Monday, 18 June 2012

Day 1:

Today was my first day working for Wise Oceans at the Four Seasons resort Seychelles and I could not be more excited.
It has been an interesting day getting to know the resort, and seeing how things are run, but also getting to see different peoples perception of marine conservation, and their views on having a permanent marine educator on site. 

It is clear to see that the position is needed, and could not come at a better time with the summer holidays coming up and more guests arriving. The recreation staff are enthusiastic about the guided snorkels and appreciate that there is another member of staff who knows about the reef and the species present on it. 

I suppose that I will be told about numerous 'yellow fish', but I am hoping that by increasing the amount of identification books available we will be able to get the guests to identify the fish that they see and get more excited about the reef.

From personal experience I have found that by knowing more about the fish, and using key identification features, that it makes snorkels and dives a lot more interesting as you can identify fish as you see them.

On my arrival at the Four Seasons the staff were awaiting my arrival, and throughout the day I have began to feel more at home. I am really appreciative towards the effort that has been made to make me feel welcome!

I've found myself with an amazing opportunity ahead of me, and will hopefully be able to work more within Wise Oceans to show that education is an important resource to provide "Wise Ways for and Ocean Caring Community".

Monday, 11 June 2012

What I'm going to do..

So, the title of the job is 'Marine Educator', which is something that I've always thought about doing, but have never found a way of getting into. The position is based at the Four Seasons Mahe after a similar project was carried out in the Maldives set up by Wise Oceans.

The job involves a "who's who on the coral reef" briefing and snorkeling with the guests and doing activities with the kids club 'Kids for All Seasons'. I will also be giving evening talks on topics such as Re-think the Shark, and marine conservation.

I'd also like to try and involve some information on Plastic Oceans, an organization raising awareness about plastics pollution in the oceans. I first became aware of this through David Jones at my local dive centre, Triton Scuba, who then came to present a lecture for one of my university modules. Plastic Oceans is a developing project with a film being released in the near future. It's very exciting stuff, helping to educate and provide a resource base for study and research as well as campaigning for improvements in legislation and policy, raising funds for the development of solutions and creating a large social media network.

I will also have the opportunity to get involved in some research projects such as tracking and identifying whale sharks and manta rays, as well as coral watch, reef check and a coral propagation project.

As the job progresses I am hoping to help out more with Wise Oceans, raising awareness for marine conservation and education in local schools. This has become an ongoing project with Save Our Seas and Abbie Hine, who has developed a relationship with the schools in the Seychelles, increasing the knowledge and understanding of the marine creatures, ecosystems and marine conservation.

So all in all I am very excited to start. It's only been a short time since I accepted the position and I will be leaving the UK at the end of the week. I hope to use this blog to document what I get up to and will try to upload photos when I can!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

What I want to do

At the age of 21 and having completed 16 years of education I thought it was time to put these years of learning to good use and find myself a proper job. 

Within these last few weeks I have completed my 3 year degree in Marine Environmental Science at the University of Portsmouth and have found myself in the position of being one of the few graduates to leave university with a job, and I have Facebook and my housemate to thank for this.

Sitting in the kitchen of my 4 bedroom student house in Southsea I scrolled through the 'University of Portsmouth-Marine Biology' Facebook page, and clicked on a link posted by a senior lecturer entitled 'jobs in nice places' with a link to the Wise Oceans website. Obviously I clicked on what looked like the most amazing job advertising for the 'Marine Educator at a luxury resort in the Seychelles', which turned out to be The Four Seasons resort on Mahe. 

Looking over the requirements for the position, it started to look as though I could actually do this job! Although I like to think of myself as a positive person, I started to think the things that most students do, I mean, why would someone employ a 21 year old student who has not yet graduated when they could hire someone older and wiser?! It was at this point that I showed the post to my housemate, Laura, who gave me the best piece of advice she could have at that time: "well you may as well apply, the worst they can say is no".

So I started to type up my very first professional CV and found that I was able to complete the task easily, mostly because of the relevant experience I had.

I don't think I can stress enough how important it is to have experience in the area that you see yourself in. For me it started when I was 15 when I gained my PADI Open Water scuba qualification, which progressed to Advanced Open Water. I then continued this to gain qualifications in Marine Mammal Surveying through Marine Life, and for my final year project I collected data on coral reefs in Mozambique through Operation Wallacea which meant that I was diving in the Indian Ocean for six weeks, logging close to 70 dives. It was then through analyzing thousands of frames of footage that I became uncomfortably familiar with the fish found in the Indian Ocean.


There are certain skills that you pick up throughout University, including public speaking and working with Microsoft Word and Powerpoint which are required with most jobs more recently. However, if I had not had the experiences required I can be sure that my CV would have been overlooked. I am fortunate to have amazing parents who have helped me to get to where I am now, and I can start to repay them by inviting them out to the Seychelles!

The point in this blog is not only for my parents to see what I am up to (!), but also to show what I'll be getting up to whilst working in the Seychelles, which I will go into more in my next post....