Archives For North Canterbury

How often do you look at the amazing variety of life below knee level? Community Ranger Vanessa Mander takes you on a walk to the recently renovated Balmoral Fire Lookout in North Canterbury.

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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.