As a Master's student from Simon Fraser University attending this conference for the first time as a Young Professional Speaker and Conference Assistant, I am filled with all the excitement and bundle of nerves that this experience has to offer. Being a YPNx5 participant, I am writing a short post to introduce myself before you all rely on my for aid at the conference and/or listen to my epic talk about marine conservation!
I am a Biology major by trade but found GIS in my second year of university and have never looked back. I was taught all my essential skills by the forever talented Dan Patterson while completing my undergraduate degree at Carleton University and have now moved forward to have GIS as an essential aspect of my Master's research in understanding biodiversity gradients in the ocean.
I am sure every young professional still in school feels the same way I do when I say my next steps post education are terrifying to think about. It's hard to find a job in a location you want but that also encompasses all the amazing aspects of field biology and GIS in one. I'm not sure where in the world I will be in 12-months, what I will be doing, or if GIS or Biology will still be a part of my every day life, but what I do know is that right now I love my work and I am excited to share my passion with all the attendees at this year's conference (especially some of the workshops and talks about integrating R and ArcGIS, a NOAA talk, and Spatial Analytical Thinking)! There's so many good things to go to and see, but not enough time in the world!
Can't wait to meet some of you there, and until then, happy mapping!