I have always been fascinated by the ocean and the power it holds
As a child and still now, I enjoy being out in or on the water, from swimming to surfing to scuba diving. I wanted to learn more about the ocean, the waves, tides and the processes within that cannot be seen by the human eye. I was interested in the way the sea interacts with land and causes our beaches and cliffs to erode.
I chose to study Oceanography with Coastal Processes at Plymouth because it offered me the opportunity to pursue my passion. I was excited to start a new chapter of my life on a course which really interested me and gave me a pathway to turn my passion into a career.
I am now a Coastal Processes Scientist with Plymouth Coastal Observatory
PCO aim to provide a standard, repeatable and cost-effective method of monitoring the coastal environment around the South West of England.
My role includes quality checking a range of coastal and survey data (from topographic data to LiDAR to ecological data), analysing data and producing technical reports, with the aim of helping stakeholders and local authorities make informed decisions.
I also undertake topographic beach surveys. A topographic beach survey is where a surveyor will collect data including height measurements at fixed intervals along pre-defined profiles across a beach. This then allows us to calculate the cross-sectional area of the beach and to identify areas of change.
What I love about my career is that there isn’t a typical weekday. One week I can be out surveying beaches, the next quality checking data, followed by researching new innovative ideas.
I can describe my time at Plymouth in three words – social, memorable and opportunities
I met so many people and made life-long friends and had amazing experiences. I developed and learned new skills, networked and had my eyes opened to a variety of topics within the umbrella term of oceanography.
The exciting aspect of my course was that a typical week was often varied. Sometimes I would be in lectures from 9-6 and others I would be out on the boat completing surveys, or down at the Marine Station carrying out lab experiments.
My most memorable module would have to be scientific diving due to its uniqueness and having the ability to dive whilst learning new skills.
During this module we developed underwater survey and data collection skills including photography, lift bag use, sediment core sampling and quadrat surveys.
As a Coastal Processes Scientist, my degree helped get me where I am now by developing transferable skills I had gained previously through internships and work and growing my confidence to seek out new opportunities. Communication and networking, independent research and data analysis are the top three skills I have gained from my time at Plymouth.