Jobs at DOC: Geoff Hicks – Chief Scientist

Department of Conservation —  07/06/2013

Come behind the scenes and into the jobs, the challenges, the highlights, and the personalities of the people who work at the Department of Conservation (DOC).

Today we profile Geoff Hicks, DOC’s Chief Scientist, based in National Office, Wellington

Some things I do in my job include…

Providing advice and maintaining good relationships with science sector colleagues to advantage DOC; adding a science perspective to international negotiations; and keeping our science and research strategy relevant and up to date.

Geoff Hicks on the Northern Circuit, Tongariro.

My favourite tramping spot, Northern Circuit, Tongariro

The best bit about my job is…

Seeing people make the connection between science, conservation and their sense of identity and prosperity.

The awesome-est DOC moment I’ve had so far is…

Recently representing New Zealand at the launch of the new Intergovernmental science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) in Panama City, in April last year.

The DOC (or previous DOC) employee that inspires or enthuses me most is…

Not one but many… the quality and commitment of our science staff.

On the Sculpter's Walk, South Head, Sydney .

On the Sculpter’s Walk, South Head, Sydney

On a personal note…

My stomping ground is…

Tongariro Northern Circuit and the Rough Ridge Central Otago. 

If I could trade places with any other person for a week—famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional—it would be…

Richard Branson… for his stratospheric vision.

My best ever holiday was…

A month of long service leave spent at Beaux Chene, a lovely villa on the banks of the Baise River, Nerac, south west France.

My greatest sporting moment was when…

I beat my good friend Karl in the veterans Karapoti Classic—by 15 minutes to boot!

Before working at DOC I…

Was Conceptual Leader Natural Environment at Te Papa Museum of New Zealand—responsible for the creation of the Awesome Forces, Mountains to Sea and Bush City exhibitions.

Deep and meaningful…

My favourite quote is…

“Aim high, you’re bound to hit something!” 

The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is…

Carpe diem!

In work and life I am motivated by…

Happiness and Michelle—they go together!

Geoff with his daughter Kate and his 93 year old mum.

Geoff with his daughter Kate and his 93 year old mum

My conservation advice to New Zealanders is…

Just remember that DOC consistently ranks amongst the most loved state agencies by New Zealanders; they really do appreciate what we do!

Question of the week

What story does your family love to tell about you?

When I was about 10 years old we lived next to a family at Raumati Beach that had a corgi dog. His name was Clarry. I didn’t like him much and he came to greatly dislike me, probably because I used to tease him while on the backyard swing. I used to aggravate him while zooming overhead growling and making snapping, clawing gesticulations with my fingers.  He was a smart dog. He got better at reacting as I passed overhead and his snarling, snapping jaws got closer to me at every pass.

But I was so imbued with my own success at angering him that I was oblivious to the shortening distance to my derrière. And inevitably he struck. So there I was flying backwards and forwards on this swing with a ratty, salivating corgi attached firmly to my butt! After the tetanus injection (and they really do hurt) I was left ruminating over the moral of this story. Perhaps it was: when you are tantalised and determined you can achieve great things. Even a flying corgi will testify to that!

One response to Jobs at DOC: Geoff Hicks – Chief Scientist

  1. 

    Interesting stuff, good job & well done. The video images were wonerful.