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1974, ay? That's history, Mark Bennett!

  • This picture was taken in the spring of 1974, nearing the end of my 2nd year at Queen's (hence the lovely jacket). I thought I was going to be a Biologist. You know, the second coming of Charles Darwin. Little did I realize that by the time I graduated 2 1/2 years later, you could swing a dead cat without hitting 3 or 4 unemployed biologists. The skinny kid from Marmora ended up starting his career as a lowly Engineering Tech. That started me on a path that had me work in every province except New Brunswick. I even spent some time on Sable Island (with the wild horses) recording sonic booms from the Concord, and at the northern end of Vancouver Island (Port Hardy) measuring runway roughness. In '82 I moved to Manitoba and settled into a real job. Started doing some environmental monitoring, a little closer to biology but still not quite there. Working as a Hazmat responder, starting with a major PCB spill on the Trans Canada Highway near Kenora, caused a pretty serious deflection into Emergency Management. In 1989 I was the Deputy Director of Manitoba EMO and was running the Provincial Operations Centre during the largest forest fire emergency in the province's history. In 1990 I switched jobs and became the Emergency Manager for the City of Winnipeg. I did a 3 week stint in southern Florida after Hurricane Andrew with the American Red Cross, and managed the City's Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) dduring the famous Red River Flood of the Century in 1997. That was pretty successful and I thought it might be a good time to get out of Dodge...Move to Calgary (1998) and brought the curtain down on my Emergency Management career as the emergency planner preparing the University of Calgary for Y2K. In 200 I started with the Bow River Basin Council and now I am actually getting to do some biology (25 years later). For instance next Tuesday I am attending a day-long workshop on the Westslope Cutthroat Trout Recovery Plan. Thus unfolded the twisted tale of the Charley Manson doppelgänger from Marmora. Cheers.