Thursday, April 30, 2009

Job Offer

While I was working at Kamil Juices, I was also applying for a “real” job. My idea was to work for the government in some capacity – many biologists are employed by municipal, provincial, and federal governments, and the posted salaries were quite attractive. However, I was offered a non-government, non-private-sector job before I heard anything back from any of the jobs at the DFO, NRC, CFIA, or other acronyms I’d applied to.

Dr. Steven Siciliano is a professor of soil science at the University of Saskatchewan. I’d met him while I was in the High Arctic; he’d taken me to Devon Island. Coincidentally, when I quit my PhD, Steve was looking for a field technician, somebody who could go to Ellesmere Island in the summer of 2009, for a period of up to 2 months to run some experiments for him. When I’d emailed him regarding my current academic status, he’d considered things, talked to some people, and then offered me the job (that's the way he tells it).

We talked on the phone a few times before I committed to working for Steve. The clincher in my mind was the requirement, not opportunity nor possibility, of spending a serious amount of time in the High Arctic and visiting Resolute again. The government jobs I’d applied for had mostly included the “possibility” of short bits of field work. There was never much detail presented in the web job advertisements, but I got the distinct impression that somebody working for the DFO in Winnipeg would get to go out and about for an afternoon or a day, in the area of southern Manitoba. Two months on an Arctic island is a completely different story.

The University of Saskatchewan is in Saskatoon. A couple of my good friends live in Saskatoon, and were happy to tell me about living there. Nothing too scary was described, which contributed to my decision to move to Saskatchewan. In December. The move is a story all its own.


Aleza said...

Hey Martin,
I have no idea how I ended up at your blog today, but wow, you've had a lot happen to you since I last saw you. Sorry to hear that the PhD didn't work out, but I think it's commendable that you realized it was a bad situation and got out - how many people stay in PhDs for years and years when they are going nowhere? I wanted to comment on your DFO in Winnipeg line, because it's actually misinformed and it might be knowledge of use to you in the future. My boyfriend just got a job at DFO Winnipeg, and he's actually going to be doing tons of arctic fieldwork this summer, as well as 3 weeks off the coast of Greenland in October. So, if that's what you are looking for, DFO Winnipeg might be a good option. The Biodiversity Research Center is fully operational at UBC now, you'll have to come by and visit if you ever find yourself in these parts again. Best of luck in the future! I'm sure I'll meander back this way again sometime.

TheBrummell said...

Thanks Aleeza, that is good information that I didn't know. I never heard back about the "Tech II" position advertized at DFO Winterpeg, but I'm glad to hear people working there get to go do exciting things (Greenland! Cool!).

Drop by anytime! Thanks for the comments.