Patrick Ferguson

When I first applied to post-secondary education I had no idea what to study but all I knew was I liked being outdoors and exploring. I decided to take Geography at the University of Ottawa and graduated in with an Honours degree in Geography and Geomatics. Studying geography was exciting because it provided a wide range of courses from climatology, geomorphology, hydrology, and mapping among many other subjects. The field courses and field trips were the best part of the department because spending time out in the environment is the best way to experience it. The Yukon field course was a great introduction to Northern Canada and I would recommend anyone in the Geography department to apply for it.

Since I graduated, I moved to British Columbia and have been exploring ever since. I live in Northern BC for the summer working for the Ministry of Forests, travelling the province as a forest fire fighter. We look at fire weather forecasts, use GPS and maps daily and continually assess the forest and physical environment. During the winter I head to Southeastern BC to ski in the backcountry and work for a cat skiing lodge. In the backcountry, being prepared is crucial for safety which requires knowledge of weather forecasts and observations, examination of the snowpack, and terrain analysis. The courses I studied in physical geography, weather and GIS have helped me in these pursuits and it's a lifestyle I hope to continue for many years to come.

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