Jobs at DOC: Invertebrate ecologist, Warren Chinn

 —  05/09/2011

Every Monday Jobs at DOC will take you behind the scenes and into the jobs, the challenges, the highlights, and the personalities of the people who work at the Department of Conservation.

This week we find out about invertebrate ecologist, Warren Chinn:

Warren at Mt Aiken, Arthur's Pass.

Warren at Mt Aiken, Arthur's Pass

At work…

Name: Warren Chinn

Position: Technical Support, Invertebrate Ecology, Canterbury Conservancy Office.

What kind of things do you do in your role?

Recovery plans, population survey and monitoring, habitat appraisals, RMA stuff and tenure review surveys.

What is the best part about your job?

My colleagues and the places I get to work in.

Warren in Sunshine Valley, Raoul Island

What is the hardest part about your job?

Discussing the value of nature conservation to non-interested parties.

What led you to your role in DOC?

A steady diet of natural history and tramping in the Southern Alps, zoology degrees and a job offer from the Department of Conservation.

What was your highlight from the month just gone?

A biodiversity trip to the Kermadec Islands.

The rule of three…

Three loves

  • My six year old daughter
  • Strong coffee
  • The high country
Warren camping at Forgotten Valley camp.

Warren camping at Forgotten Valley camp

Three pet peeves

  • A lack of coffee
  • Light pollution
  • Noisy cars

Three things always in your fridge

  • The gentle glow from the door light
  • Left-overs
  • Probably some beer

Three favourite places in New Zealand

Favourite movie, album, book

  • Movie: Monty Python’s Life of Brian
  • Album: Arvo Part’s Spiegel im Spiegel
  • Book: Heck… that’s a tough one! Charles Darwin’s On the origin of species, perhaps?

Warren at Barrier Range, en-route to Olivine Ice plateau

Deep and meaningful…

What piece of advice would you tell your 18 year old self?

Before the age of 25, get as high a qualification as you can, buy some property and don’t take love affairs too seriously… until after 30.

Who or what inspires you and why?

Aldo Leopold, ‘cause he wrote some thoughtful stuff about wilderness.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Good at something!

And now, if you weren’t working at DOC, what would you want to be?

Gainfully employed, probably doing what I’m doing now.

Warren and his daughter riding a tandem bike.

Tandem fun at home

If you could be any New Zealand native species for a day, what would you be and why?

Alpine snow grass, that way I could be everywhere in the mountains at once.

What piece of advice or message would you want to give to New Zealanders when it comes to conservation?

I reckon nature conservation is like keeping rare, single edition books; we could burn them all and live comfortably without them, but the remaining trashy magazines would limit our knowledge and experience.

2 responses to Jobs at DOC: Invertebrate ecologist, Warren Chinn

    Paul Elwell-Sutton 06/09/2011 at 2:25 pm

    Wise words indeed on the value of conservation.
    I had a go at the Olivine Ice Plateau in about 1996-97 from the Forgotten river but turned back within a few 100 metres of the lip of the plateau on account of icy conditions, and it started to snow, in summer.
    Next day I tried from the other side of the valley (Destiny ridge side) and ran out of daylight.

    Lynnette ard 05/09/2011 at 6:40 pm

    Now you are a person I would like to call a friend!