Strom recognized for Excellence in Teaching by Sask Polytechnic

Photo courtesy of Saskatchewan Polytechnic. Nat Strom (right) receives the Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching from Larry Rosia (left) at the Saskatchewan Polytechnic graduation ceremony in Prince Albert on Tuesday, June 6.

Saskatchewan Polytechnic teacher Nat Strom was taken aback by the recognition she received at the school’s graduation ceremony on Tuesday.

Strom, a Resource and Environment Law instructor on at the school’s Prince Albert campus, was one of several people to receive awards. She received the Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching during the ceremony at the E.A. Rawlinson Centre.

“I was very surprised,” Strom said. “I did not see that coming at all. Whoever nominated me kept very quiet. Obviously, I received an email one day saying I have been nominated and selected. Then it just came out of nowhere for me.”

Strom has been an instructor of the program since its inception 20 years ago. She started her career as a conservation officer, working in the field for 17 years and ending up in the provincial training unit.

Strom came to Sask Poly on a secondment, and although she initially planned to return to the field, ended up staying with Sask Polytech for 22 years.

During that time, Strom has moulded a generation of conservation officers, environmental protection officers, sheriff personnel and police officers who have had and are having exceptional careers in conservation law enforcement agencies across the country.

Strom said that the career is rewarding because conservation in Saskatchewan is saturated with graduates from the program who constantly give back to the school that trained them

“It’s like a revolving door,” she explained. “They come back and they do presentations, they help with practical training so we’re all very connected still.

“(When) the new students come in, the officers out there in the field are ready to come to them as well. It’s been incredibly rewarding.”

Strom said that when the graduation happens in 2024 it will be the 20th anniversary of the program.

Strom got into the field of conservation after not knowing what she wanted to do when she graduated high school.

“I love science, I loved law and I loved outdoors, so it was my high school counsellor who recommended this field to me,” Strom said. “I didn’t quite know what I was getting into at the time when I graduated high school, but it turned out to be the right fit for me.”