Archives For Maui’s dolphins

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 Hannah Hendriks, Marine Conservation Technician, based in DOC’s National Office in Wellington…

Swimming on Taputeranga Island, Island Bay, Wellington.

Swimming in Island Bay, Wellington

At work

Some things I do in my job include:

Being the point of contact in National Office for the operational side of marine mammal sightings and incidents, including managing and maintaining the data associated with these.

I have been involved with getting our Maui’s dolphin sightings and incidents data out of spreadsheets and into a geospatial database—wider marine mammal data is the next step in this process.

I am also responsible for improving the availability of our data and information to the public as well as updating and distributing our awareness resources. Plus a bit of everything else.

Embracing the weather in Doubtful Sound.

Embracing the weather in Doubtful Sound

This helps achieve DOC’s vision by:

Improving the knowledge and public awareness of marine mammal conservation issues and making our data collection process more time efficient and higher in quality so it can inform conservation management of our threatened species.

The best bit about my job is:

 Having fun on Kapiti Island during the intern field trip

Having fun on Kapiti Island during the intern field trip

Working with such amazing, kind, and inspiring people (directly in National Office and through phone and email contact with district offices and field bases).

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

Working with the American students from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) on their raising awareness of Maui’s dolphin project.

Such an awesome group of energetic, enthusiastic and bright students with some absolutely wonderful ideas.

Their ‘Rounded fin? Send it in!’ slogan is better than anything we could have come up with!

Also, our intern field trip to Kapiti Island—beautiful place and inspiring rangers. Was good to get our hands dirty.

The DOC employee that inspires or enthuses me most is…

It’s hard to pick one…being so new means that everyone inspires me! Especially those rangers who do the hard and hands on work on the coasts dealing with whale strandings etc.

But, if I had to pick one, it would have to be my supervisor, Laura Boren. There is so much marine mammal knowledge stored in that brain, she knows how to deal with every situation and that is what I want to be able to do at some point in the future.

I stood in her shoes to some degree while she was in Africa for a month, which was daunting to say the least.

I also have to mention Katie Clemens because she is like Wonder Woman.

Doing the Tongariro Crossing as a child. Something I really want to do again.

Doing the Tongariro Crossing as a child. Something I really want to do again

On a personal note…

The song that always cheers me up is…

I ended up changing this answer three times (have you noticed I’m not very decisive?) so I’ll just give you all of them—Feel Good Inc by Gorillaz, One more Time by Daft Punk and Breezeblocks by Alt-J.

The best piece of news I’ve heard lately is:

My contract was getting extended past the internship programme period; and compliments from a ranger saying that I did a good job dealing with a whale stranding while I was holding down the fort for Laura.

My secret indulgence is:

Disney and Pixar movies and music.

If I wasn’t working at DOC, I’d like to…

Well ever since I was little I wanted to be a zoo keeper and I think I would still like to do that.

Before working at DOC:

I was doing my Masters in Marine Conservation at Victoria University which gave me some awesome experiences such as going to Heron Island to experience some tropical conservation topics and doing some field science in the beautiful Doubtful Sound.

Sunset on Heron Island,  in the southern Great Barrier Reef.

Sunset on Heron Island, in the southern Great Barrier Reef

So I guess I was one of the lucky ones to jump straight out of study (actually while I was still studying!) into specifically what I wanted to do. Dream job.

Deep and meaningful…

Graduating my Masters in December, with my dad.

Graduating my Masters in December, with my dad

My favourite quote is…

I don’t know if this is a quote but “Just do it”. It might sound cheesy but it is very appropriate if you’re like me and get anxious at the prospect of doing new things.

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

Don’t spend your money paying off more of your interest free student loan than you need to. Spend your extra money on travels and experiences. Hello Alaska in June!

In work and life I am motivated by:

Basically I just try my best to make the most of my time doing things I enjoy and to not waste opportunities (that’s how I got here).

My conservation advice to New Zealanders is:

Go out and do something in nature, even if it is small, it will increase your passion and awareness for New Zealand’s natural environment.

Question of the week…

What’s the kindest thing that someone has ever done for you?

One of the kindest things I can think of that has affected my life is how both my step parents treat me like their own family and support me in everything I do and make my life very pleasant! Plus they are both taking me overseas in the near future and if that’s not kind then I don’t know what is!