Putting Water Quality to Work
Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Kelli-Nicole Croucher

Kelli-Nicole Croucher always had an interest in environmental issues, especially those related to water so when the Mount Pearl native heard about the Water Quality Advanced Diploma program at the Fisheries and Marine Institute (MI) of Memorial University, she knew she had found her calling.

“I had just completed my Chemistry Degree at Memorial University and was in search of a way to apply my knowledge to something more specialized,” said Ms. Croucher. “I found out about MI’s Water Quality Program and knew that is was the right choice for me.”

That was in 2011 and today, Kelli-Nicole is working as a Research Chemist at the Experimental Lakes Area, a world renowned freshwater research facility in northwest Ontario that is comprised of 58 small lakes and their watershed – all set aside for scientific research on how whole ecosystems react to nutrients, pollution, climate change, acid rain and other factors.

“It’s very rewarding to be putting all the skills and knowledge I acquired at MI into practice every day,” she said. “The Water Quality program really opened a number for doors for me.”

Following her studies at MI and prior to her current role, Kelli-Nicole took an internship though Dalhousie University’s Marine Affairs program which led her to Montevideo, Uruguay where she worked in coastal monitoring and modelling. She also worked as a research assistant at Trent University in Peterborough, ON, where she attained her Master of Science in Environmental and Life Sciences.

Ms. Croucher says she chose MI because of its reputation, and the fact that the Water Quality program is the only one of its kind in Canada. She loved the small class sizes and hands-on experience.

“The variety of material we studied exposed us to a wide scope of water quality topics,” she said. “We gained hands on experience during field sampling, in the lab and with technical tasks such as the maintenance of pumps and pipes. The GIS experience was also invaluable for my Master’s research.”

Ms. Croucher also enjoyed other aspects of her program, including tours of treatment facilities and breweries, opportunities to attend conferences and take in presentations from industry professionals.

“These experiences provided us with a glimpse of prospective employment positions within the water quality industry,” said Ms. Croucher. “It was also a chance to network with industry representatives and find out how their careers had progressed.”

As for what’s next, Ms. Croucher says her plan is to gain experience working with the Experimental Lakes Area, educate others, develop policies, and maybe spend some time abroad.

To find out more about the Water Quality Advanced Diploma program, visit