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After graduation: 92% of ASE students already employed
This July the ASE saw its first batch of students graduate after four years of study. A month after graduation we have great news on the employment front, as 92% of students have some form of employment. Out of 24 graduated students, 17 have employment outside the university. Among the employers we find JBA Risk Analysis, NParks, Singapore Nature Society, Geometravia, OCBC and many more. Jobs include sustainable travel, Education Research Consultant, Satellite Imagery Productions Engineer and Engineering Geologist. Three former students remain at ASE as research assistants, and two are continuing on to do PhDs. Last time we checked, one was still looking for work and one had not yet updated us.
In interviews with NTU Corporate Communications Office, three former students share why they choose the then brand new program Environmental Earth System Science, some highlights from their education and what they are doing today.
Why Bachelor in Environmental Earth System Science?
Deborah says that the holistic approach to science appealed to her, as well as the passion the professors have for their fields of study. Yan Yu Ting points out that the small student to faculty ratio allowed closer relationships and effective feedback on courses and classes and that the fact that the program was new, gave more opportunity for initiatives.
All three students choose to specialize in geosciences out of personal interest and fascination. Deborah was taken with the science of geochemistry and paleoclimate while studying corals during an internship in the Marine Geochemistry Lab. Yan Yu Ting likes how geology studies spans from rock mineral composition, to ruptures, earthquakes, changing climate and sea level and even tsunamis. Yizhou appreciates how geologist explore unusual places, see things that most people don’t notice and understand the mechanisms behind, like climb up a volcano, go into the crater and look at an active vent.
Favourite part of the program?
Deborah’s favourite part of the program was the hands on work offered during field trips and her internship. She is thankful for the combination of skills in theory, fieldwork and laboratory work that she acquired. Also Yan Yu Ting and Yizhou said the field trips were their favourite parts of the program. Yan Yu Ting remembers the 5-week long field trip to California as an eye-opening experience, and how the tough conditions, staying in a tent and facing harsh weather, made it even more memorable. Yizhou also mentions the ambience of ASE, with a the small and friendly multicultural community.
Most memorable experiences
The fieldtrips stand out as most memorable for all threes interviewees. The experience of camping, cooking their own meals, cleaning up and looking after themselves and each other is new for many students, and brings the group close together. Climbing an active volcano in Bali, counting fish while snorkeling, being snowed on in the California summer and hiking in harsh conditions to map a high elevation mountain area are some memorable experiences they take with them. Yan Yu Ting had a memorable student exchange with the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada. She really made the most of the experience, learning about the geology of the area (the great lakes and Niagara Falls), going for her first canoeing camping trip with the Western Outdoor Club, got dressed up and celebrated Halloween and even joined the salsa club and learnt horse riding under the equestrian club. What an experience!
Yizhou is currently employed as a research assistant at ASE, working in projects involving infrasound and volcano monitoring. She says “Every day I start my work with a screen monitoring the real-time volcanic activities of a few volcanoes, including our 3 attentively-watched lab volcanoes located in Indonesia and Philippines. I was closely-monitoring the Mayon Volcano during its most recent unrest earlier this year, and have been analyzing seismic and gas data collected by the stations there since then.” In the infrasound project Yizhou and her colleges use infrasonic arrays collected from stations they set up in Singapore to monitor surrounding volcanoes. She explains that “the real-time analysis of acoustic (infrasound) signals are useful in generating potential ash dispersal models and assessing the associated ash hazard over major cities in Southeast Asia”. Yizhou is thinking of pursuing further studies in the area; she wants to incorporate earth science knowledge into applications, for instance through natural disaster forecasting and early warning, risk assessment, general education and so on.
Yan Yu Ting is pursuing further studies as a PhD student. Learning about rock formations in Canada during an internship with the University of Western Ontario inspired her to want to learn more about the rock formations of her own home country, which she felt were not well-studied enough. Through her research she hopes to provide more knowledge and insight about the geological history of Singapore, which could help in the development of Singapore infrastructure, especially the underground developments.
Also Deborah is pursuing further studies in her area of interest, paleoclimatology, oceanography and geochemistry. This fall she moves to the United States and Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She will be working under a professor who is well known this field and believes that she will be able to learn a lot and grow academically during the following years.