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Watershed Technician - Katelyn Smith

Watershed Technician, Assiniboine Watershed Stewardship Association: Katelyn Smith

For Katelyn, being a steward of the land is a family tradition. She grew up on a mixed farm near Ituna and her family made it a priority to practice sustainability. This helped guide Katelyn on her current career path.

Since 2013, Katelyn has been employed by the Assiniboine Watershed Stewardship Association (AWSA) as a Watershed Technician. A few years after she graduated high school, Katelyn’s parents were working with a Ducks Unlimited summer student on a wetland restoration project on their land. Katelyn discovered the student was attending Lethbridge College. Katelyn followed suit and earned a two-year Renewable Resource Management Diploma. The very practical and hands-on program piqued her interest in wildlife research. She worked on a couple of wildlife research jobs upon graduation before joining AWSA.

AWSA is an independent, non-profit organization that is dedicated to protecting and enhancing source water in the Assiniboine River watershed. Katelyn primarily helps producers in the watershed access and apply for government funding to implement beneficial management practices (BMPs) to ensure the long-term health and sustainability of land-related resources used for agricultural production. The mandate of all watershed associations in the province is source water protection, and Katelyn also assists with any activities to protect the Assiniboine watershed source waters.

Over the past couple of years, many of the BMPs that Katelyn has assisted producers with have been related to the high amount of water that the area has seen. Erosion control applications, while not common most years, have been of particular interest to producers. This BMP involves repairing creeks or waterways that have been damaged by high water levels or crop farming practices.

More often, Katelyn will work with producers who want to minimize livestock manure buildup by creating remote winter sites. These sites allow for less manure build-up and run-off in corrals, and more even nutrient build-up and fertilization throughout a field. The sites are also healthier for animals, resulting in fewer injuries or diseases associated with wet ground, such as hoof rot.

Katelyn feels it is important for all farmers to be stewards of the land. She enjoys helping producers deal with some of the financial challenges to sustainability. If source water is abused, there can be serious repercussions down the line, which is why Katelyn is motivated to preserve these waters and keep them productive for as long as possible.

Other careers in Agricultural Trades: Engineer, Hydraulics/Pneumatics Mechanic, Parts/Service Specialist, Electrician, Plumber, Welder and many more.
Other careers in Environment: Environment Consultant, Land Reclamation Specialist, Surveyor, Policy Analyst, Sustainability Manager, Ecologist, Environmental Engineer/Technician and many more.
Where to take courses: University of Regina, University of Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan Polytechnic.
Average Yearly Salary: $53,310
Job Prospects: Limited
Go back to the Agricultural Trades or Environment Overview page to see more careers related to Katelyn’s or visit myBlueprint.

*All salaries are based on the 2013 Saskatchewan Wage Survey Report

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