An Interview with WiseOceans… Pip Penny from Naifaru Juvenile – Atoll Marine Centre
This week we chat with Pip Penny. Staying positive and volunteering with as many organisations as you can is her advice to the next generation of marine biologists – oh, and get good freediving skills under your belt too!
Name: Pip Penny
Job Title: Volunteer Coordinator
Organisation: Atoll Volunteers
What inspired you to pursue a career in marine conservation?
Ever since I can remember I have been obsessed with the ocean and fascinated by all its amazing creatures. Seeing the plethora of harmful impacts on the ocean I just want to help and make a difference anyway I can, however small that may be.
What steps did you take/are you taking to achieve your career goals?
I completed a BSc in Conservation Biology and Ecology at Exeter University, this was my first step. I have volunteered for various organisations throughout my time at university and now I have this amazing job here with a great little NGO really committed to marine conservation!
How did you land your current job/position?
I actually saw the position advertised on WiseOceans on the weekly job alert! As soon as I saw it I applied and now here I am!
Which part of your job do you enjoy the most?
I like it all but I think my favourite part is taking volunteers out snorkelling in different places and seeing their reactions/responses to the marine life here.
Are there aspects of your position which make you feel that you are really ‘making a difference’?
Whenever we release turtles that have been rehabilitated at our marine centre I get a warm fuzzy feeling knowing that we have completely changed/saved a turtle’s life. We make a real difference to each individual turtle in our centre and that is such a great feeling!
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were starting out?
Nobody knows everything, just to be confident within my capabilities and back myself more!
Are there any skills you never thought you would need but did?
Free-diving and being able to control my breathing was not something I thought about before I came here. I definitely need to get better!
What advice would you give to budding marine conservationists
Get involved with as much as you can, volunteer with different organisations and always try and stay positive!
What is your favourite marine creature and why?
My favourite marine creatures are manta rays. They are so big and graceful and mysterious. Manta rays fascinate me and I am totally in awe of them!
What is your most unforgettable moment in the sea?
My most unforgettable moment is definitely at Hanifaru Bay when I was in the water with around 50 manta rays in a feeding cyclone.
Thank you Pip. We are glad our Weekly Job Alert email helped you secure this great opportunity!