Fischer Young

Research graduate student at the University of Montana

Field: environmental and analytical chemistry

“During high school I had no idea what I wanted to do for a career. I just knew that I liked science.”

Fischer Young

In college, I started out studying biology and soon realized that I enjoyed the holistic view of what makes our environment (geology, biology, chemistry, ecology, etc.). So I switched majors to environmental science where I really got to understand what my passion was, which is a very cool feeling! A couple of professors inspired me to pursue how chemicals move and transform in our environment and this was the driving force for me to go to graduate school.

I assess chemicals in the environment like nutrients and contaminants. Each month, I take samples in 16 sites in the upper Clark Fork River between Anaconda and Missoula. I spend most days organizing and analyzing data searching for trends and patterns. What I do is important because it helps the public understand the quality of their water. I really enjoy all aspects of my job but the hardest part can be collecting samples in winter.

Actually DOING science is the best. Without science it’s hard to understand why your backyard is the way it is.


Fischer Young is a PhD graduate student in the Chemistry and Biochemistry department at the University of Montana. Fischer is part of the Montana NSF EPSCoR CREWS research team. Learn more about Montana NSF EPSCoR.