The following testimonials were written by students at Nova Scotia Community College and College of the North Atlantic:

“After having a new understanding and a new passion for the forest, I appreciate the places I’ve been and the places I go right down to the last decomposer. You have helped me build confidence in the areas I struggle with….Thank you for everything, you are a wonderful instructor and I am very happy this year was with such a great, friendly class.”

“I loved the class. Minga and every student brought their own spunk that made this year incredible. ..the trips to the winter survival and Ski Tuonela were a blast. It was an amazing feeling to put our knowledge to the test and do well. Having teachers that love what they are teaching and students that love what they are learning made it completely worthwhile….Thank you so much Minga for all your thought and effort that you put in this year.”

“I truly loved this program. It is more than I could have hoped for. I learned much more than I ever thought…I am happy you taught us this course Minga, we learned a lot. I would like to thank you.”

“I personally loved the full year of the course. It was great learning about all the different tree species, how to distinguish them, and which ones are shade tolerant. I also really enjoyed being able to make my own map of the town network trails… Was a great year and a pleasure to get to know, and learn from you Minga.”

“…Minga really helped me stay motivated to fight for my education. My marks never always reflected my knowledge and Minga knew that and still answered my questions and spent time with me when I needed it. This I was very thankful for…I learned a lot about wildlife but also a lot about the woods. With the help of Dan and Minga I feel I have taken massive steps in the right direction for a career in a field that I LOVE!…Thank you Minga and Dan for the best year of my life THAT I EVER SPENT”

“You put a lot of effort into exposing us to all these different people, and organizing events like Ski Tuonela and the winter survival course. It was much appreciated, thank you for a good year.”

“The program was amazing. I learned a lot about wildlife, finding tree height, using a compass, finding where you are on a map, creating maps on GIS, using a GPS and slowly learning how to present in front of the class. Next year students are going to miss out on an amazing teacher… There were times when working on the baseline report and the forest management report when you just wanted to quit, but I have to say in the long run it’s nice to say that you wrote one.”

“I really enjoyed the program, especially the field days…I have learned a ton of stuff…I feel like I cannot go anywhere now without stopping to look at random trees and plants, or to stop and stare at every bird that I see in the sky..You are a great instructor Minga, thanks for an awesome year.”

“I liked that I was almost always challenged to figure something new out, and how we learned to work not just individually but in groups too.”

“I enjoyed everything we did in year one…. I learned so much this year that it makes a Sunday drive way more exciting…”

“This program has taught me so much, I don’t even know where to start. I enjoyed almost every single day I came to school. I loved learning how to identify Nova Scotia’s native tree species, herbaceous plants, ferns and flowers. I loved our field days…I’ve learned more in these 8 months than I did in my 4 years in high school. There is no way we would have learned as much as we did, got all the awesome experiences and opportunities as we did if Minga wasn’t our instructor.”

“You really know your stuff, taught me a lot”

“Before the year started I had concerns that the course wouldn’t be what I wanted it to be, but looking back I’m amazed at what I’ve learned and the experiences you’ve provided us with. My love for and curiosity about the natural world has only grown. The guided tours through woodlots that were being restored were an excellent way to teach, as nothing can replace seeing examples firsthand. The speakers that came in throughout the year all helped me to see things from a different perspective in one way or another. Thanks Minga, I feel privileged to have had you as a teacher.”

“I think our class has learned so much in such a short amount of time. I loved the field days we got to have; which was a lot of them! Being able to write out a baseline or a management plan just blows my mind! Using something like a GPS or compass, which is so easy for me to use now, would have been as hard as rocket science…..Overall I loved the course. I won’t lie, there was times when I felt like ripping my hair out, but I felt good once I finished my homework assignments…I’m going to miss you a lot Minga! You are by far my best teacher I ever had. Your passion and motivation shows, and the fact you care so much, makes me want to try harder. You are definitely a very productive teacher, and what you want to get across, does. Stay happy, stay you!”

“…We were given the opportunity to learn and practice so many new techniques and skills, also getting to see so many beautiful places in this province I had never seen before was amazing. These are memories that will last a lifetime. I also enjoyed the wildlife aspect of this course as this is a special interest to me. I am so grateful for the teachers we had in this course. We learned so much and were given so many experiences. “

“This program is a huge eye opener for me, I have learned so much from collecting data, all processes of forest inventory, identifying trees, wildlife by scat, calls and tracks, environmental issues around the globe …. It was stressful at times but in the end it is extremely rewarding and I am grateful to have had such an amazing teacher who is as passionate about this as I am! I learn best doing hands on and we did a lot of it. Dissecting animals, working in the forest and streams, it has all been amazing.”

“I take this opportunity to express my gratitude and regards to my instructor Minga O’Brien for her exemplary guidance, monitoring and constant encouragement throughout the course of this management plan. The help and guidance given by her time to time shall carry me a long way in the journey of life on which I am about to embark.”

“Last but not least I would like to thank my teacher Minga O’Brien for teaching me everything I know to this day, thanks so much!”

“I would like to thank my instructors, Minga O’Brien and Dan Nightingale for all of their support not just for this management plan, but over the whole school year. I have learned so much in the past eight months and have had so many great memories… This management plan brings together much of the knowledge taught to myself and my classmates by Minga and Dan, none of this could have been possible without the two of you, and you both made for an amazing first year in the Natural Resources Environmental Technology program, I can’t thank you both enough for everything.”

“They say that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear…or in this case, three teachers. Minga O’Brien and Dan Nightingale have provided me with the knowledge much of this report is based on and Ellen Campbell has taught me how to present my ideas in a well thought out and organized manner. It’s safe to say my time spent studying under these excellent instructors has changed my life for the better, in more ways than just a newfound understanding of how the forest operates. I’m a better person than I was 8 months ago when I started this course, and for that you have my deepest thanks.”

“Like I told you before, you are a awesome teacher…I found it very interesting to sit and listen to your lectures. You NEVER had a problem keeping my attention in class…You were very professional and well spoken. The experience was great and it was a pleasure to meet you, good luck with everything and I hope to see you in September”

“Thanks for being such an awesome teacher Minga, all our little talks were inspirational to me and I always tried to do my best in your classes because I felt you believed in me.   If I do end up going back to university to get a degree know that you influenced and inspired me a great deal and even if I don’t you still influenced me to do my best and to keep learning.”

“A little note of thanks for all your patience and knowledge that you have shared. It was an experience I will never forget.”

Two-day Navigation Course

“An excellent course and would highly recommend.”

“Minga was knowledgeable and presentation was well done.”

“Great instructor.”

“An absolutely wonderful learning experience!”

“This was a great course especially for beginners. I feel like Minga went at a good pace so we could all keep up and made sure we knew the material before moving on. Good mix of indoor and outdoor experiential learning. Cool to put into practice what you learned in class.”

“Excellent material and instructor.”

“Informative. Useful. Empowering (as a woman) being taught by a woman.”