Those who know Nicolette Stanley always assumed she’d work for an environmental non-profit or agency. After all, she was raised in a family that reused, composted, conserved and recycled, instilling in her at an early age a passion for environmental responsibility.

Nicolette applied her passion for the environment to her studies at university. Her love of geoscience, chemistry and microbiology classes inspired her to focus on building a career that furthered her interests in environmental stewardship.

But when graduation day passed and the “real world” called, Nicolette’s industry of choice surprised her family and friends: oil and gas.

Nicolette’s academic research uncovered compelling insights into the complexities of caring for nature and wildlife, while also supporting sustainable development. She realized that by working in the industrial sector she could inform policies and processes, guide decisions and enact change from within the companies that are most affecting our environment.

Based on this conviction, Nicolette built her career in the oil sands, arguably one of the industries with the greatest potential impact on the environment in Canada. Improving performance and efficiencies in the development of the oil sands was always of interest to Nicolette and she saw an opportunity to create positive change.

Nicolette StanleyThough her environmentally-friendly family and friends were weary of Nicolette’s decision when she joined Shell, she stood by her desire to use her education for good to help Shell, oil sands development and Canada.

As an environmental coordinator, Nicolette develops programs that continually improve and progress environmental stewardship at Shell Canada and she has made many tangible improvements in both environmental processes and safety. Recently, Nicolette successfully championed a change in the use and care of sedimentation ponds—a change that while costly and work intensive, was commended by senior level management for its positive impact on risk reduction and the environment.

Nicolette has since expanded her role to become a team lead for Shell’s Waste Management and Wildlife Programs. Working closely with Shell management, Nicolette has advanced her skills as a scientist and a businesswoman ensuring responsible development of this critical energy resource. She’s a woman who has really taken charge of her career and is succeeding in a unique and heavily male-dominated industry, while having a positive impact on her community and peers.

Outside the office, Nicolette also enjoys sharing her knowledge and love of the environment by helping others make good environmental decisions. She recently spoke to a large group in her local community about reducing their water usage and limiting environmental impact and strives to keep her personal carbon footprint to a minimum.

In early 2013, Nicolette will welcome her first child and looks forward to passing on her passion for nature and the environment.