Prince Rupert, BC -- “If you have any kind of goal in your life, you always need to come forward,” says Komal Luthra as she tells of her love for the environment and her pursuit of sustainable methods to help preserve it.
Komal chose a career path in environmental sciences when she saw humans' real-world impact on her home. It sparked in her a desire to promote sustainable solutions because there are now so many human activities that destroy the environment. Komal’s main purpose is to mitigate this situation so everything becomes sustainable.
This led her to enroll in the Certificate in Applied Earth and Environmental Sciences at Coast Mountain College (CMTN), a program that emphasizes the practical application side of earth and environmental studies. Students gain the academic and applied skills suitable for entry-level employment in natural resources, mining and mineral exploration, tourism, outdoor adventure, and environmental businesses.
Komal holds a Master's in Botany from India but wanted to expand her knowledge base to include ecosystems beyond what she knew from home. This desire led her to choose Canada as the next place to pursue her studies.
“The main reason [I chose this country] is for the academic opportunities that Canada provides,” she says. “Coast Mountain College offers so many programs, such as our environmental sciences…. So, my journey to Coast Mountain College is not just about pursuing higher education, it's about breaking barriers… gaining new experiences and making a positive impact in the world through science.”
Komal’s background includes experiences with both botany and social work, as she previously worked as part of the Botanical Survey of India and as a support worker in non-government organizations (NGOs). She credits these experiences with forming her durability and openness to challenge as she embarks on expanding her knowledge of how the world works. She draws on knowledge from her entire background, including a Bachelor of Science in Medical, combining it with her current studies in geography, to understand ecosystems and biodiversity.
When asked about a role model who inspired her, Komal praises her mother, Sunita. An environmental scientist and college professor, Komal’s mother encouraged her to pursue her goals of learning to develop sustainable methods and tools for the world.
“My mother is my ultimate role model. And she has always been my pillar of support and encouragement…. She motivated me to move to Canada. She researched Coast Mountain College with me.”
Komal has taken this journey head-on in her time at CMTN as it provides the perfect environment in which to apply her lessons in the real world while also using her experience to help others around her.
“This hands-on experience allowed me to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world scenarios, immersing myself in the natural world…, exploring the unique ecosystems, conducting field measurements, and collaborating with classmates under the open sky… a great experience for me.”
Her spirit of collaboration also extends to her being on the Board of Directors for the CMTN Student Union and creating a student club. This peer support club helps CMTN students navigate their college experiences with friendships, assignments, and the culture shock of moving to a new country. Komal hopes to encourage her classmates to make more connections and undertake deeper experiences in their journey, thereby enhancing their talents.
She emphasizes the importance of not letting a bad grade hold you back or have it define your worth. “I believe your experience describes your intelligence, your viewpoints, and your way of thinking. That… is always a part of your future goal.”
At the end of her studies, Komal would like to continue learning and tackling the negative impact humans have on the planet and to do her part in continuing research in environmental studies.
“In the future, I consider myself an environmental scientist, specializing in the study of ecosystems and biodiversity,” Komal says. “And for now, I will be connected… with the environment. I consider myself an environmental scientist for the future.”
As we celebrate International Day for Women and Girls in Science, this is an ongoing series showing the many faces, stories, and histories of the women following their passion for the sciences. Let’s celebrate them.