St. John’s, Newfoundland
Growing up in Newfoundland, it is no surprise that Sarah is an outdoor enthusiast and ocean lover. During the day, Sarah is a multidisciplinary hydrographer with the Canadian Hydrographic Service in St. John’s and during her spare time, she enjoys hiking and getting on the water in her kayak.
In 2011, Sarah participated in a month-long volunteer experience with Operation Wallacea, where they were diving twice a day collecting data for coral reef research and scouring beaches for turtle conservation efforts. This experience sparked a deep-routed desire to study the oceans; therefore, she enrolled as a marine biology major at Memorial University upon her return. It wasn’t until her final year of her degree where she was pushed in a similar but very different direction; sonar technology. She was very interested in how sonar would allow her to study the ocean from a different prospective but also related to her studies in marine biology. Therefore, in 2013, Sarah started the joint degree/diploma program at the Marine Institute (MI) in St. John’s, NL, and she says it was the best decision she has ever made. Not only did she receive a great education in sonar technology and its applications, receive phenomenal support from the faculty and staff in any venture she pursued but she received amazing opportunities that she believes were only made possible because she attended MI.
One opportunity that came her way was to participate in the Students On Ice expedition in 2016, which was made possible through a scholarship donated by the Marine Institute. Sarah has always wanted to visit northern Canada but she did not realize how much she would fall in love with its beauty. She wants to learn more about how climate change is effecting our North, not only the landscape but as well the indigenous way of life. She also wants to learn more about their culture and how we as Canadians can help towards reconciliation. There is not enough being done and she hopes being a part of this expedition will help keep the momentum going on this very important issue.
While studying ocean mapping, Sarah took advantage of her marine biology degree and spent her summers as a marine interpreter for several companies across the province in Newfoundland. Those experiences are the reason she is so passionate about ocean education and teaching the public about the importance of our oceans health. Since graduating from Marine Institute, she has tried to stay within the educational world by becoming a working group member with the Canadian Network for Ocean Education (CaNOE). CaNOE provides a platform for learning, dialogue and communication about ocean literacy in Canada. By bringing educators and scientists together, they hope to create momentum that will increase regional and national understanding of the value of our oceans now and for the future. Sarah is also helping organize CaNOE’s upcoming conference happening this July in St. John’s.
During her last year at the Marine Institute, she applied to be a Seafloor Mapping intern with the Ocean Exploration Trust. For three weeks, Sarah explored the seafloor off the west coast of Mexico onboard an exploration vessel, the E/V Nautilus. Using sonar technology, the crew gathered data of the seafloor surrounding the Revillagigedo archipelagos islands, while also broadcasting live through their website to discuss with the public about the technologies being used and their findings. Sarah feels very grateful to have had the opportunity to work with an organization that holds her same values and goals when it comes to ocean technology and education.
Sarah is very driven and it is not long after she completes one project, she’s looking for her next adventure. That is why she is very excited to take part in the Sedna Epic Expedition. However, she does love slowing down every now and then to explore her beautiful province of Newfoundland to experience the beauty it has to offer.