And hello to all of you. As this is my introductory post, I feel I should let you, my fellow Terrians, know a little bit about me. My name is Dave Semeniuk, and I’m a recent graduate student here at UBC in the department of Earth and Ocean Sciences (those 1980’s-looking frankenstein-ish conjoined set of buildings just South of Scarf and, as many people have asked me, “The one with the telescope? Have you seen the telescope? Whats it like looking through it? I bet its really choice.” – yes, that’s also an EOS building).
After shipping out to Vancouver from landlocked Alberta in 2003, I completed a combined honours degree in Biological Oceanography in 2006 at UBC. I then spent 8 months getting paid to do science (yes undergraduate science students – this is in fact possible). After two 3-week stints on a coast guard research ship that went halfway to Japan and back, I came to understand how wonderful doing “real” science can be.
Furthermore, putting “real” science into context – the sort of eruptive context that rears its presence after each meal, hurls your sudsy naked body out of your shower every morning, sends you sliding across a helideck covered in frothy sea water, rallies camaraderie among scientists and crew alike with each shared bottle of duty-free booze, and provides some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world – solidified in my mind the importance of telling the general public of both these experiences and the science that accompanies them.
So what the hell is a kid from Alberta turned oceanographer turned newbie science writer doing at Terry? Well, I hope to exploit (in the kindest sense of the word) this medium to three ends. The first two are intrinsically tied together: Terry will provide a wonderful opportunity for me to explore science writing for the general public. And this is where end number two becomes relevant: through this exploration, I hope to bring awareness to both the lives of scientists (through, for example, interviews with UBC EOS faculty and graduate students/alumni) and the science they work on (providing overviews of recently published findings in the field, and putting them into context with global issues). Lastly, I hope to create a dialogue between Terry readers and writers on the both the merits and pitfalls of science writing and journalism in our society – how can we improve science education? how do we make it more accessible? is this even possible, or are we just kidding ourselves?
For now, I will retire and leave these questions to be debated prodded, and maybe even elucidated a little for sometime in the near future.
See you soon Terry!
And see all of you soon too!