Jackie’s passion animal is the sea turtle. While living and working in the Turks and Caicos Islands for 10 years, she was responsible for running a tagging study to look at habitat use and migrations of juvenile and sub-adult green turtles. It’s no surprise that Jackie is trained as a marine biologist, but she’s been doing much more than marine biology. She worked as a dive master and a boat captain for a hotel and an ecotourism company while she was in the Caribbean, and she has many other interests - scuba diving and snorkelling, waterskiing, photography, and teaching yoga.
Jackie is now the Outreach Coordinator at the Huntsman Marine Science Centre in St. Andrews, Canada. Much of her time is spent on education and outreach about protecting the ocean, and she’s involved in some unique projects like recycling and repurposing old fishing rope. She remarks, “Being able to create awareness within communities and to teach people about regional issues, along with getting people to see how much fun water can bring in to their lives, is why I love what I do!” Moreover, it’s a good time to be working on environmental issues with a focus on water and the marine environment given how much work is going on in these areas right now. Jackie knows that education doesn’t come without its challenges: “It’s hard to change people’s opinions! But while conservation is at the forefront of everything environmental right now, I think that education plays one of the most critical roles in helping the environment.” Spending time by the water helps, too. Jackie credits her career path to her childhood summers spent by the lake and at her grandparents’ house at the beach.
When asked why it’s important to highlight women in water, Jackie has a sharp reply: “Because girls are powerful, strong, resilient and are a force to be reckoned with when they put their minds to something.”