Jordan Sutherland

This week on ‘An Interview with WiseOceans’ we spoke with Jordan Sutherland from WiseOceans

Name: Jordan Sutherland

Role: Marine Educator

Company: WiseOceans

Top Tip: Getting to grips with common phrases in a local language really makes a difference!

Quick Fire Questions

1. What inspired you to pursue a career in marine conservation? 

SCUBA diving, because it took me beneath the waves and showed me a lot of cool new things that I’d not seen before. Then to learn that many of these animals and eco-systems are under threat, it was a straight forward choice of what to dedicate my time too.

2. What steps did you take or are you currently taking to achieve your career goals?

I pursued a degree in Marine biology and continued with diving and became an instructor. Using the long university summers to work abroad, teaching diving with conservation organisations such as Operation Wallacea and learning as much as marine science as I could. I obtained my RYA level 2 boat handling certification and this is something I’d very much like to continue with in the future.

3. How did you obtain your current position? 

Through WiseOceans Weekly Weekly Job Alert email! It’s a great way to know what is currently available in the field in lots of places in the world.

4. Which part of your job do you enjoy the most?  

Transplanting the corals! It’s the final step of all the hard work that proceeded it and every fragment put back provides more and more hope for the future of the reef. I also really enjoy when you are just having a conversation with someone and they really begin to connect with the marine environment, because it’s that relationship that I think has the best chance of bringing about the real change that our oceans need.

5. Are there aspects of your position which make you feel that you are really ‘making a difference’? 

Absolutely. Every person that has come see our Reef Restoration Project, added their own coral fragment or attended one of our presentations has given me the opportunity to positively share our conservation goals. The global reach of this local project has huge potential!

6. What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were starting out?

How truly beneficial it would be for me to have another language, of course, I always knew it would be a good thing, but when you are new to a place and trying to implement any change, it’s always better conversing where possible in the local language. If not, then at least getting to grips with common phrases really makes a difference.

7. Are there any skills you never thought you would need but did?

The ability to tell a good story, a lot of what you learn in your degree is scientifically communicated, which is obviously a very important part of it. But being able articulate that information uniquely – not only in a way that people can understand but in a way so they are inclined to care about it is the best way to really share the information.

8. What advice would you give to budding marine conservationists?  

Take all the opportunities you are given to network. Even if it just a quick conversation at a career fair, you never know what contacts you may make and how they may prove useful one day.

9. What is your favourite marine creature and why?

Can anyone really just have one? I’ll say nudibranchs because of their unique bright colours and patterns, and any type of shark because they are always what I’m most excited to see on dives.

10. What is your most unforgettable moment in the sea?

So far, swimming with whale sharks. It’s easy to forget you share this world with giants like these but being in the water with them reminds you just how cool this world really is.

“Take all the opportunities you are given to network.”

Jordan Sutherland

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