Our Students - Bayfield Institute – Kurtis Smith

Learn about how to work while you learn.


Every morning I'm excited to come to work as I get real on-the-job experience that I wouldn't otherwise get in school.

I'm Kurtis Smith and I'm currently taking a general biology degree at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario.

I'm currently working on the larval fish study on the Sydenham River.

We are doing this project to assess larval fish recruitment for species at risk. This work is important because we need to understand population change under changing climate.

We set up nets across the stream and the nets will have water flowing through them and capture the larval fish that are drifting down the river. We bring the samples back to the lab, they'll be poured onto a sorting tray and we will pick through that to remove only the larvae or the eggs from that sample and remove all the debris. Those larvae and eggs will be placed in their own separate bottles which will be sent off for genetics.

Working for Fisheries and Oceans this summer has been one of the best experiences.

It's definitely made me want to keep working in the field that I'm in and also learn more on a day to day basis. I've gotten to work on many different projects with many different people. I get to work beside them and learn from them every day in a real-world environment.

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