Chantel Chizen

Greenhouse gas emissions from potato production
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

I was drawn to soil science by a curiosity in the many different roles that soils have in an ecosystem. During my undergraduate degree I had the opportunity to work on various graduate soil science research projects and conducted my own undergraduate research through a directed studies project. From these experiences, I knew that I wanted to continue in soil science research and chose to pursue a Masters degree in order to gain more research experience.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

As an undergraduate student at UBC, my research project supervisors were excellent mentors. I knew that continuing my studies with them would help develop my research and communication skills. I found that continuing to work with researchers from the network that I developed during my undergraduate degree eased my transition to graduate school.

What is it specifically, that your program offers, that attracted you?

The graduate students, staff, and faculty in the department of soil science are a really supportive community. The range of research projects taking place was also appealing and I have enjoyed being able to learn about different areas of soil science research from my peers.

What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?

There are so many great areas to walk or bike around in Vancouver. The integration of the city with nature is really unique and makes it a great place to live.

What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?

I enjoy being able to work both outdoors and in the lab for my research project. Presenting my research at conferences has also been really enjoyable and I found that it has helped me establish myself within the soil science community.

What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?

Being able to volunteer for graduate research projects and conduct undergraduate research opened my eyes to a career as a soil science researcher. I found that the network and skills that I developed during my undergraduate degree helped prepare me for graduate school.

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

I enjoy spending time outdoors by skiing, hiking, and camping. On really rainy days I like to have board game or movie nights with friends.

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

Feel free to ask your colleagues or peers for support when you need it. Conducting research sometimes feels like a rollercoaster of ups and downs but talking with others can make it easier. Also, be sure to celebrate your successes no matter how small!


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