Nikki Kroetsch


Where is your hometown, and which secondary school did you attend?
I am from Maple Ridge, and I've attended Thomas Haney Secondary School and Douglas College.

Why did you choose SFU?
SFU is a reputable university that's reasonably close to home. I chose the Faculty of Environment because I would like to find a career in environmenal conservation/ resource management.

How did you choose your program? Why is it right for you?
I took my time testing out various streams, but have always had a passion for nature and environmental sustainability, so falling into the faculty of environmental simply felt right.

Are you involved in any volunteer activities on or off campus?
I volunteered in the fall, and will continue to volunteer in the summer, at the Hyde Creek Hatchery in Port Coquitlam.

Did you take part in Co-op?
I did take part in co-op, and it was hands down the best decision I've ever made! The co-op program led to my traveling to Spain for 7.5 months to help teach English in 2015; allowed me to adventure to Victoria, Whistler, and the Rocky Mountains as a tour guide the summer of 2016; and is the reason I am currently working at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Lab in West Vancouver. I've arguably learned as much from my co-op experiences as I have from my classroom ones.

What message do you have for new students? What do you wish you knew then? 
Try a variety of courses, even if you don't initially think they'll interest you; and don't stress over not knowing exactly what your major will be right away. Doing so will help you become well-rounded and will reassure you that you have made the right choice when you do declare your major. So many people narrow their focus right away, and then realize once they're nearly finished their degree that they aren't as passionate about what they're studying as they initially thought. I spent the first 3 years of my college/university experience testing out absolutely everything, including, but not limited to, Philosophy; Chemistry; Climatology; Biology; Biogeography; Genetics; Sports Science and Nutrition;  Evolution; and later on, a variety of Geography and Resource/Environment-related courses. Having tested the waters of so many educational streams, I knew that I made the best choice when I decided to narrow my focus to Geography/Environmental Studies.

Do you have a favourite spot on campus? Why it's special to you?
I wouldn't say I have a particular favorite spot. I choose to study wherever is quietest at the time, so typically I spend my time in the upper floors of the library. Either that or somewhere near Starbucks or the Renaissance Cafe so I can ensure an easily accessible steady flow of coffee!

What was the most interesting subject you've studied so far? 
Genetic Analysis. It sounds difficult and intimidating at first, but I had an excellent professor that explained the material in a way that made even the more complex concepts easy to grasp. I would definitely recommend it! You find that so many of your childhood questions are answered... i.e. Why are calico cats typically female? Why can mules not reproduce? Why are there so many more breeds of dogs than there are cats? etc.

What are your plans for the future, be that the rest of your time at SFU or post-graduation?
I'm hoping to graduate in the Spring of 2018 (finally!), and then will likely be applying for the MREM (Masters in Resource and Environmental Management) program for the fall of 2018.

I am SFU because...
I crave intellectual stimulation; I love the SFU atmosphere; and I've become addicted to the pursuit of knowledge, specifically knowledge of the natural world.