Having finished my work with Zoox, Green Fins and Reef World 2 months ago and starting a new position in Southern Leyte as a Science Officer I have begun to think about where I would like to go from here.
As a Science Officer here my job is to teaching the Science Development Program (SDP) to the volunteers and school groups that are on site. The SDP is a series of lectures which develop the volunteers understanding of coral reef ecology and biology while teaching them Reef Check survey methods. Once out surveying, the volunteers are collecting data to aid the creation and siting of Marine Protected Areas around the province of Southern Leyte. While this job is extremely satisfying and fun, I look at what my boss is doing in her role as project scientist as can’t help but feel like I could do her job thanks to the ZEP.
Government liaison, stakeholder management and staff management are all experiences that Zoox provided me with. While enjoying my role, I often feel the need for more responsibility and for my career to develop. Therefore, I am torn between the role that I very much enjoy and one that I feel I could realistically achieve but do yet know if I would enjoy it as much as diving everyday and seeing the transformation from eager student to someone who is knowledgeable on almost 100 different coral reef species.
Something I do know I enjoy though is knowing that I am making a difference. The work I do is directly benefiting conservation through data supply to local governments, Reef Check and eventually the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network and nothing can really beat that feeling. Knowing that despite being many thousands of pounds in student debt, it has not all been for nothing and though I may never pay back that loan I know that I am loving what I am doing.
And happiness is all that matters, right?