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Brockport professor shares life and career experiences

by Marios Argitis - Photo Editor
Tue, Nov 12th 2019 06:00 pm
 Professor of environmental science and ecology Christopher Norment, Ph.D. (above), brought students and faculty together Thursday, Nov. 7 to deliver a speech about the importance of loving the work you do.
Professor of environmental science and ecology Christopher Norment, Ph.D. (above), brought students and faculty together Thursday, Nov. 7 to deliver a speech about the importance of loving the work you do.

Waking up to your dream job is something not most are fortunate enough to do. A love toward a particular career path can be liberating and open the doors to many. Professor of environmental science and ecology Christopher Norment PH.D. has had a beating love for nature and animal ecology ever since his emergence in the science world. Teaching at The College at Brockport since 1993, Norment’s love and experience in environmental science has had an effect on students and staff alike.   

“The two things that you’re gonna do most in your adult life is sleep and work,” Norment said.

On Thursday, Nov. 7, in the Seymour College Union, the Honors Club hosted Norment to tell his story behind his love for environmental science along with his past and current lines of research in the talk, “A Reply To The Man Who Made Toilet Paper: On The Value of Doing What You Love To Do.” 

After a family trip to Yosemite National Park at the age of 13, Norment was moved by the sheer beauty and wonder of nature. While walking around Mirror Lake, one of the park’s famous lakes, Norment was hit with a realization.

“At that point, I had this flash of recognition, and what I recognized was beauty,” Norment said. “It was the first time in my life that I was aware intellectually and viscerally that this place is moving me like I’ve never been moved in my life. Right there I said to myself that I wanted to be in the mountains; I wanted to be in beauty.”  

From then on Norment knew science was the way to go. Norment took zoology courses and took part in a bird research project during his undergraduate years in Arizona. This hands-on experience in the field he realized he loved changed Norment’s life forever. 

During his talk, Norment touched on the many parts of his life that led him to where he is today in terms of his experiences in the environmental science field, as well as the many spectacles of nature he has seen through the position he is in. Having visited places such as the Canadian Arctic and Death Valley, among others, Norment has an everlasting passion for nature and the beauty of animal life. 

The talk saw the arrival of many students and professors from the Brockport environmental science and ecology department, as well as representatives from the Honors Club. Norment told his life stories about intuition and ambition, hoping through his talk to teach others the significance of doing what you love. 

Co-Vice President of the Honors Club and senior Jacob Kearney considered Norment for the club’s annual faculty lecture because of his connections to the professor through advisement and collaborative research, Norment’s experiences and the impact those will have to new and existing students toward career choice.

“I certainly hope his experiences and this talk will make an impact on students like you and me to do what we love and to make discoveries like nobody else will, no matter the career path or major,” Kearny said.

Students who attended the event found the talk very inspiring and impactful toward themselves and also their will to partake in career defining hands-on experience. 

Junior Jarod Ruffle heard about the talk through class and attended the event because of interest in Norment’s story. 

“I related to the talk a lot considering the difficulty of the environmental science major, having a professor that is looked up to due to his experiences definitely made an impact on me,” Ruffle said. “It is important to follow your dreams, no matter how hard the task. It is worth it in the end if it means getting a job you love.” 

Graduate student Jessica DeToy began her interest in the environmental science field through volunteer work put together by other graduate students. 

DeToy was approached by Norment to conduct independent research after he noticed her love for science and DeToy conducted a lot of research under the professor.

“His love for the field is refreshing; there is a clear passion that Dr. Norment possesses in this field that any student cannot miss,” DeToy said. “I believe Norment, along with other professors, make The College at Brockport a great place to begin experience due to the many open opportunities it offers, making the campus open and for students to approach with an open mind.” 

Norment and his dedicated love for the natural world has led him to life-changing experiences. His ambition to follow his dream offer a message that will resonate with many students of any career path and of any part of life. If life is composed of so many days of work, doing something you love will never make you work. 

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Taken by Vinny Croce:
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