Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Katie Brooks, her GVI Seychelles story.

I first came to the Seychelles with GVI in July 2006 to join the Marine Conservation Expedition. I had handed in my notice from my job as a retail buyer with a chain of department stores in the UK and planned to travel and dive for the year, the Seychelles was my first stop. With limited diving experience, having only ever dived in the UK, everyday on the expedition was an amazing experience, I loved the diving, learning about the corals and surveying the reefs around Mahe. Within the first few weeks of the phase we had even been lucky enough to see whale sharks while out on a survey dive, it was amazing!

Completely hooked and determined to stay working within the ocean I decided to stay in the Seychelles to complete my divemaster qualification, it was here I met Dr David Rowat who heads up the Marine Conservation Society, Seychelles (MCSS) and runs the Seychelles Whale Shark Programme as well as being co-owner of the dive centre with which I was completing my divemaster. Within days of beginning my divemaster I had also taken on a volunteer role for MCSS running a boat for the whale shark programme taking out clients and helping with the whale shark research.

After volunteering with MCSS until the end of the whale shark season in 2006 I continued to work in the ocean and travel the world and have been lucky enough to work on the Great Barrier Reef, with whale sharks in Ningaloo Western Australia, in Palau in Micronesia and of course back in the Seychelles on the whale shark programme and in January of this year I participated in a research expedition in Djibouti, North Africa to look at studying the population of whale sharks there.

Currently I’m back in the Seychelles still working with MCSS and co-ordinating the whale shark programme out here. I’m busy updating our global whale shark database and preparing for my fourth whale shark season in the Seychelles. The skills I learnt, the experience I had and the people I met whilst volunteering for GVI have been invaluable, instead of a year out I have had a complete change of career and will be starting a Masters degree in Marine Environmental Management later this year. Joining GVI as a volunteer certainly changed my life!



Emilio said...


Good Bloog my friend!! Congratulations!!

good luck!! See you!