[Series] Humans behind AquaHacking: Nicolina and Juliette

By Laurence Basso August 17, 2020

This summer, two interns joined the AquaHacking team: Nicolina Kamany, Research Support Officer & Juliette Dufresne, Project Administration Officer. They contributed significantly to research that will position Aqua Forum and our AquaHacking Challenge and AquaHacking Alumni Program in the broader context of the water tech and startup ecosystem across Canada as well as a review of our evaluative frameworks that allow us to continue to effectively measure and report the impact and success of our programs.  
AquaHacking Juliette Dufresne Nicolina Kamany

Meet Nicolina & Juliette from AquaHacking through those few questions…

>What is your professional background before arriving at AquaHacking?

Juliette: Student full-time, I am currently completing a master’s degree in environmental management at the Université de Sherbrooke. I graduated from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM) with a bachelor’s in public management.

Nicolina: I am doing a bachelor’s in international business at Concordia.

>A word or an expression that defines you well?

 Juliette: I am dedicated. Always trying to find some positive in any situation.

Nicolina: Multitasking.

>What do you like most about your job?

 Juliette: Doing a master’s degree in environmental management, I am really proud to work for an organism whose mission is to improve water quality in North America. Everything we do is important, and our tasks are always evolving. Also, the dynamic within the team is amazing.

Nicolina: I love that I was able to do many different tasks within the organization.

>Why do you think we should care about what AquaHacking does?

Juliette: Most of us forget that water is not an illimited resource and with our lifestyles, there’s more and more water issues appearing. AquaHacking not only focuses on water issues but also on youth and Start-ups in cleantech and water tech. The organism works in tight collaboration with specialists, water issue leaders, indigenous communities, and other partnership to help the accuracy of their work.

Nicolina: For the simple reason that water is life. AquaHacking’s work is not only for a good cause but the means they are using are modern and meaningful.

>What is your favorite lake or river?

Juliette: I don’t have a favorite lake or river. I enjoy any place where there is a source of water.

Nicolina: Lake Louise.

>For you what is a healthy lake or river?

Juliette: For me, a healthy lake/river is a place where there’s no sound or chemical pollution. And where the ecosystem is thriving. It must be safe for a human being to swim in those waters. So, it means it shouldn’t have too many anthropic activities on the lake/river (Boats, overfishing, industrial or private facilities, etc.) and clean water…

Nicolina: A healthy lake or river is one where the natural vegetation is protected, invasive species are controlled and fishing is done with moderation.

>When you are not working, what do you like to do? (Aka What is your favorite hobby?)

 Juliette: I like to do any activities that are outside. Cooking. To read.

Nicolina: I like to do outdoor activities like hiking, but I love swimming in the ocean more than anything.

>What is the best advice you have received?

Juliette: To trust my instinct.

Nicolina: To trust myself.

>The person who inspires you the most?

Juliette: My sister Eva.

Nicolina: Frida Kahlo.

>What are your pro-environmental gestures or efforts or resolutions?

Juliette: I am always working to lower my waste rate and recycle more. Studying in the field, I strive to make a difference with my family and friends.

Nicolina: Consume less and more ethically, I use to buy a lot of clothes from fast fashion brands.

> What is your best memory of AquaHacking?

Juliette: As my experience was short, I loved everything about my internship, but what marked me the most was my close collaboration with the team.

Nicolina: I really enjoyed my internship at AquaHacking. My biggest take-away is the knowledge I learned from this experience and working with the amazing AquaHacking team!

> What social media do you use the most?

Juliette: Facebook to keep in touch with my relatives and friends.

Nicolina: Instagram of course!

 Thank you to the governmental subsidies that allow Aqua Forum to engage great summer interns like Nicolina and Juliette. Learn more about the AquaHacking challenge here!