Robert Izett

Improving estimates of marine net community production in the Subarctic Pacific and Canadian Arctic Oceans using ship-based autonomous measurements and computational approaches
Why did you decide to pursue a graduate degree?

I got my first taste of marine research during my undergraduate studies at UVic. There I realized that being an oceanographic researcher presents such a neat and diverse lifestyle that allows me to combine a number of my passions. As a graduate student in oceanography, I have the opportunity to explore the world's oceans, conduct research and tackle problems that I care very deeply about, and combine a variety of skills through field, lab, and computer work.

Why did you decide to study at UBC?

UBC not only provides a fantastic platform to study the Pacific Ocean, a region of great beauty and ecological significance, but it also enables me to pursue a variety of hobbies in the great outdoors that surround Vancouver and the Pacific-Northwest. I was also attracted by the prospect of being able to collaborate with a number of different research groups (at UBC, and elsewhere), interact with Government scientists, and ultimately conduct research with the goal of improving the quality of marine monitoring and resource use in Canada's three oceans. Being a part of Dr. Tortell's research group at UBC enables me to combine my scientific goals with personal passions.

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

Having the opportunity to research and explore a variety of beautiful and remote parts of the world's oceans and coastal regions was a major draw for me.

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

I was delighted during my first autumn on campus - the array of fall colours along Main Mall is stunning! And the following spring didn't disappoint me either, with the new blossoms and flowers.

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

I love the diversity of oceanographic research, and the abundance of opportunities to conduct fieldwork. One day I'll be tinkering with instruments in the lab, and the next I'll be on a ship off the coast of BC.

What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?

UBC offers so many great opportunities to combine a love for research, with a love for staying active and exploring the great outdoors. Hiking, kayaking, scuba diving, skiing, playing soccer, cycling and photography are my greatest hobbies. Living in Vancouver allows me to do all of these - and all in the same week!

What advice do you have for new graduate students?

Graduate school can be stressful, but I'd encourage new students to remain optimistic. As graduate students we have the liberty to pursue research in topics that fascinate us and the chance to explore parts of the world that many others can only dream of. This is an opportunity to try new things, and discover what will motivate you as you move forward into a subsequent career.


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