What am I up to today?

 

Today is a big day, I board for a one-day snorkel tour with Wavelength and Nicole from QPWS.

The occasion to swim onto the GBR and carry out one of my dreams

But the trip is also an opportunity for me to learn more about the “Eye on the Reef” program, which is one of the largest community based coral reef health monitoring systems in the world today.

 

Wavelength are the original pioneers of ecotourism and co-founders of the monitoring program, in collaboration with the GBR Marine Park Authority and the QPWS. This is a great example of collaboration between the tourism industry and the conservation authorities.

 

 

 

 

#1 Meeting with Nicole Harman 

                                                      Marine Conservation Officer for QPWS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nicole ©maximecoquard

Alongside Nicole, from the QPWS and Emma, from Wavelength, I check the water temperature, control the visibility and observe the reef carefully for 10 minutes, writing down which animals I see and how many of each. An important part of the survey is based on coral impacts. Is any coral broken, damaged or white? Very interesting, these surveys (weekly monitoring, every day rapid monitoring etc) allow to keep an eye on the reef.

 

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Let's chat with

Nicole about her job

How long have you been a Park Ranger?

I’ve been a Marine Conservative Officer for 4 years now.

 

And what did you study?

I studied Marine biology and I’m postgraduated in protected

area management.

 

Could we say that is your dream job?

Yes, this job is a really good mix for me because it combines Marine Biology, conservation and working with the tourism industry.

 

Why Park Ranger in Queensland?

I come from Perth but I used to be a diving instructor in Cairns. I fell in love with the beauty of the GBR and didn’t want to leave the region. I had been looking for a job with the QPWS for 3-4 years, sending applications through, I went back to the University for a Degree in Marine biology and this helped me to get my current job.

 

What do you prefer in your job?

Getting out on the reef very often of course! But I also enjoy working alongside the tourism industry in order to rise the standard of protection and conservation message in their tours. This is challenging and very interesting.

 

What is your best work experience so far?

Difficult to choose from but I would say when I went on a 10-day trip for carrying out a turtle research on Raine Island (about 120 km east-north-east of Cape Grenville, Cape York Peninsula). The island harbours the world's largest remaining population of Green Turtles, this is an unforgettable experience.

And also when I swam with Minke whales (small baleen whales) during my office hours!

 

Your advice to become a Park Ranger?

To be part of our team, I strongly recommend you to be very passionate about environment and be keen to educate and make a difference for conservation.