“The internship opened me up to a number of different situations, sometimes challenging, in the working environment. It also introduced me to a number of key stakeholders within the environmental community.”
Stephanie grew up in Cape Town in a close, supportive family. At school the subjects that she enjoyed the most were Geography and Subject Music, and she played the flute, the piano and sang in the choir. At the moment she is learning the play the ukulele. In Grade ten she began to think about what she would do after leaving school – given that she wanted to do something relevant and to be part of the process towards sustainable living she became interested in working in the environmental sector. Stephanie currently coordinates the WWF-South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (SASSI) listing within the WWF-SA Marine Programme.
Stephanie decided to register for a BSc in Atmospheric Science at the University of Cape Town. She enjoyed her Oceanography major so much that she went on to attain Honours and Masters Degrees in Ocean and Atmospheric Science. During her postgraduate studies she had the opportunity to participate in research voyages to Marion Island and Antarctica. Encountering spectacular scenes of natural beauty and different marine creatures on these voyages further inspired Stephanie to commit herself to a career in marine conservation.
During Stephanie’s internship in the Marine Programme at WWF-SA, she was tasked with updating WWF-South African Sustainable Seafood Initiative Assessments. This involved desktop research and extensive consultation with marine experts in order to reassess various fish species and associated fisheries in terms of their relative sustainability. Stephanie found her internship particularly valuable because of her engagement with different stakeholders, learning to operate as a professional within the marine sector.
Stephanie looks forward to a rich and diverse career in marine research and conservation. She is keen on continuing with marine conservation work in an NGO but she would find it interesting to work in a corporate context. Her advice to other environmental graduates is to preserver through challenges: she asserts that there is nothing more satisfying than accomplishing your conservation goals and really making a difference to the world.