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Policing the land

Dez Loreen
Northern News Services

Inuvik (Nov 03/06) - Roy Smith was recently certified as an environmental monitor. Smith spends time on job sites to monitor any problems and to watch for spills.

"We are the ones who watch the land," said Smith, of his profession.

NNSL Photo/graphic

Roy Smith was recently certified as an environmental monitor. Meghan Norris with the territorial Department of Education, Culture and Employment presented him with his certificate on Monday, to kick off Career Week. - Dez Loreen/NNSL photo

"We need to make sure our next generations have the best land after development."

Observing the land around him and making sure all environmental requirements are met is his first priority.

"I was out at the Kulluk station a month ago," said Smith. "I was there to watch if any oil got into the water, watching for spills."

Smith started his job 11 years ago. Since he started, he has participated in animal surveys and has been to all of the nearby drilling sites, like Swimming Point. "I was also involved in watching over the natural gas pipeline from Ikhil to Inuvik," said Smith.

His main mode of transportation is either by foot or with a truck. In the cold winter months, Smith said a snowmobile comes in most handy.

He was first introduced to the position by Nunakput MLA Calvin Pokiak.

"I remember the day he called me up. He told me they needed workers in the field, so I agreed," said Smith.

He is also certified in first aid and transportation of hazardous materials.

Smith was recently certified as an environmental monitor, which increases the level of responsibility that he has. But to him, nothing much will change."I took the test a few months ago," said Smith. "It's just another piece of paper."