From UBC Science Alumni interview: What choices did you make during your degree that contributed toward your career path today? “I decided to step out of my comfort zone and try geophysics field work for one of my co-op terms. I am typically not a very outdoorsy person so this job made me very uncomfortable in the beginning. A few weeks into it, I realized that it was not as scary as I thought it would be, and I also wasn't so terrible at it! It was a steep learning curve but I decided to commit to it for my four-month work term and by the end of it I was so proud that I had survived the experience. This co-op job widened my options for post-grad work and is one of the main reasons I landed a job with my current company.”
EOAS Alumna, Emily Fischer (B.Sc. Atmospheric Science, 2002) was recently focused in a Faculty of Science profile. Emily is an Associate Professor at Colorado State University conducting research into atmospheric pollution derived from wild-fire smoke and other sources. She is also a passionate and effective advocated for EDI initiatives in Earth Sciences.
Eric Holden used his knowledge gained at UBC as a meteorologist to help him skipper the winning boat in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. "At times it was a significant advantage", says Eric, "We had the confidence to make the big strategic decisions at key points in the race, and when to hold back as the weather was just too unpredictable".
The Clipper Race is the longest ocean race in the world, covering over 65,000km over 11 months in eight stages around the globe. The professional skipper leads a team of novice sailors in a demanding race against 11 other identical 70 foot yachts.
"We experienced conditions ranging from hurricane force winds and mountainous seas in the Southern Ocean, to alternating glassy calms and intense tropical squalls with waterspouts in the doldrums". Eric added that witnessing the weather around the planet was one of the professional highlights of the race.
After graduating from UBC in 2006, Eric followed the usual route of atmospheric science graduates, entering Environment Canada's weather office, although it wasn't long before the call of the sea beckoned him once again. To keep his hand in sailing while continuing to work as a meteorologist, he combined his passion for sailing and fascination with the weather by providing weather forecasting services for the yachting industry. It was while working in the UK as meteorologist to the Canadian Sailing team at the London Olympics that Eric was put forward as a Clipper Skipper, the race being started and finished in London. He has now returned to working with the team in the lead-up to the Rio 2016 Games as well as continuing to forecast for and participate in the major international yacht races.
In the fall, 2020 BC election, EOAS Alumnus, Jeremy Valeriote, was elected as an MLA for the Green Party in West Vancouver Sea to Sky. After graduating in 1997 with a BASc in Geological Engineering in 1997, Jeremey went to work for a number of geotechnical/environmental consulting companies in Vancouver, including Seacor Environmental and BGC Engineering.
He then became a Manager/Director for the sunshine Coast Regional District. Like many of our graduates, Jeremy has made significant contributions to environmental assessment / mitigation to help promote sustainable development of BC’s natural resources. It is wonderful to see the skills and education of our graduates put to work in these applied contexts, and now represented in the provincial government.
While serving as a Curator and Research Scientist at the Department of Geology and Paleontology at the Hungarian Natural History Museum, József Pálfy came to UBC in 1989 to study for a M.Sc., returning in 1993 to take a PhD which he completed in 1997. Advised by Paul Smith and working closely with the Geological Survey of Canada, as well as the forerunner of PCIGR, József made major contributions to Jurassic paleontology and time scale calibration. Returning to Hungary once again, he became a world authority on the timing and causes of mass extinctions. He is now Professor and Head at the Department of Physical and Applied Geology at Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest. A member of the prestigious Hungarian Academy of Sciences, in 2008 he was awarded the ICS Medal (International Commission of Stratigraphy, IUGS) for his outstanding contributions to stratigraphy. For him, UBC was more than just the springboard for his scholarly career. As an outdoor enthusiast, he greatly appreciated the opportunity of doing field work in remote and beautiful parts of BC and Alaska. As a devoted father, he fondly remembers UBC's family housing and its international community as the paradise for raising their four children.
As a data analyst at the company Clir, based in Vancouver, BC, Maggie’s current work focuses on helping local wind-energy companies maximize the output of their technology, by providing an impartial, scientific perspective. She has a triple-passion for understanding interconnected meteorological phenomena, data analysis, and helping to grow a start-up company whose mission she fiercely believes in!
- Visit the homepage of Clir, the company that inspires Maggie
- Learn about the success of Clir's initiatives toward the wind energy industry
- Click here to check out the recommendations made by Maggie and her research team at UBC for the improvement of wind-energy forecasting
- Click here to listen to Maggie's interview with Daniel Gowryluk, our EOAS Education Outreach Coordinator at UBC
EOAS alumna Mika McKinnon (2010 Geophysics M.Sc.) recently gave a TEDx talk entitled “Do You Have a Rock”, in which she explores rocks, storytelling, climate, and optimism. The talk is now available online https://youtu.be/vcPj2_PCp58.
"Rocks line what Mika McKinnon calls her “nonlinear career path” - including what could have been a bumpy beginning to her career as a geophysicist. See a featured article about [Mika's diverse and inspiring pathway beyond EOAS at UBC's Faculty of science Alumni webpage](https://science.ubc.ca/alumni/notes/disaster-researchers-career-path-lined-rocks)."
EOAS Alumna, Pavin says “A science undergraduate degree from UBC is a great step towards whatever career that may follow. Follow your passions and hopefully you will be in a career and role that fits you”. See Pavin’s full interview with UBC Science Alumni here.