Categorized | Feature, Interviews

Shadman Karim: Encouraging Exploration

Posted on 30 July 2014 by admin

Born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Shadman Karim came to Canada in 2010. His father is from  Narayanganj District of Bangladesh and a retired government official from Ministry of Education. His mother is originally from Khulna and a housewife.

He began his academic career at York University before transferring to University of Toronto in 2011. Having a career interest in Geology and Environmental Science Shadman chose to do a specialist program in it at U of T.

Currently in his 4th year, Shadman is planning to do his graduate studies in GIS and pursue a career in the Mining Exploration in the future.

Here is Shaadman’s  conversation with Nadia Chowdhury for Generation Next:

Please tell us a bit about your academic career?

I am currently doing my B.Sc in Environmental Physics at the University of Toronto and hoping to graduate in 2015. I intend to fulfill the minimum academic and professional requirements in the coming years for my Professional Geoscientist license and return to Bangladesh.

 My area of interest is Surface Hydrology/Geology and GIS and I am planning to work in related field. Apart from my professional and academic career I like watching movies a lot and usually stay updated with the financial aspects of the film industry.

How lucrative is your career choice?

Environmental Physics is a brand new experimental field developed by University of Toronto’s Department of Physical and Environmental Science. This field specifically focuses on every environmental feature (geology, water, ecology) at and above the earth’s surface. It can be considered as an exact contrary to Geophysics. Recent graduates have taken various paths such as Exploration Geologists, GIS Analysts, Environmental Data Analyst or Atmospheric Physicists/Meteorologists. Although it is hard to predict its future importance as the difficulty of the program is extremely hard comparing other specialization or majors and graduates tend to have lower CGPA. So the number of students interested in this field will probably decline over the years.

Your various research projects include work with GIS, environmental pollution in developing countries, oceanic conflict zones and arsenic pollution in Bangladesh. You also have done significant work in several parts of Ontario on tectonic settings and depositional formations. How fulfilling has the work been for you?


My research projects have been extremely valuable in my overall learning. However, over the last few months I have realized that most of my work has been related to academic purposes rather than professional work. In the Environmental or Mining Industry most of these projects are now invaluable. Although field works tend to help understanding the principles of analysing minerals or rocks it doesn’t help much for understanding actual exploration geology.

Based on your research, how is Canada faring in terms of environmental adaptability?

Canada is very much well organized in terms of their environmental adaptability. The regulations and laws developed by most of the protection firms and the Ministry are very accurately developed comparing to other countries like USA or UK.

 But the funding from the government towards most of the environmental field except Mining is quite low and this doesn’t allow scientists to explore much. So certain industries such shoe or car companies which relatively have high level of natural hazard disposals and high expenditure of environmental monitoring, can’t come to the market due to anti-regulatory reasons.

What advice would you give to young Bangladeshis working in the environmental sciences field-as yourself?

 I would recommend all the young Bangladeshi students to explore various parts of Environmental Science specifically towards Geoscience as it’s a huge field. The reason why most students don’t take it is because the physical work is much demanding than other areas of study such as Electrical Engineering or Civil Engineering.

 But as more students enter this area of study, they would realize over the years that it has become more technical than it was before and physical work is less demanding nowadays.

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