Studying environmental science at UTSC can lead to many different careers. In the following Q&A, UTSC chats with Environmental Science graduate Mandy Meriano.
UTSC: What were your favourite subjects in high school?
MM: My favourite subjects in high school were biology and geography.
UTSC: Did you always know you wanted to study environmental science?
MM: No, I didn’t even know you could learn about environmental science or have a career in one before I came to UTSC! Since my Mom and uncles were all physicians, the general expectation in my family was that if you go to university, you might as well go to medical school. I still remember the moment when I decided to study environment science: it was when my first year biology professor told the class that the water we drink today may be the same water that dinosaurs drank millions of years ago!
UTSC: How did you come to study at UTSC?
MM: UTSC sent me an offer of admission to do general sciences and I accepted.
UTSC: What was your favourite part about studying at UTSC?
MM: I loved the smaller class sizes that allowed much interaction between students and instructors. The Highland Creek valley as a backdrop to the campus was just fantastic for doing course fieldwork. I also made some great friends during those years!
UTSC: What was your favourite part about studying environmental science?
MM: Fieldwork! I loved getting out of the classroom and into the field. Most of the time it was both challenging and rewarding all at the same time.
UTSC: What did you want to be when you “grew up”?
MM: I wanted to be an astronaut.
UTSC: Where are you working now?
MM: I actually work right here at University of Toronto Scarborough! I just started here in November, though. Before that, I was a researcher with the National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research in Christchurch, New Zealand. I’ve also worked as a consultant in hydrogeology with an environmental consulting firm.
UTSC: Do you have any advice or tips for high school students looking to study environmental science?
MM: Make sure to choose the environmental science program that fits in well with your goals and ambitions. Professional registration and certification are becoming more and more important so you want to make sure that your university degree allows you to obtain a professional status following graduation.
UTSC: Did your degree in Environmental Science help you get to where you are today?
MM: Absolutely! My degree prepared me for the challenges of a career in environmental science and gave me the confidence to follow my passions.