Catherine PAQUETTE

Catherine Paquette

I loved my time at the University of Ottawa, both as an undergrad and then as a graduate student, first majoring in Geography and minoring in Environmental Studies followed by a Master's of Science in Physical Geography. The wide ranging courses were great but it was the various field trips and course opportunities, from the Gatineau Hills to the Yukon and Norway that made me confident I had chosen the perfect program for me. Having learning taken outside of the classroom allowed me to gain a better understanding of the importance of geography and the role it plays in understanding more than just the physical world around us.

Since finishing my Masters I have been working at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF-Canada) in the freshwater program. There, I use the skills I learned at uOttawa to evaluate the overall health of watersheds across Canada. I look at hydrology and flow, water quality, benthic macro-invertebrates and fish populations to attribute health scores to basins. I use skills I have learned during my time at uOttawa on a daily basis, skills such as working with ArcGIS, data manipulation, analysis and processing and database management. The multidisciplinary natures of many of the courses in the geography department have also given me the abilities to work with and understand data from other fields such as biology and chemistry. Geography encompasses much more than just the physical spaces that surround us, it includes history, demographics, biology, chemistry, physics and so much more. The geography department at uOttawa allows students to become literate in more than just a single field and truly imparts then importance of multidisciplinary to us.

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