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.