Kia ora! My name is Wednesday Davis and I am incredibly excited and honoured to introduce myself as one of the 2020/21 BLAKE Department of Conservation Ambassadors! A massive thank you goes out to BLAKE, Department of Conservation and the Yellow Eyed Penguin trust for making this opportunity possible.
How did I find myself here in Dunedin? I am a 23 year old Marine Science MSc student from the University of Auckland currently working on the behavioural drivers of multi-species feeding aggregations – primarily looking at seabird and cetacean interactions! I absolutely love the marine environment and love exploring and learning about our big blue back yard! Since learning about the BLAKE Ambassador programme in 2017 I have been dreaming about the chance to go – and this year I was lucky enough to be selected!
A couple of months ago, after sending through a long written application, getting an amazing reference letter from my supervisor and a very awkward pre-recorded interview, I received a call from BLAKE offering me the Ambassadorship! My buddy for the Ambassadorship is Giverny Forbes, another MSc student currently working on human interactions with leopard seals. I’m sure we will go on lots of little adventures while we are down!
I flew down to Dunedin from Auckland on Sunday 17th January. It was my first time flying since the COVID pandemic and everyone was masked up and using plenty of hand-sanitiser. While we were allowed to take off our masks to drinks cups of tea and eat snacks, we had to stay masked up for the full flight.
Tomorrow will be our first day at the Department of Conservation and our first day in the field! Can’t wait to see what awesome critters, experiences and friends this ambassadorship will bring!