Laboratory Technician/Field Course Support, Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change
Master of Science in Geography 2011
Bachelors in Environmental Science 2002
My advice is for students to take advantage of and enrol in field courses. Not only will you gain valuable knowledge, but you’ll make lasting friendships. I stay connected with friends I’ve made in my field courses. Also inquire into resources that York University offers whether that be bursaries and scholarships, opportunities to travel abroad, summer internships with faculty members, etc.
About Patrick Mojdehi
Patrick Mojdehi (he/him) is the Laboratory Technician/Field Course Support at our very own Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change! Patrick has over a decade of technical experience in environmental geoscience; capable of conducting various research experiments, report writing and sampling methods and design. We caught up with Patrick to learn more about his career path and his experience at York as a student!
Tell me about your career path and journey.
Early on, I was always interested in environmental sciences. I was fascinated how biology and physical geography work together, hand in hand, because they are multidisciplinary and involve the study of living organisms in their environment. During my masters, I studied greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere because the release of carbon dioxide and methane is a source of climate change and global warming. I was supervised by Professor Richard Bello; and have taken several of his courses as an undergraduate student.
What made you choose your program at York?
I chose York University because of its exceptional education in terms of providing students with knowledge, skills, and training. I heard great things about the faculty and the program provided a lot of hands-on experience. This was evident in my journey at York, I recall in my third year; I took a field course and conducted research at an outdoor education center. It was a week-long course with overnight accommodations. I also had the opportunity to travel to the Canadian Subarctic. I went to Churchill Manitoba two summers and collected samples for my graduate research project in methane ebullition (i.e. methane gas released from the ponds to the atmosphere).
What is a typical day like for you and what’s the most fulfilling thing about your job?
As the Lab Technician/Field Course Support for the faculty, I make sure that the day-to-day operational needs for our laboratories are met. We have a variety of labs on campus that allow us to process samples, such as the Water Quality lab, the Climatology Lab and the Hydraulics and Hydrology Lab. I liaise with course directors to coordinate experimental set ups to compliment theoretical materials thought in lectures. Health and safety are a principal aspect of my work, I also provide detailed explanations and demonstrations of procedures on how to best use the equipment with the York community. The most fulfilling part of my job is to help students learn, use techniques and share new concepts. Seeing how they apply the theoretical knowledge that they’ve learned in the class to the field or lab is most rewarding.
If you could leave current students with a piece of advice, what would it be?
My advice is for students to take advantage and participate in field courses. The hands-on primary data collection aspect will prepare you for future employment; while the time spent traveling overnight with fellow classmates will generate lasting friendships. I still keep in touch today with friends I’ve made in my field courses. Also look into the resources that York offers whether that be bursaries, scholarships or to travel abroad!
I recommend that students get involved in student associations and workstudy positions. Students may want to ask faculty members for possible summer positions. For examples in the labs, we have a lot of Research Assistant positions open. It’s a great opportunity to gain knowledge and experience and to align research interests.
What interests do you pursue in your spare time?
Beyond work, I like to spend time with my family. I also enjoy cycling, camping, and watching Formula1 races.