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The Gap Year Blog

Introducing our New Project Coordinator - Jess Betts

11 Jan 2017 15:05 PM

After recently finishing my Masters course in Conservation Science, I was really excited to be offered the Project Coordinator position for the Frontier Fiji Marine project.

My undergraduate Zoology degree and previous experience working on a sea turtle conservation project really developed my passion for working in the marine environment and promoting the issues around marine conservation. The Fiji Marine project seemed the perfect blend of working with volunteers to conduct invaluable research and using that research to have a real conservation impact.

When landing in Fiji, I was not disappointed as I arrived to be welcomed by a beautiful sunrise. However, the sun didn’t last and the rain began by the time I was getting the boat across from Navua to the island of Beqa, which was actually a welcome relief from the heat! After walking the short distance from the shore and mangroves up to the site, I was warmly welcomed at the Frontier camp by everyone, including all the pet kittens (Jack, George, Cheese and Snow White) and dogs. My first few days were spent getting to grips with camp living (learning where the best spots for showering are – there’s a beautiful creek a short walk through the veggie patch and palm trees!) and welcoming the new group of incoming Research Assistants.

My first few days got better and better as the rain slowed and we were able to go out snorkelling and diving. My first time out on the dive boat (while our Research Assistants were conducting their PADI Open Water course) was incredible – the water was clear blue, the corals were amazing colours and the array of fish species was like nothing I’ve ever seen before! We were also lucky enough to see 8 dolphins swimming with the boat on our way back, and a juvenile Hawksbill sea turtle a day later!

I’m really excited to be spending the next 9 months in such a beautiful location and look forward to welcoming many new research assistants to collect data and experience the amazing marine life here!

By Jess Betts - Project Coordinator | Fiji Marine Conservation

Frontier runs terrestrial & marine conservation, community, teaching and adventure projects in over 50 countries - join us and explore the world!