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Jobs to love at BC Hydro: videographer, librarian, natural resource specialist

Having fun isn’t hard, when you’ve got a library card. Wait, what – BC Hydro has a library? Meet Katie Harris, our corporate librarian and check out what she loves about her job and working at BC Hydro.

Meet three employees you may not expect to be working with us

When Katie Harris is asked to help with a research question, she opens the doors to three archival rooms and more than 100 years of B.C. Hydro's and the province's history.

"Every time I have a research inquiry, I learn about the company," says Harris, who alongside another librarian and a library technician operates BC Hydro's library and archives. "And being at the company for only seven years, I have a lot to learn. Research creates an opportunity for me to learn about the company's history. And I really enjoy that."

Before you call BC Hydro to ask how you can visit the utility's library, we'll save you some time: this library is not open to the public. Its treasure chest of, books, journals, photographs, and even film is there to support BC Hydro employees.

After starting out as a radio broadcaster years ago, Harris went back to school to for a Master of library and information studies at UBC. It's there that she became interested in what's known as special libraries, including the one at BC Hydro.

"There's been a librarian at BC Hydro since at least 1957," says Harris. "We even still have a few books from the 1950s that are stamped with 'B.C. Electric Company Library' [the utility became BC Hydro in 1962]."

While the library of nearly 70 years ago provided many of the same services as today – loaning books to employees, subscribing to periodicals, answering reference questions and providing in-depth research – today's library provides access to electronic material that wasn't available decades ago.

One recent query for the corporate library came from BC Hydro's archaeology department. Harris was tasked with finding historical photos or other evidence that could help pinpoint the original location of a BC Power Commission work camp at a generating station.

"What I love about my job is the variety of the tasks, and the chance to meet different people in the organization," she says.

Harris says she recently had a lot of fun meeting BC Hydro videographer Rondel Babooram – learn more about him below – for the video posted at the top of this piece.

BC Hydro videographer Rondel Babooram
Meet Rondel Babooram, a videographer for BC Hydro's communications team and the guy behind the lens for some of our social media videos.

Former engineer turns to the lens

Trained as a nuclear engineer, Rondel Babooram followed the expected path for years, including a stint working for Ontario Power Generation. Then he dropped it all to make his hobby his job.

"I worked as an engineer for seven years and I always did video as a hobby, with a bit of freelance stuff," says Babooram, now a videographer for BC Hydro's communications team. "Last year I moved from Toronto to B.C., applied for the job at BC Hydro and got it."

Experience in the energy utilities industry was a big leg-up for Babooram, who is now the go-to video resource – for both shooting and editing – at BC Hydro. He's the guy behind BC Hydro's fun TikTok posts, he shoots video for the Power Smart for Schools team, and works with any group at BC Hydro who needs a quality video.

He says the most fun part of the job is meeting such a variety of people and travelling to areas of B.C. he didn't even know about before joining BC Hydro.

"Every few weeks we're always traveling to some new place to cover some sort of project," he says. "One of my favourite trips was the road trip we recently did near Lillooet, to the Terzaghi dam. The landscapes were incredible."

You can see the result of that trip in the video below, which focusses on the work of a BC Hydro natural resources specialist.

Joyce Ip has always loved the environment and now spends her working days to help mitigate the impacts BC Hydro projects have on wildlife and their habitat. 

Protecting birds and bats on a B.C cliff face

After years dealing with trees as a certified arborist with BC Hydro's vegetation management group, Joyce Ip was thrilled at the opportunity to return to her roots in environmental management.

A long-time fan of the outdoors who fell for the natural world via the inspiration of a Grade 5 teacher, Ip now works to help mitigate the impacts BC Hydro projects have on wildlife and their habitat. Her latest work is to provide environmental support on a slope stabilization project at BC Hydro's Terzaghi Dam in the Bridge River system near Lillooet.

A cliff above the spillway at Terzaghi Dam is prone to rock fall and poses a safety risk to workers performing inspections and maintenance on the spillway, the overflow release chute that allows for the controlled release of water in a reservoir. Ip's job is to assess and mitigate potential impacts on birds, bats, and other wildlife in and around the cliff.

Ip works with BC Hydro's wildlife specialist and consultants to study wildlife at the cliff, complete with acoustic monitoring for bats and cameras set up to monitor activity around the clock.

"It's most likely going to be birds and bats that would be using the cliff," says Ip, who works as a natural resource specialist with BC Hydro. "But we've seen mountain goats as well on the top of the cliff."

Looking back, Ip sees little doubt that she'd be involved in some sort of environmental job. Her Grade 5 class was composting long before it was a regular practice in our communities, and she started an environmental club in her high school. She's optimistic that more and more people are willing to act to help preserve nature and livability – for both wildlife and humans – on this planet.

"You can see the direct effects of climate change and the impacts on our interests and our lifestyle," says Ip, who studied natural resource conservation while in the forestry faculty at the University of B.C. "I think that definitely motivates people to be involved and engaged and to care."