• Add to new collection
Rights: The University of Waikato
Published 26 November 2007

Why did Anitra choose to study chemistry?


Anitra Fraser (NIWA): I chose to get into science basically because at high school my maths was always quite strong, and I was also quite good at chemistry and physics. I looked at being a vet but I couldn’t handle blood. And I didn’t want to be a doctor; there’s no way I wanted to be a doctor.

The reason I chose chemistry was because I wanted a challenge. I wanted to see how hard I could push my brain and where I could go. So at the moment I am working on a big field campaign. What we are about to do is go up to Hamilton and measure cows’ breath on an automatic milking machine. Some of the other work I guess I do is looking at background levels of greenhouse gases, and using a gas chromatograph.

The best thing about working here is the great variety in terms of the work I do. So I get to drive a four-wheel drive, I might have to collect samples - sometimes in the rain - but also I’m inside measuring different things, and I get to have to use my brain and have to use a lot of different tools. And there’s a lots of problem solving, which I really like doing, and also I am learning about electronics, which I didn’t actually study, but that’s been really a good experience. The other thing that’s really good about this job, where I’ve ended up, is that I get to do something that I believe in. A lot of people here are quite passionate about the work they do.