PhD in Earth Sciences (2006)
- What field of work are you in, and what duties are required in your position?
I am a geologist, and specifically, a micropaleontologist (palynology) with the Geological Survey of Canada. The duties of my job include conducting extensive field work in High Arctic regions, project leadership, graduate student co-supervision, and management of the Paleontology and Collections group at the Geological Survey of Canada in Calgary. I have also acted as the Chief Paleontologist for the Geological Survey of Canada. I am required to conceive, acquire financial support for, and conduct and publish research pertaining to Canada’s geological history.
- What challenges did you face when looking for work after graduating?
As a woman in STEM, it was a challenge to balance starting a family and a career after graduating.
- How did you arrive at your current position?
I gained valuable experience living in Northern Canada working in the environmental consulting industry. This included independent research at active and legacy mineral mine sites in remote regions of subarctic and Arctic Canada. The experience I gained participating in field programs and interacting with northern communities, Indigenous, territorial and federal governments, and industry positioned me well for applying for a Post Doctoral Felloswhip with the Geological Survey of Canada in Calgary, Alberta. My skill set in palynology was needed to meet numerous government mandates and I was hired as a Research Scientist after completion of my post-doctoral fellowship.
- What advice would you give to a graduate student looking to follow a career path similar to yours?
I would not be where I am today without the mentorship and support I have received from so many colleagues who have been generous with their time and knowledge. My advice is to appreciate and understand the value of working relationships; these are built on a foundation of mutual trust and respect. And pay it forward!