Grace Williams (Forest Sciences)

Research Compliance & Occupational Hygiene Assistant at University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC

Grace wearing a lab coat in a lab.

This Winter term I’ve had the pleasure to join UBC’s own chemical safety team with the Safety and Risk Services as an research compliance & occupational hygiene assistant. Our team is currently working on a pilot project to increase lab awareness of hazardous substances and provide researchers with useful information regarding their chemical storage and inventories. My role in the team is to manage communications and scheduling, in addition to helping identify the hazards associated with the chemical inventories of various labs.

Developing a professional voice when communicating in a business setting was something I found very intimidating at the beginning of my placement. This Co-op term gave me a chance to polish those skills and build my confidence both within my department during meetings as well as acting as a representative of my workplace in external communications.

I have learned an incredible amount about research safety and lab protocol during this term, and my supervisors have encouraged my growth at every turn. Forestry Co-op and the UBC SRS team have provided me with a much broader perspective on laboratory research and safety which will help guide me in transforming what I’ve learned in my studies into workplace skills.

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