Destiny Allen


“For what good is knowing, unless it is coupled with caring? Science can give us knowing, but caring comes from someplace else.” ~ Robin Wall Kimmerer

In my high school years as I looked ahead, I knew I wanted to pursue a degree, but where was unclear. Knowing I did not want to attend the University in my home town, and on an impromptu trip to Western’s open house with a friend, I knew I had found my ‘where’. The beauty of the campus, the diversity of program options, and its highly ranked student experience drew me in, after choosing Western I decided to pursue a major in Geography. From there, further discovery of my interests and tailoring of my courses led me to the degree I have today.

I graduated from Western in 2017 with a Bachelors of Science, Honours Double Major in Geology and Physical Geography. To complete this degree, I was in both the Social Science and Science Faculties, which was a unique and wonderful opportunity I appreciate greatly in retrospect. Because of my presence in both faculties, I had expanded access to a diversity of professors and learning environments. While at Western I participated in the Work Study program, gaining relevant work experience during the term. I was awarded two NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards, offering me the opportunity to pursue research in my field over the summer. I was a representative of our Geography Peoples Society (GPS), and I was exposed to several course formats, from lectures, labs, in-field practical courses, and self-directed study… I was able to try so many new things!

One of my most fond memories, is of a geography field course I took in my third year. Our small course cohort traveled to Kentucky to experience its unique Karst landscape first hand. We studied the geomorphology and hydrology of the area marked by caves, springs, and underground river systems. Of course, spelunking for course credit was amazing in and of itself, but I also solidified meaningful friendships during that course that shaped my Western experience.

After Western, I moved to British Columbia to pursue a masters in Land and Water Systems and I officially stepped into the workforce. For the past 3 years I’ve worked in Indigenous Affairs, and Social and Environmental Responsibility, within the mineral exploration and mining sector. I am now a Project Manager on our Geographic Information System (GIS) team.

My time at Western exposed me to plenty of useful technical knowledge but I was most impacted by all the new experiences I was exposed to while there. My time at Western helped me become adaptable and open to new experiences and change; I have since taken these skills forward into my career.

The most important thing I learned at Western is that there is tremendous value not only in finding what you enjoy, and what you are good at, but also in finding what you don’t like and where there is room for growth. Western helped me better understand my own motivations, helped to solidify the areas where my interests do not lie, and helped to orient me towards what’s most meaningful. For me, the intersection of the land and its environmental systems with communities is where my interests lie. I don’t have all the answers, and I don’t yet feel like the path before me is completely clear, but since leaving Western the question that has motivated me is: how can we as people respectfully and honourably care for our reciprocal relationship with the land now and into the future?