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In honour of International Women’s Day tomorrow we chatted with five of the talented women at Ocean Wise for their advice and insights on working in the industry.  

In this blog we’re highlighting our wonderful Ocean Wise Senior IT Project Manager, Meighan Makarchuk.

How did you come to work in ocean conservation?

Growing up on Canada’s west coast I spent a lot of time on, near, and in the ocean. As a child I spent countless hours exploring tidepools and marveling at the creatures that live in the intertidal zone. Later, I started scuba diving which opened up a whole new world of wonder and appreciation. I have always felt very connected to the ocean so when I started my career in Information Technology I kept an eye out for jobs at organizations in the ocean sciences and conservation field. I was very happy to end up with an organization where I could apply my IT skills to assist with ocean conservation issues.

What have you learned in your role so far that has surprised you?

Working in ocean conservation is an ongoing educational experience. As with all science-based fields there is always new and emerging information, which is exciting. I think the one thing that still amazes me when I think about it is how interconnected the ocean and marine ecosystems are with everything else on our planet. The ocean plays a critical role in many aspects of how our planet functions including climate regulation, weather patterns, oxygen production, human food sources, carbon storage – the list goes on. This is why ocean conservation is so incredibly important.

Do you have any tips for staying positive and managing eco-anxiety?

It can be very overwhelming, but the key is to try to stay positive and channel that anxiety into action. Focus on what you can control. There are things that everyone can do to protect the ocean, from choosing to eat sustainable seafood to joining a Shoreline Cleanup to reducing your use of single use plastic. Do what you can to reduce your impact and connect with other positive like-minded people who are doing the same thing. When you feel connected to others you feel less alone in your eco-anxiety.

Do you have any advice for people looking to get into the field?

There are a lot of non-traditional jobs within the conservation field. You don’t have to be a marine biologist or a conservation scientist to contribute important work to an ocean conservation organization. Find something you are good at and that you enjoy doing, and then look for roles at conservation organizations that align with your skill set.

What is the most rewarding aspect of working in ocean conservation?

The most rewarding aspect is knowing that the hours you put in at your job matter. When you see the positive impact your organization is having in the world, you feel really good. Contributing to the health and sustainability of the ocean is a great source of career and personal satisfaction.

Read the rest of our International Women’s Day Interview’s Here:

Posted March 6, 2024 by Kim Bricker

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