she says played a major role in her decision to enrol. “I came from a small, strong community, and I found the environment on campus to be very inclusive.” Even today, she remains motivated by a sense of public service and a commitment to make our community better.
For Robyn, that community-building begins, quite literally, at home. “I’d love to have four kids. I love the idea of a big family, love the energy that comes with it. I think of when we’re old, the big family gatherings we’ll have. Even now, Erik and I draw on that kind of energy in our lives.”
Live for today, and plan for the future. It’s sound advice for a growing family, and for a growing province as well.