SFU Grad begins her journey to become a Climate Scientist

October 05, 2021

Christine Leclerc’s BSc in Physical Geography is not her first degree. After high school, Christine completed two degrees in Creative Writing, which set her up for a career in communications. After some time, an opportunity to earn a third degree arose. Christine saw this as a chance to pursue her lifelong interest in science and research.

Looking back at her time as an undergraduate student at SFU, Christine is most proud of her academic achievements and her involvments on campus. She joined SFU350, Change SFU, and served as Treasurer and Chair on Embark Sustainability’s Board of Directors. At Embark Sustainability, she helped advance inclusion and improved her food growing skills at the Learning Gardens located at SFU's Burnaby and Surrey campuses.

Christine is grateful for SFU’s support to attend a democracy summit and the 2019 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Conference of the Parties (COP25). She is also grateful to her spouse Ryan Stewart, who has been incredibly supportive of all the late night and weekend study sessions needed to earn her degree.

Having completed coursework during the COVID-19 pandemic, Christine is familiar with the struggles that accompany remote learning. “For me, the move to online learning got harder over time.”

Although not having to commute was advantageous, being on her computer for long periods of time became physically challenging. Christine notes how her well-being improved when the restrictions eased and she was able to attend in-person labs once again.  

After graduation, Christine looks forward to studying the water cycle impacts of carbon dioxide removal methods such as afforestation and reforestation as an MSc student at SFU’s Climate Research Lab. Her previous experience as the co-lead author of a study on headwater stream network sensitivity to climate change has prepared her for this next academic journey. 

As this chapter comes to a close, Christine shares a piece of advice for those at the start of their academic careers:

 “Don’t burst a blood vessel over one exam result and instead celebrate when things go well!”

Congratulations, Christine!