Josie Crawshaw - Marine Scientist
My name is Josie Crawshaw, born in Whakatane, New Zealand. I was lucky enough to grow up on a lifestyle block by the beach, complete with dog, cat, sheep, pigs, rabbits, chickens, goats and the occasional stray cow. Many of my evenings were spent outside walking my border collie Tip at the beach, where my love for the coastline began.
I am currently a second year masters student in the Marine Science department. I first began diving in 2012 with an open water course at Dive Otago in my third year of an undergraduate degree at Otago University. It was a very rough introductory experience to diving, with extremely cold temperatures, wind and rain facing us on our open water dives (made worse with the holey rented wet suits most of us were wearing!). Soon after, I had finished university and headed inland to work at a ski field for 2 seasons, which lead to a string of sprained backs/tailbones and a broken wrist, preventing me from carrying on diving at that stage.
Later that year I had the opportunity to go to Rarotonga at the end of 2013 with my Mum (where diving was a lot more tropical than my previous experiences), where I took a SSI Advanced Adventurer course, experiencing the best Rarotonga had to offer, including a drift dive through caves in the reef, a deep dive to the reef dropoff, photography and naturalist skills and a wreck and navigation dive. It was this course and my time in Rarotonga that made me decide to continue my diving education, and decided marine science and the coastal environment was indeed where I wanted my future to be, which is when I enrolled in a Master of Science with the Marine Science Department.
The summer before this course began, I enrolled in a full time course with Dive Otago, completing the National Certificate in Diving (Foundation), bringing me up to Rescue Diver and logging 40 training dives in the process. I decided this course was not enough, and then enrolled part-time in the National Certificate in Diving (Leadership), bringing me up to Divemaster, learning valuable dive leadership skills along the way.
As part of the Marine Science Degree, we were offered to take part in a scientific dive course, which involved learning various scientific diving methods over 4 days of intensive training, as part of the prerequisites for applying for a diving certificate of competency, and I am currently working towards the supervised underwater hours required to apply.
Ideally at the end of all my masters degree, I would love to get a research position that would involve a lot of diving. This year I plan to get involved with as many scientific dive trips as possible (there are many coming up doing fish surveys in Fiordland), and trying to retrieve an elusive hydrophone off the Otago coast (5 dives and still no luck locating it).
I have started a blog at http://superbcreationjellyfish.tumblr.com to share some of the beautiful and “interesting” places my research and free time leads me, and show some of the interesting wildlife you may find just under the surface of the sea which many people don’t get to experience! You can also follow my adventures on Facebook at www.facebook.com/josie.coastal. See you there!