JOB: Seabird researcher and ecological contractor
QUALIFICATION: Bachelor of Applied Science (Biodiversity Management)
“I love the beautiful places I get to visit. Often they are places the average New Zealander never gets to see, like Little Barrier Island, where I spent last summer researching the New Zealand Storm Petrel. It’s a species of seabird that was thought to be extinct but then it was rediscovered about five years ago in the Hauraki Gulf. I was involved in looking for chicks, to discover where it was breeding and ensure we manage it properly. I also do a lot of contracting for Auckland’s Regional Parks. I’ve just finished a project monitoring population numbers of feral pigs in the Waitakere Ranges, and I’ve been working with Shakespeare Regional Park to help them eradicate predators.
You definitely need a qualification for the conversation industry these days - the theory is really important. I liked the smaller scale of the programme Unitec, the small classes and the lecturers who were always willing to help. I also got so much out of the final- year negotiated study paper – it was that research experience that made me go on to do a master’s, an achievement I’m really proud of.”