Meet Francis St-Yves, project coordinator at GDG Environnement
Francis has been working for GDG Environnement for 11 years. When his relatives ask him what he does for a living, he tells them that he controls the population of flies in some areas… and often observes them frown. Meet an employee passionate about the biological control of biting insects.
You say you “control the fly population”, but what is your title exactly?
I am a project coordinator and I manage teams at Mont-Tremblant and La Conception. Together, we do treatments to kill black fly larvae during spring and summer. Our goal is to reduce the nuisance caused by these biting insects by at least 80%.
How did you start working at GDG Environnement?
In 2006, I noticed that GDG Environnement was recruiting environmental technicians. Even though I didn’t have any experience, I decided to apply because I always loved the outdoors. Since then, I have never stopped! I am passionate about the fieldwork and as soon as the season is over, I look forward to going back to nature.
How is your average work day?
My day begins early and it starts when I go downstream of a stream identified on my GPS. Then I have to walk up the creek and spread a biological product in the water every 100 metres. The product is in my backpack and it is important that I spray the right amount at each point of treatment. During the season, I work seven days a week, in all kinds of weather. It is a physical job that requires a great deal of autonomy.
In the evening, I go back to a house that I share with three environmental technicians. We tell each other our adventures. Cohabitation is generally good … and sometimes you have to make adjustments (laughs).
What qualities do you must have to be a good project coordinator at GDG?
You need to be versatile and demonstrate a strong leadership to lead teams on the ground. In nature, all kinds of situations can happen so it is important to be able to solve problems quickly. Also, I would say that you have to be reliable and to be in good physical condition.
What is your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge is to meet the needs of my team and the needs of customers. For me, customer service must be impeccable. For example, we receive a number of calls from citizens requesting us to inspect certain areas where there are mosquitoes or black flies, and I make it my duty to respond promptly to all requests I received.
Do you have an anecdote that you would like to share with us?
It’s a good question! Every day, something exciting happens in my work. I am lucky to see incredible landscapes bordered by the mountains. I regularly see animals like beavers and ducks. For me, it’s the perfect job because I love nature.