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Wave sounds

Doctoral student's podcast a deep dive into all things Marine Institute

Campus and Community

By Moira Baird

Every other Friday, Eugenie Jacobsen takes to the digital airwaves with an episode of WaveCast — the official podcast of the Marine Institute.

WaveCast host Eugenie Jacobsen (left) and graduate student Ashley Oates record a podcast episode while sitting at opposite ends of a couch with propeller decor on the wall behind them.
From left, WaveCast host Eugenie Jacobsen and graduate student Ashley Oates record a podcast episode.
Photo: Submitted

The doctoral student’s biweekly podcasts focus on Marine Institute research activities, the post-graduate careers of alumni, student career opportunities and program offerings.

With each episode, Ms. Jacobsen says she learns as much as the audience and refines her knack for communicating science stories.

‘Shooting the breeze’

“For me, WaveCast is about learning what my colleagues and peers are doing and then sharing that with other people,” she said. “I just love chatting with people, shooting the breeze, that’s really what it is. I like finding the stories within science, taking one topic and piecing it together so that people are interested in it.

“I worked as a kayak guide all through high school and my undergrad,” she continued. “I always found it really cool because we could talk about all sorts of things in the water. I think my science communication was really rooted in helping people understand the natural environment around them.”

Fisheries science PhD

When she’s not interviewing guests and editing podcasts, Ms. Jacobsen works full time on her PhD in fisheries science, studying fish ecology in polar ecosystems.

She also shares videos from in the field of her research activities via her TikTok account dubbed “The Science of Interesting.”

In October, the first WaveCast podcast featured the Arctic research activities and shipboard experiences of four graduate students: Ms. Jacobsen, Jennifer Herbig, Ashley Oates and Gabby Perugini on the CCGS Amundsen last summer and fall.

The latest episode focuses on the Marine Institute’s 60 years as a post-secondary institution — past, present and future.

Three women in their early 20s smile while holding live fish.
From left are graduate students Jennifer Herbig, Eugenie Jacobsen and Ashley Oates onboard the research icebreaker CCGS Amundsen in 2023.
Photo: Submitted

It features retired quality administrator Margo Hanlon discussing the campus’s move from Parade Street to Ridge Road; master’s student Rachel Forbes’ adventures researching Greenland sharks; and Dr. Paul Brett, Memorial’s vice-president (Marine Institute), on what the future holds for the institute.

Finding the story

Ms. Jacobsen says she finds preparation for podcast interviews to be akin to prepping research proposals.

“It’s actually a very similar setup to how a proposal works: you read what’s out there, ask questions based on the existing information and identify knowledge gaps where new information is needed. It’s about digesting information and finding the story.”

She says she also enjoys learning new things from her podcast interviews.

“You have to think on your feet,” she said. “I learned about shipbuilding and, in their final-year projects, naval architecture students design a fictitious but very real boat, work out all the calculations and figure out which ports they can go to and how to offload their product.”

Two people smile at the camera while using recording equipment at a desk.
From left, Eugenie Jacobsen, host of WaveCast, interviews Dr. Paul Brett, vice-president of Memorial (Marine Institute).
Photo: Kate Saunders

Podcast a first

The podcast is a first for both the Marine Institute and Ms. Jacobsen

She works closely with Kate Saunders, the Marine Institute’s digital marketing advisor, who led the creation of WaveCast. Ms. Saunders also manages student navigators who promote on-campus and off-campus events and generates content for the institute’s social media platforms, including Instagram and TikTok.

Ms. Jacobsen hopes her listeners outside the Marine Institute learn more about the variety of the institute’s programs and research activities via the podcast.

“I hope they can see we’re very diverse in the programs offered and within those programs, the research here is also diverse. My research on Arctic ecology is very different from the research my colleagues are doing on Greenland shark, coastal projects and modelling and stock assessments.”

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