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A career path that fits a passion for outdoor sports

Robin Millard-Martin is soon to be a Northwest Community College Associate’s Degree graduate. She will be attending convocation in April 2016 where she will receive her science credentials. Robin is set to continue her studies at Royal Roads University next fall where she will be transferring into third year of a Bachelor of Environmental Science degree program.

“I began my studies at NWCC, taking a variety of University Credit courses, not knowing where my interests laid,” said Robin. “After one semester, I discovered that I loved sciences, so I decided to take the Associate of Science, Environmental Geoscience Specialization.”

Originally from southern Ontario, Robin grew up downhill skiing, and felt drawn to the mountains of Canada’s West Coast. She then started travelling to BC.

After high school, Robin moved to BC, where she focused on skiing, fishing, working, and traveling.

“I was hooked on the west coast and there was no turning back,” said Robin.

After a few years Robin settled in Smithers, and worked as a forest technician.

Robin was drawn to Terrace, in part, for its unique backcountry skiing and fishing opportunities. Though it was hard for her to leave the Bulkley Valley, she quickly grew fond of Terrace.

“Loving the area where you study or work makes it more enjoyable and worth the hard work,” said Robin.

Like many students, Robin was interested in the “real world” experience offered with the Associate of Science degree at NWCC. The specialization in Geosciences is ideal for students who have an interest in the natural sciences and a love for the outdoors.

Encompassing a broad range of disciplines, Environmental Geosciences allows students to develop an understanding of Earth’s related natural systems and processes.

“I really like how my courses and lab work include a lot of field work in our local surroundings,” said Robin. “It’s fun to put into practice what I learn in the classroom.”

In 2015, Robin received the Dr. Ed Harrison Award, a bursary awarded to a NWCC student who has shown promise while successfully completing their first year of studies.

After her first year, Robin was hired for a summer practicum at an environmental management consulting firm in Terrace. She applied her classroom skills as part of a team conducting field research on sockeye salmon.

“As a student, getting a summer work placement was difficult,” said Robin. “But the key was to get myself out there by networking with potential employers and showing them that I had a number of technical skills that I learned through applied studies. I found that sending my resume to employers months in advance – as early as December, was very helpful.”

Robin will complete her bachelor’s degree at Royal Roads in an intensive 12-month study period, so she can quickly return to the Northwest. She is interested in working in the area of fisheries research, but is keeping her options open to all opportunities available.

Photos: Robin Millard-Martin measuring snow depth and density at Shames Mountain during a lab session for a Hydrology course.