Meet Siobhan!

By Saroj Spickett
October 21, 2020

Let’s all give a loud squawk for our dynamic and talented Programme Manager, Siobhan! At the age of 23, she’s already ticked off a good chunk of her bucket list. She’s fascinated by marine wildlife, has big plans for environmental change, and absolutely loves a caravan! ‍

As programme manager, you’ll find Siobhan organising wicked webinars, engaging lessons and assigning video challenges for our community of schools. The best part? Watching the videos of course! And when we asked her which her favourite one was, well, there was one rap that spring to mind... guys, you know who you are. And you might have established a whole sub-genre in the process.

So, what brought Siobhan to our nest of squawkers in the first place? Having studied Marine Biology and Environmental Studies at Victoria University in Wellington, environmental issues are part of her DNA. Not only did she score a scholarship at uni, she jetted out on a research trip into the middle of the Pacific Ocean on the famous Tangaroa. It’s only one of the most active research vessels in the world! Specialising in microbial research, Siobhan was one of 40 people who didn’t see land for 4 weeks.

Using her weekly allocation of internet on the Tangaroa to apply for (and secure) a prestigious internship at the Ministry for the Environment, she was smashing post-uni life. She was even promoted for a job in the Chief Executive’s office. Supporting crucial communications between the MfE and the public about the state of the environment, Siobhan was confronted with uncomfortable truths that had to be addressed. But how?

Education. For Siobhan, changing the way we treat the environment starts with public awareness and inspiring them to do things differently. That’s when she arrived here... and she’s got big plans! As well as linking up with loads of schools, she wants to provide resources to students and teachers who are daring to challenge what’s possible. As soon as we’ve covered NZ, what’s to stop us going worldwide?

Most importantly for Siobhan, scientific discoveries need to be communicated to the public through tech, innovative startups (that’s us), community engagement (us again) and education (well, what do you know!). ‍

Outside of the squad, she’s part of a volunteer group called Project Blue who are making a doco while working with companies to transition away from single-use plastic.

And if you didn’t think she was cool enough already, Siobhan recently packed her life into a caravan and parked up in Kaikōura. Why? For the whales, that’s why. Needless to say, she had a whale of a time (had to be done.)

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