Read below for our first volunteer profile. Jenna has been connected to the project from the early stages. Her enthusiasm and passion for marine life and conservation is inspiring! Keep it up Jenna.
Name: Jenna Coleman
From: Whitby, North Yorkshire
What is your background or interest in the project? (area of study, work, hobbies etc.)
I am a local girl looking to follow my dreams of working in the animal / environmental research field. I am currently a student at Newcastle University, studying an integrated masters of Zoology. In summer of 2022 I will be taking part in a turtle conservation programme in Greece in which I will learn how to medically look after and care for turtle hatchlings and juvenile turtles. My hobbies include snorkelling, yoga and singing. I hope to gain my first PADI scuba diving certification this year, as I love being underwater.
Why did you want to volunteer with the Whitby Lobster Hatchery project?
I wanted to Support local environmental charities and tackle the overfishing challenges and gain experience in this chosen field of study. I Hope to meet people who share the same passions as me, and I believe this will prepare me for work as a zoologist/ marine biologist. I am so excited for future plans of the hatchery, and can’t wait to help Joe and the team along the way!
What benefits do you think you can BRING to the project?
Growing up on the cliff tops of the Yorkshire Coast, I have always had a fascination in anything marine related. Because of this profound love, I am a current Zoology Student at Newcastle University with particular interest in cephalopods, crustaceans and marine mammals. I obtained a Qualification in marine biology in which I studied Marine Ecology and Biodiversity. I have a strong understanding of local marine niche and habitats.
Alongside side this I am able to confidently public speak in any situation, I am competent enough to speak on the hatchery’s behalf to help Joe. I am also able to help undergo research and help with anything lab related, as the marine biology qualification gave me significant laboratory training.
What benefits do you think you can GAIN from the project?
Overall, there are several factors I can gain from the project. Firstly, frontline conservation expertise in which I learnt how to properly care for animals in the facility, and gain crucial marine life husbandry experience, such as understanding what bait to feed to marine animals, how to distribute food and how to monitor tank temperatures.
I also manage the hatchery’s Social media platforms, which includes creating “Sunday Session” content promoting the everyday life of the hatchery. This also leads to making new connections within the industry, leading to potential future employers. Joe hosted a promotional stall at a food festival in Malton and I had the chance to talk in depth to members of the public about the project, I love that I can practise public speaking whilst talking about marine life. I am also learning how to educate others on the importance of animal, environmental and climate research and conservation and will undergo more talks with Joe throughout the coming years.
Furthermore, undertaking conservation research at the hatchery will help me gain experience in the field, and help with my university studies.
Why is the WLH a project you believe in and want to support?
With this being a great opportunity for the North and Local society, I can clearly see Joe wants to make a conscious change for the better, benefitting not only the environment, but the fishing industry and parts of the massive hospitality industry in Whitby. This brings millions of tourists to Whitby each year to taste its world renowned seafood, but we must sustain our seas.
I believe in supporting the sustainability and animal welfare of British marine life. It is imperative we keep
educating future generations on the importance of conservation and how fragile our beautiful ecosystem is at the moment, and how we must protect it at all costs. The hatchery has state of the art research facilities, allowing ground-breaking research to take place right here in Whitby which is essential for the maintenance and protection of the North Sea. I really enjoy the chosen Lobster conservation technique, and cannot wait to look after all the Juvenile lobsters!
Finally, the Hatchery will be turning Whitby into a more environmentally conscious society, with tourists coming in constantly, this allows visitors from other regions to be educated on the lobster cause and spread the word!
Any other comments?
I love volunteering at the lobster hatchery. Joe is charismatic, innovative and a visionary for not only the local area, but for change. Bringing ideas to the table that have never been seen before in this town. He is an excellent mentor too, and under his tutoring I hope to pass on the education and knowledge he has given me for future generations. Finally, I especially love coming into the hatchery and seeing Desmond and his fishy friend pancake hanging out waiting for me to feed them!
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