Skip to main content

Piers Evans

Municipal Sustainability Coordinator
Conservation Corps of Newfoundland and Labrador
Pears Evans
Pears Evans
Location Born
Location Now
Education Pathway

Piers Evans is a Municipal Sustainability Coordinator for the Conservation Corps of Newfoundland and Labrador.

About me

I was born/grew up in: I was born and raised in southern Ontario

I now live in: St. John's, NL

I completed my training/education at: I have a Diploma in Outdoor Adventure Tourism from Algonquin College (Pembroke, ON). I also have a Bachelor of Science (Geography and Earth Science) and a Masters of Science in Biogeography both from Memorial University (St. John's, NL)

What I do at work

I help municipal governments find ways to become more efficient, more knowledgeable, and more resilient. I help them develop strategies and plans to manage their community in a way that is sustainable. I also help them reduce their output of GHGs and reduce their risks due to climate change.

My role with the Conservation Corps of Newfoundland and Labrador (CCNL) brings with it a fair bit of variety. Some days I am working with a community to help them identify their sources and amounts of greenhouse gases. At other times, I might be helping them determine how climate change could affect the community. Other days I could be doing an assessment of a town’s properties or helping develop a strategy to address problems we have identified.

Much of my work relies on a great deal of organization. I often work with multiple large datasets to account for things like fuel consumption and the resulting GHG emissions. Other datasets include the inventories of municipal infrastructure. This includes everything from roads and culverts to fire hydrants and water treatment systems. Some of these datasets include things you can put into a spreadsheet. Other data sets come in the form of feedback from the public. This type of data could include such things as the areas where they see potential risk due to climate change. It could also include the service areas where they feel there is need for improvement.

Finally, there is a spatial component of my job. Spatial data means that the data connects to a place on the Earth.  One of the challenges for municipal governments is to know what they have and where they have it. This is especially true for small municipalities. As a result, I also spend a great deal of time using Geographic Information System (GIS) software to map municipal infrastructure.

My career path is

After graduating high school, I was at a total loss for what sort of career I wanted. I tried a semester learning how to be an aircraft mechanic - that didn't stick. I took an entrance test to become a Mountie - that went nowhere. I always enjoyed being outdoors in nature. As a result, I completed a diploma in outdoor adventure tourism. I worked a year or two in that industry (rafting on the Exploits River, NL and the Red River, AB). I decided I wanted something more academic. Finally, I went to university and did my BSc and MSc in Geography. All these experiences allowed me the flexibility to be adaptable in the workplace. This was very important given the difficult job market I was (and am) in. See my LinkedIn profile for more information.

I am motivated by

I enjoy the feeling of being part of the effort to make a difference on climate change. Raising awareness of issues related to climate change is important. While the small communities I work with do not contribute much to global or national emissions, it is important to help them understand these issues. Climate risk, and the need for adaptation, is very real in small and remote communities. These places are more easily cut off and have less "buffer". For example, when a storm sends a wave that washes out the main road of a small town, it can become a serious problem very quickly. In a larger, more central area, a work-around to this type of problem is easier to find.

How I affect people’s lives

Municipal governments often struggle to stay on top of all the roles they must fulfill. For example, some towns have a few as two full-time staff: the town manager and the public works person. These two employees must coordinate everything from accounting and taxation to snow clearing. As a result, it is unrealistic to expect these two people to develop a strategy for how to reduce the town’s emissions or plan for the impacts of climate change. Creating a database of the town’s infrastructure from scratch is just not possible. That is where I come it to lend a hand.

Outside of work I

I have always enjoyed being outdoors, travelling, and growing things. My wife and I do a lot of camping and hiking. We try to get out skiing as often as we can, and we try to get away for trips to interesting places when possible. We recently became parents. Right now that's taking up most of our time. I also sit as a board member for the Environmental Education Commission. This is a non-profit that runs outdoor education programming for local schoolchildren.

My advice to others

If you were interested in working as a sustainability coordinator, I would recommend you complete an engineering degree. It will make getting a job in this line of work much easier. Don't be afraid of taking your time figuring out your career. Be adaptive, be flexible, and be open-minded.

When I was a student, I enjoyed:
  • Geography
  • History
  • Physical Education/Health
  • Science
  • Business & Economics
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
  • Enjoyed doing things on my own
  • Always wanted to be outside
  • Enjoyed working with my hands
  • Liked reading
  • Never wanted to be in the classroom
  • Wasn't sure what I wanted to do
  • Liked to design or build things

Explore Career Profiles

  • Yetong Dong headshot wearing lab coat

    Yetong Dong

    Research Assistant/Graduate Student

    I am studying to become a scientific researcher.
  • Andrea Goldson-Barnaby headshot

    Andrea Goldson-Barnaby

    Head of the Food division

    I teach and do research on the topics of Food Chemistry and Food Processing.
  • Jo-Anne McArthur photographing hog in pen.

    Jo-Anne McArthur (she/her)

    Photojournalist, Founder

    I operate a non-profit media organization that shows the lives of animals in pictures.
  • Adrienne Ethier headshot

    Adrienne Ethier

    Environmental Risk Assessment Specialist

    I am responsible for evaluating potential exposure risks to people and the environment near nuclear facilities and mines.
  • Alyssa Smith headshot

    Alyssa Smith

    PhD Candidate in Cognitive Science

    I am researching how people’s attention is affected by factors in everyday life such as taking medications.
  • Karen Fleming at work, wearing mask and virtual reality goggles.

    Karen Fleming (she/her)

    Simulation Educator

    I help create education and training experiences that contribute to safer environments for patients.
  • Dr. Marcia Anderson headshot

    Marcia Anderson (she/her)

    Physician and Vice-Dean Indigenous Health, Social Justice and Anti-Racism

    I am a medical doctor and I work to help create culturally safe healthcare that is free of racism.
  • Luke Humphries working with biological sample in his lab.

    Luke Humphries

    Director, Process Development

    I lead teams of scientists to discover and develop the best ways of making drug molecules for clinical trials.
  • Sydney Robinson headshot taken outside with green leaves in background

    Sydney Robinson

    Entrepreneur

    I am an entrepreneur who used my engineering background to design a device that helps amputees do daily tasks in a more painless manner.
  • Allison Guitor in her lab at McMaster University.

    Allison Guitor

    PhD student (antibiotic resistance)

    I study antibiotic resistance, which is what makes bacteria able to live in the presence of antibiotics.
  • Dr. Harpreet Kochhar at standup computer station in his office.

    Dr. Harpreet Kochhar

    President

    I am the head of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC).
  • Isabel Hilgendag in the fileld collecting samples in the Arctic

    Isabel Hilgendag

    MSc Student (Biology)

    I look for heavy metals, such as mercury, in Arctic marine animals, to ensure they are safe to eat.
  • Manpreet Kaur in her lab

    Manpreet Kaur (She/Her)

    Postdoctoral Fellow

    I work on research projects to discover drugs to treat infectious diseases.
  • Ryan Mitchell headshot

    Ryan Mitchell

    Hatchery Supervisor

    My job is to supervise the daily workflow at our salmon hatchery.
  • Daryl Lawes

    Daryl Lawes

    Environment Manager

    I am responsible for all aspects of environmental protection, performance, and regulatory compliance for Seaspan Shipyards.
  • Portrait de Corie Houldsworth

    Corie Houldsworth

    Inspector

    I perform inspections of worksites where radiation is used, stored or transported.
  • Terra MacDonald at aquaculture site holding farmed salmon.

    Terra MacDonald (she/her)

    Veterinarian and Fish Health Manager

    As the veterinarian for Mowi Canada West, I care for the salmon at all life stages, from egg to harvest.
  • Isha Berry Headshot

    Isha Berry

    Epidemiologist

    I look for patterns in disease outbreaks and health outcomes in populations across the world.
  • Clair Poulin hiking near wetland area

    Claire Poulin

    Zebrafish Researcher/Pre-Med Student

    I am researching how Zebrafish respond to lower oxygen levels in their environment.
  • Jasmin Chahal headshot

    Jasmin Chahal

    Assistant Professor

    I teach in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at McGill University.