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Career Profile

Sheridan Thompson (she/her/they/them)

Doctoral Candidate
Memorial University of Newfoundland
Sheridan Thompson sur une falaise rocheuse
Sheridan Thompson sur une falaise rocheuse
Location Born
Location Now
Education Pathway

Sheridan Thompson is a Doctoral Candidate at Memorial University of Newfoundland.

About me

I was born/grew up in: Thompson, Manitoba

I now live in: St. John's, Newfoundland & Labrador

I completed my training/education at: BA in Environmental Sustainability/Geography, University of Winnipeg, MSc. in Costal Geomorphology, Memorial University of Newfoundland, PhD (in progress) studying Coastal Geomorphology and Views of Nature, Memorial University of Newfoundland

What I do at work

I oversee all parts of my project. This means I am responsible to my supervisors, the university as well as the people in the field that contribute to the project.

The project is interdisciplinary which means that my work is across several areas of study. For example, I work at coastal geomorphology. This means that I look at the things that effect coastal environments. I also work with local coastal communities to find out how they view their changing environment, and how they are adapting. This involves meeting with the people of Iceland and studying air photographs demonstrating land changes over time. I write about my observations and experiences. I also connect my observations with some of the latest material on the philosophy concerning human relationship with Nature.

My career path is

I am a high school drop out, and a former ward of child and family services. During that time, education was the least of my interests as I was more concerned with survival. However, I was always a deep thinker, and, in my youth, I was always questioning why things were as they were. I was also very interested in the environment. Later in life, I decided to attend university and completed a Bachelors of Arts that focused on environmental issues. I worked for a while as an Environmental Specialist with the City of Brampton. In this position, I designed environmentally programs for children aged 6-13. I also did workshops on environmental issues for City of Brampton employees and summer camp counsellors.

After the birth of my two gorgeous children, I continued my studies doing a Master's of Science. After I completed this, it put me in contracts such as Geologist in Residence, Shorefast Organization, Fogo Island and coordinator of Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Network (NLEN). Along the way, I also developed a business for educational hiking services that provides visitors and local communities with a meaningful environmental experience that includes an understanding of coastal evolution and views of Nature. Now I am working on a PhD program. This program combines my interests in experiential education, coastal geomorphology, and philosophy of Nature. While my work is focusing on Iceland, the intent is for greater meaning to climate change adaptation across the world.

I am motivated by

Rather than someone who feels finite in my use of knowledge, I am curious and comfortable in the world of uncertainty. I am fortunate enough that as a graduate student, I am in the position of constantly questioning my knowledge of the world around me and this is very exciting. At the same time, I developed my project, and although it may be challenging at times, it allows me to examine my ideas and passions and to see it through to the best of my ability.

How I affect peoples’ lives

My work is directly related to the current changes in climate. I examine how we can draw on the experience and wisdom of alternative views of Nature to be both inclusive of Indigenous approaches as well as to strengthen current approaches as we adapt to changing environments.

Outside of work I

We live in one of the most beautiful places in the world, so I go for hikes along coastal trails looking over the North Atlantic Ocean. I also enjoy rock climbing and sometimes surfing. On the other hand, just a quick dip in a 5-degree C ocean will do it!

My advice to others

Do what you love and develop your intuition. And let those guide you entirely.

When I was a student, I enjoyed:
  • Art
  • Drama
  • Geography
  • Science
  • Native Studies/Languages
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
  • Brought people together
  • Enjoyed doing things on my own
  • Always wanted to be outside
  • Liked reading
  • Was really creative

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