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 Sharleen Briden, Technical Advisor (Historic), based in Otago.
What kind of things do you do in your role?
I advise on historic matters, archaeological excavation (including kōiwi – human bone – recovery), archaeological reporting, historic surveys and assessments, monitoring earthworks, and recording new sites into the New Zealand Archaeological Association database.
What is the best part about your job?
Survey work and recording, seeing people up skill, and having the opportunity to see such beautiful country.
What is the hardest part about your job?
Survey work and helping people up-skill.
What led you to your role in DOC?
There are not too many jobs where I can dwell amongst bones until my heart’s content. Finding cultural material while I walked my dog along the beaches led me to study archaeology. I have a natural affinity for bones and geological stone sources.
What was your highlight from the month just gone?
Seeing historic work supported by areas.
The rule of three…
Three pet peeves:
- Bad drivers
- Nice cheeses, particularly feta
- Vogel’s bread
Three favourite places in New Zealand:
- Rock and Pillar Range
- Nevis valley
Favourite album, book:
- Book – The Hunger Games (three volumes)
- Music – Ladi 6
Deep and meaningful…
What piece of advice would you tell your 18 year old self?
Stand tall and be proud.
Who or what inspires you and why?
Jill Hamel at 80 still going strong protecting our historic heritage.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A professional soccer player.
And now, if you weren’t working at DOC, what would you want to be?
An archaeologist – I think I’m in the right role.
What sustainability tip would you like to pass on?
Turn the lights off and save the moths.
Which green behaviour would you like to adopt this year—at home? At work?
Walk more often.
If you could be any New Zealand native species for a day, what would you be and why?
A bird – they are just so graceful. I like them dead or alive and enjoy identifying their bones.
What piece of advice or message would you want to give to New Zealanders when it comes to conservation?
Be open minded.