Archives For Analyst

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).

Robyn Crisford with a parrot at a bird park in Honduras.

Making friends in Honduras

Today we profile Robyn Crisford, Geospatial Analyst in the North Canterbury District Office.

At work

Some things I do in my job include… Making maps! I am here for all the mapping and spatial data/query and analysis needs.

This helps achieve DOC’s vision by… Providing tools and support to field staff, as well as accurate reporting and analysis to increase conservation efforts and make New Zealand the greatest living space on Earth.

The best bit about my job is… The great team I work with! Also, getting to play with maps all day and when I get the chance, getting out into the field to help out and connect with field staff, run training and generally enjoying connecting with others and the outdoors.

The awesome-est DOC moment I’ve had so far is… Having the opportunity to spend two days with the rangers and field staff on Kapiti Island. This included seeing the great work they are doing as well as finding ways of helping them in their work (such as creating new map panels for the island), which connected their work to mine.

The DOC (or previous DOC) employee that inspires or enthuses me most is… Genevieve Spargo because of the awesome work she is doing out on Kapiti Island.

Robyn Crisford sea kayaking near orca.

Sea kayak guiding on multiday expedition trips in orca territory in the Johnstone Strait, British Columbia, Canada

On a personal note…

Most people don’t know that I… Have dreams of owning a small sail boat where I can live on board and sail around the Pacific Islands living off kaimoana and island smiles.

My stomping ground is… Marahau, at the base of the Abel Tasman National Park. This is an area where I have spent much of the last ten years living and working as a Sea Kayak Guide and enjoying the amazing outdoor playground with many of the inspirational and spirited locals.

Robyn Crisford and a friend holding a kiwi.

Cuddles with a kiwi after its annual transmitter change

In my spare time I… Fill it up with travelling, hanging out with animals (cats, dogs, horses, birds—you name it, I will love it) snowboarding, kayaking, tramping, camping, rafting, gardening, dancing, and, as of lately… circus classes.

If I could be any New Zealand native species I’d be… The Haast Eagle soaring above the lush native bush and keeping an eye out for everyone and everything.

If I wasn’t working at DOC, I’d like to… There are many things I would love to do, including completing a Masters degree, getting involved in more social and environmental community projects…visiting and volunteering for grass roots community development projects throughout Asia and the Pacific Island—especially projects focused on green living and sustainability within communities (think permaculture/education and renewable energy solutions).

Robyn Crisford at the end of the Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk.

Finishing the Lake Waikaremoana Great Walk

Deep and meaningful…

My favourite quote is… Rules are made to be broken.

The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is…Stop worrying so much!

In work and life I am motivated by… The amazing people I am surrounded by. The view, stillness, and the feeling of being at the top of a mountain, diving to the bottom of a river bed, or sitting in the vast stillness of a pitch black cave system.

My conservation advice to New Zealanders is… Get involved! Go and enjoy the outdoors and you will feel more connected and learn lots about what is out there and why it is so important to protect our biodiversity and the environment.

A small turtle being released on a Guatemalan beach.

Releasing baby turtles back into the ocean in Guatemala

Question of the week…

If you had $10K to spend at any one shop, what shop would it be and why?

That $10K would definitely be spent at a travel agent – because I value experiences more highly that material possessions and there are many places I would love to travel to such as Nepal, Bangladesh, China, Spain, Greece, France, Iceland and Norway.

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 Carolyn Hawe, Training Analyst, Wellington.

Carolyn and her support crew after the Coast to Coast race.

Coast to Coast with my support crew

At work

Some things I do in my job: I am developing training for an upgrade to the software on the dataloggers that the rangers use in the field. I recently surveyed a number of rangers and Area Asset Planners on their current datalogger use and how they would like the training to take shape.

This helps achieve DOC’s vision by… when the rangers record their work on the datalogger we have an accurate record of the work that is carried out and can assure the government and the public that the visitor assets are maintained to a good condition and provide safe recreation experiences.

The best bit about my job is… definitely the people that I get to work with. They are so open and committed and keen to co-operate to achieve the best outcomes .

The loveliest DOC moment I’ve had so far… I am very new to the organisation, so as part of getting to know DOC I had the opportunity to spend a day with Moira Lee and Tony Whittle in Opotoki. These rangers were so keen to show me their local reserves and were so willing to share their knowledge with me.

The DOC employee that inspires or enthuses me the most is… Lisa Whittle, the Capability Development Manager. She inspires me in the way she works with others. She is so enthusiastic about the work that she does and is determined that any training we do meets the need of the target group. She loves meeting and visiting staff from outside National Office and her passion always shows through in the questions she asks.

Carolyn with dog Henryk on PekaPeka beach.

Me with my little dog Henryk at PekaPeka beach

On a personal note…

Most people don’t know that… when I was teaching at UCOL I had the pleasure of accompanying the ecology teacher Dave Havell (now working at DOC) on field trips, doing bird counts, identifying trees and spotting bats in Pureora Forest. I also got to teach a paper on outdoor recreation philosophy – probably one of my all time favourite teaching experiences!

My stomping ground is… Hemi Matenga Reserve as I live less than 100 metres from the track start. My little border terrier absolutely loves a romp to the top and back and it keeps my fitness up too!

My best ever holiday was… six weeks in South America spent mostly in Bolivia. We had clear blue skies almost every day and the temperature varied from -20C at night to +20 during the day. The landscape was incredible – coloured lakes – red and yellow framed by mountains covered in snow and flamingos feeding around the edges. The altitude has an effect on everything – we flew over the Andes in a 10 seater plane and the pilot had to loop around to get enough height to get over. He also leaned over to ask me if I wanted some oxygen! Bolivia on the other side of the Andes has thick jungle and tributary rivers that run into the Amazon – recently flooded and red in colour when we travelled upstream to an eco lodge. We also cycled down the world’s most dangerous road – 64km downhill starting in snow and dropping 3600m in altitude to the jungle! We even met the human traffic light – a guy who lives on the road after losing his family down the incredibly steep cliff.

My greatest sporting moments were… completing my first Coast to Coast in 2006; and getting to the quarter finals of the NZ Golf Champs only to be beaten by a young Korean girl who now plays on the LPGA tour.

Before working at DOC I… Worked for a small company doing instructional design and recently developed a sustainability course for school students which made me so much more aware of the impacts that humans have on our environment.

Carolyn racing along Rangitikei River.

Rangitikei River race

Deep and meaningful…

My favourite quote is… ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’.

The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given is… to be yourself and follow your passion.

In work and life I am motivated by… working for others, to provide them with something better than what they had imagined or to set a good example for others to follow.

My conservation advice to New Zealanders is… get out and enjoy our special land and when you feel the love then you will want to do your little bit to preserve it!

Carolyn on the La Paz to Coroico road and a photo of Sajama mountain.

Worlds most dangerous road – La Paz to Coroico, Bolivia (left) Sajama, the highest mountain in Bolivia (right)

Question of the week…

What NZ bird most reflects you and why? I think a pukeko. I can be quiet and shy at times but when my confidence is up I can be quite noisy. I am also quite inquisitive too, I often explore tracks or roads that I haven’t been on and try new activities to keep life interesting.