A quick synopsis of my life:
Grew up in Montreal to German parents, English friends and went to post French immersion for elementary to high school. So my french is decent, I speak German like a 14 year old since that is when I stopped speaking it there.
After finishing high school, I went on to CEGEP at John Abbott College and I loved it. I started off in Business since I didn’t get into Sciences but I transferred over after my first semester and did my diploma in Pure and Applied Sciences. Eventually, I thought I wanted to be a meteorologist but my physics’ marks weren’t that great so I kinda dropped that idea. Long and complicated story (chapter I). Somehow found myself doing Environmental Biology at Macdonald Campus of McGill University.
Macdonald Campus will always be dear to me. A small campus with about 1,000 students and 80+ profs; tons of international students from all over the world and many french folks as well. I bartended there, played some rugby and organized some ski trips as well. Sat on the student council and volunteered alot with the social life of the school.
During 2 of the summers that I was there I went to Banff to work. My first summer I took the train across the country without a job and landed one at Harveys. The second summer I worked as a daytime bartender at Buffalo Mountain Lodge. The food was incredible there and I imagine it still is. That summer I read about the West Coast Trail and a friend and I decided to do it at the end of the summer. So we did and that gave me the opportunity to see the West Coast and Victoria for the first time. It was love at first site.
About 3 years later I moved to Victoria. For the first couple of years, I bartended and really wasn’t doing much with my life (free to admit) but I was surely enjoying myself. But then I woke up one day and realized this cannot be sustained so I began looking for biology/environmental work. The biggest challenge I came across was not having any experience. So lots of folks turned me away. Here’s an example of the conversation:
“Do you have experience?”
“Well would you like to volunteer?”
“I can’t afford to volunteer.”
“We can’t afford to pay you.”
So this turnstile kept sending me out the door.
So I decided to go back to school to do the Environmental Technology program since it had a coop option. For 6 months, I was up in Fort St John working as a fish and fish habitat technician with the Ministry of the Environment. The project I worked on mostly included “research angling” (aka helicopter fishing) and doing biweekly helicopter flights along the Halfway River watershed recording GPS data to determine the Bull Trout (Salvelinus confluentus) and Arctic Grayling (Thymallus arcticus). Both fish are amazing- the size of the bull trout and the dorsal fin of the arctic grayling are phenomenal.
In September of 1998, I finished school and landed on Saltspring Island to do a 7 month contract with Island SeaFarms. I constructed 8 foot fiberglass grow tubes for the algae production, chased off predators from the mussel lease with a panga during all sorts of weather, helped with production, grading, and all sorts of things that I never thought I would do. But it was all cool, amazing and a totally wonderful experience.
As I was over there and using Telnet I saw a job posting on the TAMU job board website (Texas A&M website) that blew me away. I still have it somewhere and I should dig it up and post it). It was phenomenal and I basically emailed Claudine and said, “When can I start?”
In 1999, so began the process of me going to Cocos Island. I would love to sit here and write to you about my time there, maybe I will but there are some amazing stories to be told.
- My first dive
- Watching the sharks trap the fish
- Trip around the back side of the island to check out the waterfalls
- Hiking to tallest peak
- Mario and pig chasing with Don. Mario was a vet student doing research on the pigs and he needed liver samples. So we would go out with the park ranger hunting pigs.
- The Fairy Terns and Naughties
- What $20 of beer can get you
- Paddling into the Bay at night
An amazing 3 months were spent there.
After a little bit of vacation on Utila, I came back to Victoria.
Funny, all this time I haven’t talked once about Ultimate…
2000-2002. Worked the summers with Hamer Environmental. It’s true what they say about networking. I got a job with them because of an old university friend that I saw one day in a tree. He told me that his friend was the crew chief and that I should apply.
In 2003, I moved across the Pacific on a whim and flew in to Hong Kong. It was March to be precise and well, something by the name of SARS started then. I was going over to work as an English teacher but there were no kids or school for that matter. “Paranoia will destroy ya.”
So I got a job and moved to a little town called Chia Yi. My first couple of months there was pretty comical due to visa problems. Another story for another time. I taught English, played ultimate with Renegade Province, worked out and had a fantastic time.
When I got back at the end of 2004, my next adventure was with Global Village as an Events Coordinator.
In 2007, my contract ended at GV, I took some time off and applied for a job as a Special Events Coordinator with the Canadian Forces Personnel Support Agency to work in Afghanistan. Somehow I ended up in Dubai working as a Travel Supervisor. Oh how things are different in those two places. I can say that I went to Kandahar for a weekend.
When I got back in 2008, I worked on a short contract with the CRD doing sampling work and the Ministry of Agriculture, Invasive Plants section doing data entry and scheduling work crews.
Then things crashed as the economy tanked and there wasn’t much going around. No work as no government money was flowing.
So, my friend told me that the VIHA was looking for people in the department she worked in so I studied my medical terminology, and wrote a typing test and med term test and got a job down in the medical imaging department as a clerk. I’ve been there for 4 years and it isn’t so bad. Problem solving, dealing with the public, radiologists, techs, and some relaxed times as well.
But I needed to use my brain in more of a thinking capacity. That is why I returned to do engineering. I love the math, the design process and want to be part of that. I’ve always thought, reasoned with what is going on… tried to figure out the natural world and how it evolved to get to where it is now.
In September, I completed the Mechanical Engineering Technology Program at Camosun College.
I am interested in working with a consulting firm doing anything from alternative energy to HVAC. My background is in biology and project coordinating so I am not opposed to working in these sectors as well.
Check out my LinkedIn profile by clicking on the “in” logo below or you can see my resume here.
In 2003, I bought my first DSLR when I lived in Taiwan- a Canon xT which was the start of my photographic hobby.
I still use Canon and love my new 7D which is fun to use and all so fast. Favorite lens has to be my F1.8 50mm since it’s super sharp!
I was part of the Victoria Camera Club for 3 years but had to drop out due to school and trying to pass my classes.
Hope you enjoy my work.
Feel free to drop me a message.