Cold Ocean Salmon
Sector: Agriculture, Natural Resources
Type: Career Profile
Biology, Ecosystems, Zoology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Food & Nutrition, Science
Whenever I get to be involved in a research study, use new technologies, or see innovative products/designs used I am excited! Throughout the production cycle, there is a constant need for new technology and innovation. This is especially true when food demand and environmental conditions change. Aquaculture is a technology driven industry and I find it extremely interesting.
I enjoy all aspects of my job but being on the water is the most enjoyable. I will take any opportunity I have to get out of the office and out in a boat. From the boat, you get to see the farming operation right in front of you. You also get a better understanding of how things are working.
This career is right for me because it is exciting and interesting. I look forward to going to work every day! I know the contributions I make on a daily basis, no matter how small, will affect people globally. Aquaculture is a solution to the growing global food demand, and I am proud to be a part of it!
When I was a kid in Grade 1, I started saying I wanted to be a Marine Biologist. I always had an interest in the ocean and everything in it. That continued into my high school career. Although I didn’t take that exact path, I did stay in the science field with a Marine focus. I completed a Marine Environmental Technology Diploma, a Bachelor of Technology, and recently, a Masters in Technology Management (Aquaculture Management).
I did two work terms in my Marine Environmental Technology Diploma. I was fortunate enough to complete them at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans as a student Habitat Monitoring Technician. These work terms helped me apply my classroom learning to the real world. I graduated in June of 2011, and I started my first job in aquaculture in September of 2011. I have been in the industry since then!
I decided to take a job in aquaculture to try it out. Honestly, I had only a small amount of knowledge about the industry, but I found it interesting and wanted to learn more. I moved to the south coast of Newfoundland for a job and said that I would give it 6 months. It is almost 10 years later, and I wouldn’t change a thing! Check my LinkedIn profile for more information.
My advice would be to step outside of your comfort zone, challenge yourself, embrace change and continue to learn. Aquaculture has so many careers to choose. Ask questions! Understand what you are interested in and what your passions are. Speak to someone in the industry and educate yourself on what the industry is. There is so much more to aquaculture then people realize.
Outside of my aquaculture career, I am the Commanding Officer of the local Army Cadet Corp. I am heavily involved in the Corps marksmanship program, and the general program keeps me busy! Outside of cadets, I enjoy going on my All-Terrain Vehicle, snowshoeing, hiking, reading and cooking! I love to spend time and relax with my husband Adam, and 9-year-old dog Millie.
The great thing about my role is that every day looks different! One day I could be in the office, entering and reporting information. Another day I could be on the water completing weight samples, or fish health sampling. On other days, I could be in the lab processing the samples that I have collected on another day.
Science is a major component of what I do, especially with fish health sampling. Technology also plays a role of course. Aquaculture is an industry that embraces both science and technology on a daily basis. For example, some of the data entry and reporting that I am involved with uses all the information collected on site (environmental data, feed data, inventory numbers etc.). This data is used to predict what the fish should be eating and compares it to what they are eating. The software program also predicts what weight the fish should be, given the parameters the data entry team enter.
There is a lot of specialized equipment used in aquaculture. While I may not use it directly, it does affect what I do and how I complete my responsibilities. For example, the feed barges on site feed the fish, record the amount of feed, etc. Environmental sensors collect Dissolved Oxygen and take temperature readings. The fish health samples I collect are tested using specific lab equipment once they are shipped out.
In aquaculture, decisions are made, and problems are solved using a combination of experience, knowledge, science and technology. It is important to me that when I run into an issue, or have to make a decision, that I make it to the best of my ability using the resources that I have. If I can’t figure something out myself, I make sure I look to others who have more experience and knowledge. If the problem can’t be solved or there may be a more efficient way, we look into other options that have been proven to work through science/technology.
Working in Aquaculture has shown me the importance of working as a team. Everything I do directly affects someone else, and vice versa. It is important that communication, especially on the water, is effective and a priority. Teamwork is important, and it takes a strong team to grow fish safely and sustainably.
I was born/grew up in: Cape Broyle, NL
I now live in: Milltown, NL
I completed my training/education at: I have completed the following programs: Marine Environmental Technology Diploma (Marine Institute), Bachelor of Technology (Marine Institute/MUN), and a Masters in Technology Management (Aquaculture Management) (Marine Institute/MUN)
When I was
- Enjoyed doing things on my own
- Played on a sports team
- Enjoyed working with my hands
- Was motivated by success
- Wanted to be in charge
- Liked being given free range to explore my ideas
- Engaged in volunteer activities
- Felt at home in the outside, natural environment
- Was really creative
- Learned best "by doing"
- Always knew exactly what I wanted to do