I was born/grew up in: I was born in Gander, NL and grew up in Little Burnt Bay, a small town in Central NL.
I now live in: I currently live in Stephenville, on the West Coast of NL.
I completed my training/education at: I completed a Bachelor of Science Degree at Memorial University, St. John’s NL. I majored in Marine Biology and completed two minors: 1) Biochemistry 2) Sustainable Aquaculture and Fisheries Ecology
What I do at work
Every day is a new adventure when working in the aquaculture industry and I absolutely love it! As an Incubation, First Feed, and Fry Supervisor I am responsible for all aspects of caring for young salmon. This starts from when they are tiny little eggs and continues after hatching during the first several months of their life cycle.
Being a supervisor means you are responsible for all aspects of your area. For me it is Incubation and Fry. Both of these are large systems consisting of many tanks, pumps, piping, and filtration systems. Balancing all aspects of the system is sometimes challenging but the overall results are very rewarding. Being able to see a salmon progress through its life stages is very exciting. My daily tasks involve taking care of the young fish. I do water quality analysis in a laboratory setting, record keeping and data organization. I also do other tasks that may arise.
Having a background in science is very important to my career. It helps me understand both the fish health and the water chemistry required for growing fish. My knowledge, along with the knowledge of other members of my team, results in a strong set of skills at our facility. This creates a very dynamic working environment.
I often find myself drawing on knowledge learned throughout University to help me achieve my goals within the workplace. I also find myself learning new things every day. Aquaculture and technology is changing all the time and every day you learn something new. You really have to be able to adapt to changes in a world where change is constant!
My career path is
I have always had a love for the ocean and aquatic animals. I knew from a young age that I wanted to pursue a degree in Marine Biology. It was within my first year at Memorial that I learned about the aquaculture industry and the different jobs that were involved. I then began seeking courses about both marine biology and aquaculture. At the time, aquaculture was ‘new’ to Memorial. Before this, most of the aquaculture courses were offered at the Marine Institute campus. Many of the courses I took were being offered for the first time. This led me to being one of the first students to graduate with a recognized minor in ‘Sustainable Aquaculture and Fisheries Ecology’ from Memorial.
It was through my degree that I discovered that aquaculture was the career for me. I was fortunate to get a job at Northern Harvest Smolt (now MOWI) as soon as I finished my degree. I have been at the Stephenville Hatchery ever since. I have had several position changes and promotions in my short time there. I look forward to what the future has in store!
I am motivated by
I am motivated by success. When things go as planned, and I achieve my goals, it motivates me to continue to try my best and strive for more.
Our team works together towards a main goal but each facility has their own smaller goals. In each area, such as Incubation and Fry, we have our own goals to achieve as well. Being able to contribute to a bigger picture is very rewarding.
I really enjoy working with such a great team! Everyone is there to help and support you in all aspects of your career. We are like one big family working together to meet production needs. We are always providing support and knowledge to one another when needed.
How I affect people’s lives
Aquaculture supplies the economy with sustainably produced seafood. This helps reduce the stress on natural fish populations.
In my position, I help ensure the health and quality of the young fish to allow for optimal growth and development to market size.
Outside of work I
Outside of work I am a Figure Skating coach. I love helping others succeed at something they love.
In my free time I like to walk on beaches and ride snowmobile. Nature is my happy place.
My advice to others
My number one word of advice is to Go For It! There is no limit; the opportunities are endless. There are so many different areas of work involved in the aquaculture industry. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask questions; you may be surprised with the variety of options available.