Duncan Johannessen

Senior Lab Instructor
University of Victoria
Location Born
Location Now
Education Pathway

Outside of work I

I have two children and they have taken up most of my spare time, I became a Cub and now Scout leader due to my son's interest in that. I do some running and biking but could do with getting in better shape. I used to fence (sword fighting as a sport) and hope to get back to that soon. I still read a lot of Science Fiction and Fantasy and listen to podcast short stories on my commute.

Outside of work I
My career path is

I took a long path to get here. I started by taking Geology at UBC and during that degree, while I really liked the Geology, I decided I wanted to teach it more than practice it. I then got a teaching degree from UBC also. I taught some high school but you don't get much chance to teach geology there and I found I related better to older students. So I then did a Masters Degree in Geology at Dalhousie University in the hope of working at a college level. Upon returning to BC I started looking for work and got a job doing science writing at the Institute of Ocean Sciences. Here I picked up some Oceanography which came in handy as my current job includes some Oceanography knowledge as well as Geology. While working at IOS I kept looking for a job that would include teaching and when I heard about this position I applied right away. This is exactly the kind of job I had been looking for - doing and teaching Earth Sciences.

My career path is
My advice to others

Get as much experience teaching or helping teachers as you can, especially at different age levels. This will help you figure out what age you most want to work with and as you work with various teachers you will see different approaches and methods. Pursue your passion, more job interviews were won by people with passion than by people with perfect grades!! Reach out to people doing what you want to do and ask their advice - most people are happy to give a few tips.

My advice to others

About me

I was born/grew up in: Mission, BC, Canada

I now live in: North Saanich, BC Canada

I completed my training/education at: Fraser Valley College, UBC, Dalhousie University

About me

I am motivated by

Teaching is my big motivation. I enjoy revealing the world of Earth Science to students and seeing how many react positively to this fascinating topic. I have recently had the opportunity to teach our introductory Earth Science course and found I have really enjoyed teaching a wide range of Earth Science topics to a large class. I also do some outreach with local schools which has been a great experience also.

I am motivated by
How I affect people's livesMost people have not done any Earth Sciences before taking these classes. It is great fun watching people discover that they really enjoy this topic and seeing them become excited about the material.
How I affect people's lives
What I do at work

I spend a fair amount of time at a computer dealing with email from students and from TAs. Coordinating and running the labs is the majority of my job. I also work with rock and mineral samples and other lab materials each week and spend time teaching.

What I do at work
When I was a student, I enjoyed:
  • Computer Science
  • Geography
  • History
  • Science
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
  • Brought people together
  • Liked helping people
  • Organized activities for my friends
  • Liked reading
  • Always threw the best parties
  • Wasn't sure what I wanted to do
  • Other: Uber Nerd - Science Fiction, Fantasy and Dungeons and Dragons

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